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 17 augustus 2013

Newspapers and poems

During the 1840s Branwell Bronte saw the printing of about nineteen poems in local publications, including the Halifax Guardian, the Yorkshire Gazette, and the Leeds Intelligencer, most signed under the pseudonym “Northangerland.”
Yorkshire Gazette: newspaper edited by James Lancelot Foster, in which Branwell published five poems in 1845. Only two of these (“The Emigrant” I & II) were recent compositions. blackwellreference

'When sink from sight the landmarks of our home,
And,—all the bitterness of farewells o'er,—
We yield our spirit unto ocean's foam,
And in the new-born life which lies before,
On far Columbian or Australian shore,
Strive to exchange time past for time to come:
How melancholy, then, if morn restore—
(Less welcome than the night's forgetful gloom)
Old England's blue hills to our sight again,
When we, our thoughts seemed weaning from her sky,—
That pang which wakes the almost silenced pain!
Thus, when the sick man lies, resigned to die,
A well-loved voice, a well-remembered strain,
Lets Time break harshly in upon Eternity.
When, after his long day, consumed in toil,
'Neath the scarce welcome shade of unknown trees,
Upturning thanklessly a foreign soil,
The lonely exile seeks his evening ease,—
'Tis not those tropic woods his spirit sees;
Nor calms, to him, that heaven, this world's turmoil;
Nor cools his burning brow that spicy breeze.
Ah no! the gusty clouds of England's isle
Bring music wafted on their stormy wind,
And on its verdant meads, night's shadows lower,
While "Auld Lang Syne" the darkness calls to mind.
Thus, when the demon Thirst, beneath his power
The wanderer bows,—to feverish sleep consigned,
He hears the rushing rill, and feels the cooling shower.'
Leyland was himself a poet, as I have said, and a literary critic of ability and judgment. Branwell submitted some poems to him for opinion, and he advised his friend to publish them with his name appended, rather than under the pseudonym of 'Northangerland,' for he considered them creditable to his genius. But Branwell, on July 12th, 1842, writing to Leyland, asking some technical questions, says, in a postscript, 'Northangerland has so long wrought on in secret and silence that he dare not take your kind encouragement in the light which vanity would prompt him to do.' .' brontefamily

Leeds Intelligencer: the “most excellent Tory newspaper” (CB, “History of the Year,” EW, v. 1, p. 4) which the Brontës read as children, and which Patrick still had read to him at the end of his life (Wemyss Reid, 1877, ch. 12). It was edited for a time (1822–5) by the poet Alaric Watts, but the driving force behind it was the proprietor John Hernaman. It published many letters from Patrick, including those on the Crow Hill bog eruption, and others on the reform of the criminal code, Catholic Emancipation, and the new Poor Law. Branwell probably got his job with Mr Postlethwaite through its advertisement pages, and it published (lifting it from Fraser’s ) Anne’s poem “The Narrow Way.” It praised Jane Eyre ’s “faculty of psychological analysis” and its “force and originality.” The editors conducted a weekly sparring match with the Leeds Mercury not unlike that between the Eatanswill Independent and Gazette in Pickwick Papers
gutenberg.org/files/Leyland/ Branwell Bronte

vrijdag 16 augustus 2013

Frobisher, John, friend of Branwell Bronte

Frobisher, John:
prominent figure in the musical life of Halifax.
He organised Liszt' t triumphant concert. He was the organist to the Parish Church, and conductor of the Choral Society. Branwell, knowing him from his Halifax days, wrote to him in March 1846 and sent him his poem “An Echo from Indian Cannon,” a patriotic piece inspired by an incident in the First Anglo-Sikh War, with the suggestion that he publish it to the tune of Gluck’s “mater divinae gratiae,” or in an arrangement of his own.
One of the best documented journeys was the long and arduous tour of the British Isles in 1840–41. It was arranged by the impresario and conductor Louis Lavenu, who assembled a small troupe of four or five musicians including the Welsh singer John Orlando Parry, whose diaries give a colourful account of those times. Liszt was the star attraction, and he was tempted by Lavenu’s invitation because he needed the money to cover the rising expenditures of his family in Paris. The party appeared in such places as Oxford, Chichester and Exeter in the south, and Manchester, Halifax, Preston, Rochdale and Darlington in the north. In November 1840 Lavenu took his group across the Irish Sea where they performed in Dublin, Cork and the smaller market towns of southern Ireland. The tour, which later encompassed Scotland, was dogged by misfortune, attracted small audiences and confronted out-of-tune pianos and other mishaps, all faithfully reported in Parry’s diaries. Lavenu lost more than £1000 on the venture (a small fortune in those days) and Liszt’s fees remained unpaid. 45 years elapsed before Liszt returned to Great Britain. lisztomania

donderdag 15 augustus 2013

They formed a sort of informal society, meeting in different places

In the Brontes of Juliet Barker I read:
Branwell enjoyed some very repectable company.
He received encouragement and helpful critisism.
They formed a sort of informal society, meeting in different places.  
I am going to search  for some more information and photographs  of these places.

George Hotel, Bradford, public house in Market Street, where Branwell met up with his artistic friends. The landlady, Miss Rennie (also spelt Renney and Reaney), “greatly prided herself on seeing at her house, in their hours of leisure, the artistic and literary celebrities of the neighbourhood” (Leyland, 1886) blackwellreference

The Anchor and Shuttle, Luddenden  Foot. Stood near the canal.
A group of friends, including Branwell Brontë, met here and at other local pubs. In May 1886, it was replaced by the Victoria Hotel which was constructed on the same site.

The Lord Nelson in Luddenden luddenden-foot-and-branwell-bronte
The Lord Nelson dates back to the 17th. century and once housed a library. Branwell Bronte was a regular at the inn whilst he was station master at Luddenden Foot station. flickr/-oldeinnsofengland

Broad Tree Halifax

Talbot and Old Cock Halifax
The White Horse Inn and the Old Talbot were former pubs in Woolshops, both have since been demolished. The Talbot was replaced with another building but was again demolished to make way for the Woolshops shopping complex in the early 1980s. calderdale

Woolshops: Yesterday  history.rootsweb.ancestry 
Please, look at this side for so many beautiful historic photographs.
Woolshops is a unique street name, dating back to the 15th century, when the wool traders of the Calder Valley came to this area to sell their locally-grown coarse wool on to areas making stout cloths, and local weavers came to buy the finer wool that they needed. Today the Shopping Centre successfully blends modern architecture with pre-19th century buildings and the only remaining example of Halifax’s earlier timbered buildings which had previously  overhung its streets.

The Halifax Evening Courier devotes an article to the history of the Woolshops area of Halifax and there's a reference to Branwell's visits to the city:
The whole area was relatively poor yet The Square – originally Caygill's Square – had some of the earliest brick-built houses in Halifax, probably of the late 18th century, housing doctors, solicitors and and wealthy professional people.
One of the houses was connected to the early printing of a Halifax newspaper; another housed a famous sculpture and another was said to have entertained Branwell Bronte. (Bill Clay)
We don't know if the author is thinking in The Talbot or the Old Cock Inn (it's more likely to be the latter) but browsing through the journal's archives we have found this other recent article (last December) that somehow we failed to report:
IF there was any link between John "Almighty" Whiteley, of Sowerby, and the Brontes ("Spookier and spookier: Ghostly goings-on linked with John Almighty", by Allan Kenny, Nostalgia, November 29), it seems likely the Old Cock Inn, Halifax, could provide the connection.
As well as the portrait of John Whiteley, which formerly hung in the tap room at the Star in Sowerby and is now in the possession of Mr Kenny, there was another portrait of the former Sowerby constable that had long hung in the bar parlour at the Old Cock in 1912. 
The Old Cock was at one time the favourite drinking place of Branwell Bronte when in Halifax. At that time the proprietor of the Old Cock was Thomas Watson Nicholson (1807-78), the man who sent the sheriff's officer over to Haworth in December 1846 with a summons demanding that Branwell's outstanding bill with him be settled.
This embarrassing visit is mentioned in one of Charlotte's letters and it appears the Bronte sisters settled this bill out of their own pockets.
Then on July 22, 1848, Branwell's father, the Rev Patrick Bronte, received a letter from Mr Nicholson of the Old Cock, threatening another summons if the young man's debts were not paid immediately.
Ralph Nicholson (Nicholson's father) had come from Keighley to Halifax as landlord at the Old Cock in or about 1814. Many of this Nicholson family (not to be confused with the family of Halifax printers with the same surname) are buried in the churchyard of Halifax Parish Church. bronteblog/branwell-and-Halifax

The mystery of the "missing" portrait was solved when it turned up on the "Antiques Road Show", to be valued in a programme broadcast from Arundel Castle in West Sussex on the 9th of September 2007. The couple who now owned it had purchased it from an auction and were also curious as newspaper cuttings about the ghostly connections with The Star Inn came with the painting. They had also experienced some "strange events" since hanging the portrait in their home and felt somewhat uncomfortable with John Almighty on their wall! The painting was valued at £2,500.

It turns out that during the late 1950's when Frederick and Hilda Taylor were the licensees at The Star Inn, Whittakers Brewery removed the painting and for a time it was hung in one of their offices in Halifax. When the brewery closed the painting was auctioned along with other items.

The inscription around the frame read:
At the top:
On the sides:
On the bottom:

Interesting: the Piece hall

woensdag 14 augustus 2013

This belonged to Maria Bronte.

Bronte Parsonage Museum
From the Treasure Trove: smelling salts bottle. This belonged to Maria Bronte. Apparently it had also “been loved and used” by Anne in her last days

dinsdag 13 augustus 2013

Brontë Studies. Volume 38. Issue 3

Robinson Reflections Part 3: Paper Chase — The Story of Mary Robinson’s Arranged Marriage
pp. 219-239(21)   Author: Gamble, Bob
Abstract:‘Paper Chase’ is the third of three complementary articles collected as ‘Robinson Reflections’.* It further examines the reactions of the Robinson and Brontë families in the period following Branwell’s dismissal from Thorp Green Hall in July 1845. By linking the papermaking industry in Airedale to that in Derbyshire’s Derwent valley, the work provides evidence that the arrival in Keighley in late 1848 of the newly-married Mary Robinson/Clapham (daughter of Lydia Robinson) was not an accident of fate, but a deliberately planned arrangement driven by the business and political interests of her uncle, William Evans MP of Allestree Hall.
Read more: Brontë Studies. Volume 38. Issue 3

A visit to Banagher (Co. Offaly) to trace the Irish roots of Charlotte’s husband Arthur Bell Nicholls.

Hill House, now “Charlotte’s way B&B”, is a beautiful Georgian house (17th century), lovingly refurbished inside to modern standards but keeping the spirit of the house intact. It made a wonderful impression upon me. The ground floor contains a small sitting room, the dining room with annexed a large sitting room (where the portrait of the 3 sisters is exhibited), the hall (with Charlotte’s portrait and the crest of Charlotte’s Way) and the kitchen. A beautiful staircase (though not the original staircase which Arthur would have known) leads us to the first floor where there are 4 bedrooms. One of these bedrooms was Arthur’s room, another bedroom was the room in which Charlotte had tea when she visited the house and the family on their honeymoon. At the top of the staircase (the former attic) there is one more bedroom. The basement was converted to a storeroom and a bedroom with a large window opening up to the garden in the back.

Read more brusselsbronte

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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