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 21 december 2013

Brontë biopic project for 2016

News from the Clothworkers Films Brontë biopic project for 2016, written and directed by David Anthony Thomas. The Facebook and Twitter pages announce that the casting is underway. Anne Brontë will be played by Rachel Teate:
Anne Bronte will be played by @RachelTeate of CBBC and Disney Channel's Wolfblood @movieScope #Bronte #Movie #BAFTA http://t.co/ORwX6dwWqB

donderdag 19 december 2013

Today marks the 165th anniversary of the death of Emily Brontë.

Emily Brontë, by all accounts then and now, died of tuberculosis—the galloping consumption, as it was then called when its progress was rapid. (Letters, 216) And consumption, in the days before antibiotics, was invariably fatal. Many, many people in Victorian England died of it. Some might linger for years. Others were gone within months of the acute onset of the illness. By coddling herself, Emily might have extended her life by a few weeks, or even by months, but she would not have regained her health. Here lies one possible explanation for Emily's steadfast refusal to see the doctors. Doctors were powerless against consumption. Not one single successful course of medical treatment for that disease existed in Emily's day. What could the doctors have done for her? They might have suggested various forms of treatment, but the final result would have been the same.
The disease was so common that Emily Brontë very likely knew this. Her father certainly did. "Anne and I cherish hope as well as we can," Charlotte writes, "... but my father shakes his head and speaks of others of our family once similarly afflicted, for whom he likewise persisted in hoping against hope, and who are now removed where hope and fear fluctuate no more." (Brontës, 572-3)

Charlotte Brontë herself firmly believed that her sister had wanted to survive, regardless of brave words spoken in public about inexorable wills and no coward souls. "It was very terrible," she wrote to her friend Ellen concerning Emily's death. "She was torn conscious, panting, reluctant though resolute out of a happy life." (Letters, 229) In her grief, Charlotte could find only one consolation: that her sister no longer suffered.
... I will not now ask why Emily was torn from us in the fulness of our attachment, rooted up in the prime of her own days, in the promise of her powers – why her existence now lies like a field of green corn trodden down – like a tree in full bearing – struck at the root; I will only say, sweet is rest after labour and calm after tempest, and repeat again and again that Emily knows that now. (Letters, 219) claredunkle 
Emily Brontë’s funeral was attended only by family members and servants – and Emily’s beloved little dog, who sat in a church pew during the funeral service, and who would then sit and howl in front of Emily’s empty room for weeks after her death. today-in-literary-history-emily-bronte

No coward soul is mine 
             No trembler in the world's storm troubled sphere
I see Heaven's glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since Thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed. (Poems, 183-184)

dinsdag 17 december 2013

Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) Jane Eyre (1943)

Countless websites are reporting the death of Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) at 96. One of the key roles of her acting career was the title character in Jane Eyre 1944 as many of said websites recall.

Jane Eyre (1944) is an American film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by William Goetz, Kenneth Macgowan, and Orson Welles (uncredited). The film stars Welles and Joan Fontaine. Elizabeth Taylor made an early, uncredited appearance.

120th Birthday Party


Members of staff in the Dining Room.
Left to right: Sue Newby, Sonia Boocock, Jan Lee, Fiona Grimshaw.
Minutes from the first Bronte Society meeting in 1893
For more photographes click on:facebook

Photos from the Red House Christmas event last weekend.

maandag 16 december 2013

120 years ago the Brontë Society was born

The Brontë Society is 120 years old today and though we can't thank those who first established it, we can and certainly would like to thank everyone who keeps it running today. Keeping the memory of the Brontë family alive as well as watching over their belongings and many other jobs is not as easy as one would suppose at first. The Telegraph and Argus has an article about the celebrations:

Bradford Town Hall: freshford/town_hall
Haworth will today be the hub of worldwide celebrations marking 120 years of the Bronte Society – believed to be the world’s oldest literary society.
Established on December 16, 1893, the group has members across the world, and celebrations are being held as far as Australia and Canada.
The society now runs the Bronte Parsonage Museum – the former home of the family and which is now one of the area’s top tourist attractions. The anniversary will be marked by a number of worldwide events in 2014.
The first meeting in 1893 took place in Bradford Town Hall and was attended by more than 50 people. Presided over by the Reverend W H Keeling, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, the group resolved to establish a museum to contain family relics, art and literary works, as well as any historic pieces related to the family.

Read more background information: kleurrijkbrontesisters 
That resolution lead to the opening of the first Bronte museum at the former Yorkshire Penny Bank in Main Street, Haworth, in 1895.
When the Church of England put the family’s home up for sale in 1928, the museum was moved to where it remains to this day.
In the past year the Parsonage has undergone an extensive refurbishment, with experts painstakingly recreating the decor and features that would have filled the house when the sisters lived there.
In January, the ticket desk in the entrance hallway, will be moved to the rear shop area, allowing the hallway to be restored to its original state.

Sally McDonald, chairman of the Bronte Council, said: “Members of the Bronte Society are very proud to be celebrating their 120th anniversary this month and will be celebrating not only in Haworth but around the world.
“We see ourselves as having a unique role, being simultaneously a literary society and a charity that owns and runs a world-renowned museum. From the start members have come together to promote interest in the lives and works of the Brontes, but today activities are not limited to Haworth.
Photo:  Baroness Andrews, right, is joined during her visit to Bronte Parsonage Museum by, from left, Sally McDonald, chairman of the Bronte Society council, Christine Went, conservation officer, and Ann Dinsdale, collections manager
Ann Sumner, executive director of The Bronte Society, said: “We wish all our members a very happy 120th anniversary and hope that visitors to the Parsonage on the day will celebrate with us on this very special occasion.”
A full programme of events, including lectures and discussions all over the country will be announced at an event in London on February 19. (Chris Young) bronteblog

Photo: Ann Sumner


zondag 15 december 2013


Haworth Victorian Christmas

*1-4pm Santa's Grotto at Haworth Church
*5.15pm - Haworth's famous Torchlight Procession - starts at the Christmas Tree at the bottom of Main St. Parade up the street to the top singing carols. The Holly Queen & Princesses will be in attendance. Followed by Carol Service in Haworth Church. Lights on sale all day at £2 from Changegate Fisheries, Rose & Co., Firth's Boutique, Ye Sleeping House and the tombola stall at the top of Main St. Numbers are limited an...
d sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Songsheets are handed out at the start.
*Music & Entertainment throughout the day by Golcar Band, Mighty Four, Baccapella, Bradford Chorale, Pennine Chimes, Hebdon Band, Marsh Ladies Choir and Oakworth Morris Men.
*Santa Special trains
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Traders dressed in Victorian costume, craft fair at the Old School Rooms, independent boutiques for Christmas shopping, as well as traditional pubs and tea rooms to recharge your batteries. Come and join us!

A visit to the Parsonage Museum.... and the first photographes !!!!!

This article is from the weblog Helena Fairfax
Look to the beautiful photographes  of the new decorated Parsonage.
I am so happy Helena made these pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On this photographe I see  the removing of the portrait of Charlotte Bronte
Instead there is hanging an example of the Charlotte-Cory exposition
Last week I was lucky enough to attend a writers’ workshop at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. The workshop was run by the Scots poet Jackie Kay. Jackie Kay is the writer in residence at the Parsonage (what a brilliant job that must be!)  She is also Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle Uni, an MBE for her services to literature, and the author of several volumes of prose and poetry.  So, writing, the moors, Haworth and the Brontës – I was quite excited about the day! 
Jackie Kay talked about her research as writer in residence, and the areas which had particularly interested her. One of these was the life of the Brontë sisters’ father, Patrick Brontë. Patrick was Irish, but spent most of his adult life in England. He went to Cambridge, which was a massive achievement for the largely self-taught son of an agricultural labourer, who had been destined by his family to become a blacksmith. Jackie Kay wondered what type of man he had been, to come from such a background and be father to one of the most creative families in literature.  He survived his wife and all six of his children.


Another of the Haworth characters that interested Jackie was Tabitha, the family’s maid.  Jackie believes Tabitha was herself a phenomenal story teller, and would regale the children with tales that were far beyond their years. She served with the family for 31 years, and was much loved.
One of the discoveries I most enjoyed finding out about was a poignant list of the household’s goods, which Jackie came across during her research. The household goods were put up for auction after Patrick Brontë died, and include such items as “Sundry Books 5 s/3p” ; “Warming Pan 5s / ” ;  “Hair Trunk 12s/ “; and (somehow I found this the saddest): “2 silk umbrellas 10s / 6p”.
Finally, the writing exercise Jackie set us involved choosing one of the rooms in the Parsonage, plus an object we’d seen there, and maybe one of the members of the household. We also had to write down four words that summed up our main impressions of the morning. Then we had five minutes to write what we wanted.  (I’m not really explaining this as well as Jackie Kay did, but I’m sure you get my drift!)

Helena Fairfax, Haworth, Brontës, Jackie Kay

Anyway, I decided to put a scene together involving Patrick Brontë reading to the children when they were young.  I’m also intrigued by Aunt Branwell, so she, too, appeared in my five minute writing.  Aunt Branwell was Patrick’s sister-in-law, and moved from Plymouth to Haworth to look after the family when her sister died.  According to Mrs Gaskell, Aunt Branwell ran the household with clockwork precision.  I wonder what she made of the sisters and their frenzies of creativity, and of their brother Branwell, who became addicted to alcohol and opium.

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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