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 18 oktober 2013

Old School Room in risk.

A key part of the Brontes’ family legacy in Haworth remains seriously at risk, according to the group working to try and save it.
The warning comes from John Collinson, of Bronte Spirit, which has taken on the demanding job of raising cash to renovate the rundown Grade II-listed Old School Room in Church Street.
The property was built by Patrick Bronte in 1832 and was extended in 1850 and 1871. The building housed a school where Mr Bronte’s children – Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell – worked as teachers.
Bronte Spirit received £15,000 from English Heritage last year to fund replacement windows. But Mr Collinson said the building’s roof was in an extremely poor condition, adding the full restoration project could cost about £500,000.
Read more: Keighley news

donderdag 17 oktober 2013

Branwell’s Luddenden Foot notebook

From the Treasure Trove: A typical page from Branwell’s Luddenden Foot notebook with a draft of a poem, notes about railway shares and caricatures, including one (at the bottom) of himself. Despite the fact this notebook was intended for the records of the trains and their cargoes passing through the station, it is almost entirely devoted to drafts of poems interspersed with sketches, doodles and caricatures.

11 Lessons That 'Jane Eyre' Can Teach Every 21st Century Woman About How To Live Well

Jane Eyre was published yesterday 166  years ago,

Become a fan
While I'm a very big fan of most Victorian literature, "Jane Eyre" made an impression on me that other novels formerly hadn't. "Jane Eyre" is not just a gothic romance novel. It's a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story. It is the first of its kind in some ways, as it's written by a woman about the interior life of a woman. Female thoughts and feelings were exposed. Brontë has been referred to as "the first historian of the private consciousness."
I love that Jane Eyre is an unconventional heroine. She is not beautiful, but instead is rather plain looking. She is an underdog who the reader roots for through the entire novel. I love that Jane Eyre overcomes her troubled, impoverished past. I love that Jane Eyre does the right thing for herself. She is the epitome of a strong woman. She teaches the importance of self-reliance. She supports herself at a time when it was extremely hard for a woman to do such a thing on her own.
The novel was very shocking for its time. One reviewer said that the book "might be written by a woman but not by a lady." People were scandalized that Eyre returned to Rochester. However, the first edition still sold out in six weeks.
Every time I encounter a woman who hasn't read this book, I advise reading it immediately. Women can learn so much from this great Victorian heroine.

.  You can overcome your past, no matter how bad it is. 
2. “Your will shall decide your destiny
3. Tell the guy you want to date him already! 
4. Loving and respecting yourself is essential, and is the key to independence.
5. Be positive.
6. Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do something just because you're a woman.
7. You are stronger than you think.
8. "Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.'" 
9. The possibilities for life are endless for those who take risks. 
10. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
11. If you choose to get married, do so only for love. 
Read all: huffingtonpost/jane-eyre-lessons

dinsdag 15 oktober 2013

Blackwood’s Young Men’s Magazine, written and bound by Charlotte Bronte

From the Treasure Trove: Little book. This little book is the September issue of Blackwood’s Young Men’s Magazine, written and bound by Charlotte in 1829, when she was 13 years old. The book is hand-sewn with rough brown paper covers. This particular book was acquired by George Smith, Charlotte’s publisher, and was given to the Museum by his granddaughter.

maandag 14 oktober 2013


Have you seen these Heathcliff/Cathy earrings? NEW to our online shop! There's a pair of Jane/Rochester ones too, and a few other bits besides! Ideal Christmas present or a treat for yourself?

'Bronte Menfolk - New Discoveries' by Bob Duckett, (a former chief reference librarian at Bradford Library)

Just thought a few folks might be interested in a talk 'Bronte Menfolk - New Discoveries' by Bob Duckett, (a former chief reference librarian at Bradford Library) It is at a meeting of the Baildon Local History Society held in Baildon Library MONDAY OCTOBER 21st. 2013 at 7.30. All welcome, admission £2 for details about the group, contact the secretary; Stewart Main 01274 598865 facebook/Liz Narey

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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