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

vrijdag 24 mei 2013

Biographers from 1900 Part II ( Under construction)

I am reading the Bronte Myth of Lucaste Miller
In the years after Elisabeth Gaskell from 1900 till........
  • Release of the Hegers papers.
  • Vanaf 1920 Psychobiography
  • Influence of Freud (Hidden working of the unconscious mind) and Lytton Stracey ( uncovering of the revealing unedifying motives behing revered façades).
  • Why Charlotte attracted such an un usual prevalence of psychoanalytic interpretation? Her rich symbolic of her novels and the legacy of  Gaskell' s "" Life"".
  • It became fashionable to redefine the Victorian virtue of self denial as a sick symptom of masochisme.
  • Psychobiographers: Subtilety and complexity were often sacrificed for the sake of fitting. It detach the subject from the social, cultural and literary influences.
  • Hollywood transformed Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in to the greatest love stories ever told.
  • Suffragettes, before the First World War, claimed Charlotte Bronte as a pioneer.
  • Later feminism: Charlotte, a parable of victimhood oppressed by the men in her life, het father, her brother, her husband and her teacher
  • 1980-1990 For the first time since Gaskell biographers stop routinely seeing Charlotte  as a victim.

1912    May Sinclair     The Three Sisters

  • Had an enormous influence on perceptions of Emily
  • Charlotte sublimate desires by redirecting them in to a spirituel channel. Charlotte became spiritual superiority.
  • Reaction against the caricature of Charlotte as a frustrated spinster ( a seks-starved hysteric).
  • She believed in the concept of the ideal women artist.

1914    Frederica Mac Donald     gutenberg/files/The secret of Charlotte Bronte

1919    Esther Alice Chadwick   In the Footsteps of the Brontës

  • A few years after Esther Alice Chadwick (fl. 1882-1928) - who wrote under the name Mrs Ellis H. Chadwick - had read a copy of Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë, she moved to a house near the Haworth vicarage where the Brontë family had lived. As a result, Chadwick was able to speak to many people who had known the family, and in 1914 she published this extensive biography of the family.
  • Emily, the innocent recipient of mystical experiences which came direct from God.
  • Emily could not have created Heatcliff without the inspiration  of real-time romance. This biographer came up with Constantin Heger!!!!!

 1920 Lucille Dooley
   Psycho analysis of Charlotte Bronte. As a type of woman of genius
  • Charlotte had a father fixation. Electra complex.
  • Lucile Dooley was the first commentator to suggest that Charlotte' s death was caused by "psychogenic reactions" linked to her father fixation. Charlotte could not become a mother without a destroying conflict.
  • The unconscious artist. Charlotte'snovels hadrisen whole and unalterable from ""the Unconscious"".
  • Dooley subtler than many other psychobiographers.
1927 Isabel C. Clarke  Haworth parsonage. A picture of the Bronte family
  • William Weightman awoke the passion to create Heatcliff
  •  Emily must have been a Roman Catholic
  •  Comparing Emily to catholic mystics

1928 Romer Wilson  The Life and Private history of Emily Jane Bronte.
  • Romer is a Yorkshirewoman
  • She boasted that she paid especial and respectful attention to primary sources.

 1929 Rosamond Charlotte  
  • Wanted to explode the foolish fashion of canonising Charlotte Bronte.
  • If Charlotte's life was sad, it was her own fawlt
  • The key to Charlotte's problem "surpressed personality"
  • Lack of interest in the literary evidents of Charlotte's writings.
  • Charlotte is prim, priggish and a prude
  • Rosamond invented the idea Charlotte liked green and Emily purple

1932  E.F.Benson
  • Calling Charlotte ruthless, bitter, ungracious and black censoriousness of others is the root of much of her unhappiness.
  • Charlotte' s hardness contrasts Emily' s superior generous nature. 
  • Charlotte forfeited Emily' s love.
  • Charlotte remained detached from her works.
  • Not to gain a deeper understanding of het literary imaginazing but to judge het personal life. 
  • He put Charlotte as bitch on the map.
  • Emily Bronte lesbian.

1936   Virginia Moore   The Life and Eager Death of Emily Bronte
  • She wrote Glendale poems instead of Gondal Poems
  • Masculinity of Emily's prose
  • Heathcliff is a self-portrait
  • She had difficulty reading old handwriting.
  • She misread the title of a poem "Love's Farewell" as ''Louis Parensell" and went on to invent alover of that name


  • The Brontes web of Childhood
  • First in -depht study of the juvenilia
  • Pioneering work

1948   John Maynard   Charlotte Bronte and sexuality
  • Sexual desire was rooted in her reading Byron' s Don Juan and Shakespeare' s comedies and through het intuition and introspection. 

1953 Muriel Spark

  • Emily' s poems and novel, not anything that happened in het external life, formed the principal facts of her biography.
  • Emily is a self-created being centered in the universe of her own imagination.
  • Gondal and Wuthering Heights became so central to Emily' s life that she ceased to distinguish between the realand the imaginary.
  • Emily believed she was at liberty to will or not to will death from a fatal disease. She suffered
  • from delusions about the power of her own genius, dramatizing her own dying.

1960 Millicent Collard. Wuthering Height- the Relevation, a Psychical Study of Emily Bronte.
  • What was it that Emily Bronte was hiding from the World? A strong psychic nature, contact with the death, second sight.
  • This book seem like a lone eccentric, but it reflects the process of mystification, established during the interwar period.

1967  Winifred Gerin. Lived on the edge of Haworth moor. The evolution of genius

  • Combinated passion and erudition in her books
  • The first who used footnotes, documented her sources
  • Her main aim to trace the evoling process by which Charlotte became a novelist
  • Visitations deserted Emily
  • Emily close to Branwell

1969   John Hewish    A Critical and Biographical Study

  • Skepticism. Did Emily bake the bread or is a story Gaskell made up?
  • Law Hill "problem". Excactly how many month did Emily spend teaching at Law Hill?

1976    Helene Moglen The Self Conceived 

  • Charlotte was doomed because, as a woman, she could not be Zamorna.
  • Nicolls is an authority figure, though it internalizes Charlotte' s needs to be dominated.

1976   Margot Peters Unquit Soul.

Life and Art, both an eloquent protest over the cruel and frustrating limitations imposed upon women,
Life could not be other than  a battle between conformity and rebellion.

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar The_Madwoman_in_the_Attic 
  • Bertha Mason is Jane Eyre's doppelganger, able to express what Jane cannot
  • The Red Room: the figure in red represent the passionate rage of Jane 


Placed Charlotte in the context of nineteenth rather then twentieth century wrinting of gender
Interested in recognizing those aspects of Charlotte''s personality which enabled her to become an ambitious artist.

    1994  Stevie Davies

  • Emily' s poetry embedded in a whole web of other literary sources analogues
  • German Philosophy
  • Gives a vived picture of the relationschip between biographer and biographee
  • Emily may have has a lesbian  consciousness, but cannot prove it.

zondag 19 mei 2013

What happened to......

The diary papers

These diary papers were discovered, still enclosed in the small box, by Charlotte's husband, the Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls, in 1895 - many years after the entire Brontë family had died. He sent them to a Brontë biographer144 with a note which read:
'The four small scraps of Emily and Anne's MSS I found in the small box I send you. They are sad reading, poor girls!'

Mr Brontë had died in 1861, at which point the Parsonage contents had been sold off and moved out. Many items had gone with Charlotte's husband Arthur Bell Nicholls to his new home in Ireland; others had been given to friends and servants as keepsakes. The sisters' manuscripts, letters and personal belongings began to appear in salerooms, and many fetched high prices on the American market.
  • Arthur Bell Nicholls had taken part of the collection to Ireland with him when the Brontë household was broken up in 1861 and he had guarded it, selling nothing for over thirty years.
  • After Mr. Brontë’s death Mr. Nicholls removed it to Ireland.  Being of opinion that the only accurate portrait was that of Emily, he cut this out and destroyed the remainder.  The portrait of Emily was given to Martha Brown, the servant, on one of her visits to Mr. Nicholls, and I have not been able to trace it. There are two portraits of Branwell in existence, both of them in the possession of Mr. Nicholls.  One of them is a medallion by his friend Leyland, the other the silhouette which accompanies this chapter.  They both suggest, mainly on account of the clothing, a man of more mature years than Branwell actually attained to. gutenberg
  • Over the years that followed, most of the Brontës’ early poems and stories were first published (under Shorter’s assumed copyright) by either Shorter or Wise, but none of the manuscripts ever saw the inside of the South Kensington Museum. Wise vandalized Nicholls’ collection and sold it, scattering it across the globe. kleurrijkbrontesisters/what-happened-after-death-of-charlotte 
  • Under the terms of Bonnell’s will his widow, Helen, retained some eighty items of Brontë memorabilia but the rest of his collection, some 336 items, were despatched in 1929 to the newly acquired Parsonage Museum — 336 items that would be the firm foundation on which other donors of Brontë memorabilia would thereafter have the confidence to build. His bequest included the manuscripts of fifteen of Emily’s poems, her French devoirs, and the desk on which she wrote Wuthering Heights.
  •  There were fifty of Charlotte’s manuscripts, including The Story of Willie Ellin, Angrian poems, and her French devoirs; nine of Anne’s poems and twenty by Branwell, and over a hundred of Charlotte’s letters. There were thirty-four drawings and watercolours; Mr Brontë’s Homer and his Horace, both prizes from St John’s ‘for having always kept in the first class’
  •  Martha Brown treasured a large collection of Brontë memorabilia that she was happy to display, but reluctant to sell. On her death however, this collection was divided between her sisters and it gradually dispersed

It contains numerous  relics of the Bronte family. Altogether there are some three hundred exhibits, and a number of letters and manuscripts written by Charlotte and Branwell Bronte.
  • There is a copy and translation of the letter written by M. Heger to Mr. Bronte in  1842 (someone had evidently copied it and given it to Ellen Nussey, as it was purchased at the Nussey Sale),
  • and one from Mrs. Gaskell to Martha Brown.
  • A specimen of almost every article of dress worn by Charlotte Bronte,  including her boots and house shoes, as well as many relics of other members of the family.
  • There is Ellen Nussey's copy of the privately printed book made up of the letters from Charlotte Bronte to her, which Mr. Horsfall Turner compiled,
  • and there are also some early editions of the Bronte novels and poems, which have been presented to the Society. In addition are many sketches made by Charlotte, Branwell, and Emily Bronte;
  • even the old leather trunks used by the family have a place there, as well as a saddle bag used by old Mr. Bronte.
  • Thackeray's statuette. In the footsteps of the Bronte's

1925 The Twelve Adventurers and Other Stories, a collection of Charlotte’s juvenilia, published posthumously.
1931-38 The nineteen volumes of The Shakespeare Head Bronte–the most complete edition of the works of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell–published.
1933 Legends of Angria, a collection of Charlotte Bronte’s juvenilia, published posthumously.
1971 Five Novelettes, a collection of Charlotte Bronte’s juvenilia, published posthumously. aupello.blogs

The Dining Room
The books on the shelves are of the period, while those owned by the Brontës themselves are stored securely elsewhere

The Kitchen
After Patrick Brontë's death in 1861, the Parsonage became the home of the Revd. John Wade, who made several alterations to the house, the kitchen being the room most effected by the changes. A back kitchen, where the washing and heavier household work was carried out in the Brontës' time, was demolished to make way for a large kitchen extension, which blocked the mullioned window which had formerly looked out towards the moors. The range was removed, and the old kitchen became a passage way to Wade's new dining room in the large gabled wing, which was also built at this time. Today the kitchen houses displays of furniture and utensils which belonged to the Brontë family, and a kitchen range of the correct period has been added in an attempt to recreate the room's original appearance.

Mr Nicholls Study
Three wallpaper samples were found in Charlotte's writing desk. A fourth sample, held in the New York Public Library, is accompanied by a note, authenticated by Elizabeth Gaskell, which describes it as being a 'Slip of the paper with which Charlotte Brontë papered her future husband's study, before they were married.'

Several relics have been preserved, including this wooden board with the Lord's Prayer painted upon it.

The Servant`s Room
Originally this room was entered by means of an outside stone staircase. The original doorway has been partly uncovered. Also visible is part of a mullioned window which was probably blocked up in the Brontës' time, during alterations to the house.  bronte

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.



Related Posts with Thumbnails