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

zaterdag 20 juli 2013

the Bronte parasol

Anne reacted on my lastblog":

Auntie Eleanor (b. 1899-d. 2001) had the Bronte parasol given to her by the Bronte housekeeper.

Martha died in 1882 ( in 1880, see reaction Anne)) so I gather someone else in the Brown family gave it to Eleanor, perhaps one of Martha's many nieces who got it from Martha or another one of the 5 original Brown daughters as most of them worked at the parsonage on and off and could be considered "the house keeper", Martha of course being the most constant one. 

The very delicacy of this item helped to persevere it for us today imo.. From the start it would be understood as too dainty to be used for "make do" unlike other Bronte items. I believe one of Charlotte's dresses was altered and used by a Brown niece as a little girl !

I love your comments, Anne!

vrijdag 19 juli 2013

Parasol that belonged to Charlotte Brontë has returned ‘home’

In August, I (Susan Calder)_wrote a blog post about Charlotte Bronte’s umbrella owned by my aunt in New Brunswick. Aunt Edith has been trying for years to get the umbrella to the Bronte museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, UK. Her efforts have been stalled due to the umbrella handle being constructed of ivory, a banned substance.
A few days after the post, I was surprised to receive an e-mail from Julie Akhurst on behalf of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. My post had appeared in their Google Alert for anything remotely connected to the Brontes. Julie said the staff had read my account with fascination and remembered the case clearly. The person who was dealing with it at their end left shortly afterwards and the correspondence lapsed susancalder/charlotte-brontes-parasol

Aunt Edith was born in England. Her family immigrated to St. Andrews, NB, when she was ten.  She grew up and met my father’s brother, Charles (Chick). They married and settled in Fairhaven, his home fishing village on Deer Island, NB.
Edith mentioned that she came from a village near Haworth, home of the literary Bronte sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Some 100 years ago or more,  Edith’s aunt came into possession of an umbrella owned by Charlotte Bronte. She passed the umbrella down to Edith.

Here’s Aunt Edith’s explanation:
My parents were born in Oxenhope, a village connecting to Haworth. My grandparents and aunts lived there. Auntie Eleanor (b. 1899-d. 2001) had the Bronte parasol given to her by the Bronte housekeeper. I don’t know when that was but Eleanor was quite young. In the mid 20th century she gave it to my sister Anne who lived in R.I. U.S.A. After Anne died in 2004 I inherited it.
The Telegraph & Argus very belatedly (at least on the website) reports the donation of Charlotte Brontë's parasol to the Parsonage.
A silk parasol that belonged to Charlotte Brontë has returned ‘home’.
And its arrival at the Parsonage Museum has fulfilled a long-held dream for 96-year-old Edith Calder, whose family emigrated to Canada from Oxenhope – together with the parasol – in 1927.
For years she had wanted the item to head back to the one-time family home of the Brontës, but the parasol was wrongly thought to have an ivory handle and therefore couldn’t be imported.
However, a new assessment showed the material was in fact bone, and paperwork was quickly processed to transport the prized object back to the UK.
It is now on display in Charlotte’s old bedroom.
“We can’t thank Edith enough for her generosity gifting us this precious family treasure,” said Professor Ann Sumner, executive director of the Brontë Society and the Parsonage Museum.”
The parasol – in dark brown, fringed silk – passed to Mrs Calder’s family after it was given to an ancestor by Martha Brown, the Brontës’ maid, as a token of thanks.
Brontë Society chairman, Sally McDonald, said: “Thanks to Edith Calder, we can reflect on what an extraordinary journey this parasol has made across oceans and back. We are delighted visitors to the museum and society members alike can all enjoy this special story.”

maandag 15 juli 2013

Haworth Church tower

You can find some rather wonderful surprises if you're the type of person who likes scrambling around on top of church towers... We've just received this wonderful picture of a grotesque at the top of Haworth Church tower (I had to look it up, but 'gargoyles' are ugly stone faces with a water spout coming through the middle of them; 'grotesques' are the same thing minus the water spout). This is completely new to us, and we suspect it's the first time it's ever been photographed! facebook

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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