I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

woensdag 15 mei 2013

Bronte biographers part I (till 1900) I am still busy with this blog, so it can change.

I am reading the Bronte Myth of Lucaste Miller
In the years after Elisabeth Gaskell till  1900
  • Rumours about the relationship between Charlotte Bronte and Constantin Heger.
  • Biographers and writers believed or attached these rumours.
  • Biographers believed that everythng Charlotte wrote is from her life
  • Working class education started.
  • Cheap editions of the novels flooded the market
  • English literature began to take root as an academic subject.
  • Concept ideal women artist. A new spiritality. Charlotte's subdued social manner is spiritual superiority.
  • Emily appeared as child of the moors.
  • No careful examination of the evidence, but devotion to the subjects
  • The question came up: Who did write Wuthering Heights? Branwell or Emily Bronte or together?
  • Women wanted  role models who symbolized female freedom from social conventions.
BIOGRAPHERS  ( and writers)
1867 William Dearden "Who wrote Wuthering Heights"?
Under the headline 'Who wrote Wuthering Heights?' Dearden described a meeting which had taken place in the summer of 1842 between himself, Branwell and their sculptor friend Joseph Leyland at the Cross Roads Inn between Haworth and Keighley. A month earlier, the two poets had each agreed to produce a verse composition set in the mythical time before the Deluge. But when Branwell arrived at the appointed pub to show off his handiwork, he found that he had accidentally picked up the wrong manuscript. What he read out was not the antediluvian poem 'Azrael or the Eve of Destruction' he had written in answer to Dearden's challenge, but a fragment whose scene and characters 'so far as then developed' were, according to Dearden, 'the same as those in Wuthering Heights, which Charlotte Bronté [sic] confidently asserts was the production of her sister Emily'. bronteblog/wuthering-heights-at-cross-roads-inn
1883 Laura Carter Holloway An hour with Charlotte Bronte  
1877   Thomas Wemyss Reid- Charlotte Brontë: A monograph e-book charlottebronte 
Had been given access by Ellen Nussey to correspondence
 of Charlotte's which Mrs. Gaskell had not seen
He hinted that Charlotte ""had tasted strange joys"" at the Pensonnat Heger
1883 Gutenberg/ EMILY BRONTË/ Mary Robinson (click the link to read the book)
The Life of Emily Brontë
Mary Robinson wrote to Ellen Nussey asking for help with material.
She wanted  to humanize Emily, a free spirit, child of the moors.
She wanted to give a "Death blow"" once and for all to the theory that Branwell Bronte had written Wuthering Heights
How could a simple young woman, a clergyman's daughter, have created the brutal and passionate Heathcliff? The first biography of Emily was by A. Mary F. Robinson, Emily Brontë (1883, reprinted 1978) Mary Robinson, thought she had found the answer. Emily herself was not a bad person; no, she was a bright, charming girl. It was her older brother Branwell, who had put such evil thoughts into her head. Emily was, in Robinson's biography, an innocent victim of his depravity—so close to Branwell that she had no choice but to pour her agonized soul and his agonized sufferings into a strange book. (Miller, 238-241) maidsbrmyths
Was the first to suggest that Charlotte had probably destroyed Emily' s and Anne' s  letters and literary effects.
1899  Marion Harland Charlotte Bronte at home
Believed Charlotte could not be emotially attached to Heger.
There is nothing in Charlotte' s novels that is not a direct copy from life.
He believed Charlotte Bronte wrote also Wuthering Heights 

Crimson curtains

facebook/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum=stream: At long last our new, specially-woven curtains - as close as we can get to those ordered by Charlotte for the room - are up! Made from union cloth and dyed crimson, Charlotte was unhappy with the colour. The good news is, we love them!

The dining room would also have been used to entertain visitors, and therefore it is the room most often described in articles and contemporary accounts. Like the bedroom directly above, this room was enlarged by Charlotte in 1850. The dining room, sometimes called the parlour, is furnished in a simple style. Elizabeth Gaskell said, 'The parlour has evidently been refurbished within the last few years, since Miss Brontë's success has enabled her to have a little more money to spend... The prevailing colour of the room is crimson... bronte/museum-and-library/inside-the-parsonage

According to forensic analysis, the room was papered both before and after Charlotte's 'gentrification', and the chosen paper is a contemporary design, in scarlet to match the curtains. Several years ago, a scrap of wallpaper was found in Branwell's Studio which can now be dated to the Brontë period. Allyson McDermott matched it with an almost identical sample - also contemporaneous with the Brontës' time - which was found inside a housemaid's cupboard at Kensington Palace. The wallpaper has been reproduced. bronteparsonage/historic-redecoration

Late last year a document in faded brown ink fluttered out of a book

Every so often a Brontë object or document so rare and precious comes up for sale that it's hard to believe it could end up anywhere but here at the Parsonage. Late last year a document in faded brown ink fluttered out of a book whose owners had never before suspected its existence. Closer inspection revealed it was addressed to 'M Heger', and, anticipating that it might be something very special, its owners took it to a London agent for identification. A very important appeal from the Brontë Society:

maandag 13 mei 2013

Photographs on Pennistone and the Bluebell

hathawaysofhaworth had a photograph taking day yesterday
 and  took several photographs on Pennistone.
From this weblog: The past image is of  the gown with a correct shaped collar which I made myself out of vintage Victorian lace as early collars from the 1830s are too expensive for everyday work wear so I thought I would share the shots of the collar these are taken at  the St Ives estate nr Bingley, the bluebells are just starting to come out there so its a nice trio if your staying in Haworth as it’s not far from Haworth.
The Bluebell

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit's care.

Emily Bronte

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Anne Bronte

zondag 12 mei 2013

L'Amour Filial

Keighley News gives more details about the Brontë Society appeal for bringing to Haworth an unpublished manuscript by Charlotte Brontë, L'Amour Filial:
The Brontë Society is seeking help raising funds to buy the work, a homework essay written by Charlotte for the man she loved.
The society was told in December of the previously unknown piece, which is in private ownership.
A single-page document, written in French on both sides, it was assigned as homework by Charlotte’s teacher, Monsieur Constantin Heger, at the Pensionnat Heger school he and his wife ran in Brussels. Heger has added his corrections to the work.(...)
The Bronte Society declined to say how much it needed to buy the manuscript, entitled L’Amour Filial, but said it had already been “generously supported” by the Victoria & Albert Purchase Fund and the Friends of National Libraries.
Society chairman, Sally McDonald, said: “The fact this work is unpublished adds enormously to its significance. We are delighted to launch this appeal and thank all those who have so far contributed.”
Visit bronte.org.uk to make a donation.

The Parlour

The Parlour



Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.



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