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 9 mei 2014

The new landlady of the Black Bull

The new landlady of the Black Bull pub in Haworth has promised to “bring the smile back” to the pub. Pub troubleshooter Leanne Forbes aims to revive the Main Street hostelry which was once the haunt of Branwell Bronte. She was chosen by owners Enterprise Inns to run the Black Bull with her partner of 17 years, Michael Dewsnap. Haworth residents and politicians had feared for the pub’s future if nobody could be found to take it on. Leanne said she and Michael were looking forward to the challenge of restoring the Black Bull’s fortunes. She said: “I tend to take pubs and the brink of nothing and bring them back. We looked at the Black Bull and it looked so sad. It’s lovely where it is at the top of Main Street, it’s like a place in a fairytale.”

CHEERS: Leanne Forbes and her partner Michael Dewsnap outside the Black Bull pub in Haworth

donderdag 8 mei 2014

A complete set of first edition novels by the three Brontë Sisters are due to go under the hammer for the first time this month and estimated to sell for around £80,000

Top Books sale. First edition set of the novels by the three Brontë Sisters
At the sale of Important Books and Manuscripts held by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, books will become available on Monday 19th May at their saleroom in London. The books were published under the sisters’ pseudonyms and include one on the most famous novels in the English language, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. The other works comprise Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, 1847; Agnes Grey, by Anne Brontë, 1847; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë, 1848; Shirley, by Charlotte Brontë, 1849; Villette by Charlotte Brontë, 1853; The Professor, by Charlotte Brontë, 1857; and the Brontë Family with special reference to Patrick Branwell Brontë, 1886.

The set was collected by American lawyer Thomas Lincoln Chadbourne (1871-1938), founder of Chadbourne & Parke, it was passed to his daughter Marjorie Chandbourne, and then by descent in the family. Bronte-sisters-first-editions


Haworth Station

woensdag 7 mei 2014

Conservation work in the library

We are carrying out conservation work in the library today! A brass warming pan which previously belonged to the Brontës has recently been loaned to the Parsonage, and we are conserving it ready for display for next month.

dinsdag 6 mei 2014

Maria Bronte's Sampler

On this day in 1825, Maria, the eldest Brontë sister, died of consumption at the age of eleven. It has been suggested that she served as a model for the character of Helen Burns in "Jane Eyre". This sampler was completed by Maria in 1822, just three short years before her death.

maandag 5 mei 2014

Artists, Faith, Methodism and the Brontës

A new art exhibition opens at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The exhibition explores the connections between the Brontës and Methodism. Reverend Patrick Brontë's career was nurtured by John Wesley's friend Thomas Tighe and his wife Maria Branwell's family were devout Methodists from Penzance in Cornwall. Perhaps the most significant connection is that Patrick met his future wife because he was invited to be the examiner for the Wesleyan Methodist Boarding School. Aunt Branwell was a strict Methodist and was a powerful influence in the family's lives. Charlotte Brontë describes the Methodist Magazine as 'mad... full of miracles and apparitions, of preternatural warnings, ominous dreams and frenzied fanaticism' and it is this sense of the supernatural that influenced the Brontës' early writing. Ghosts, apparitions, and supernatural communication are features of both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The exhibition has been curated by Nick Cass, a Research Associate in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds who is currently undertaking a research-based PhD on contemporary artistic responses to the Brontës' literary heritage. His selection for Artists of Faith makes thoughtful juxtapositions and reflections on the works. For example, Patrick Heron's Crucifix and Candles, highlights Patrick Brontë's fear of fire and concern for the safety of his family while Graham Sutherland's mediation on sacrifice, Deposition, highlights issues around mortality and loss. Professor Ann Sumner, Executive Director of The Brontë Society comments: "This exhibition coincides with new research on the Wesleyan Methodist Branwell and Carne families in Cornwall by Melissa Hardie-Budden. This summer our visitors will have the opportunity to view these outstanding paintings by major Modern British artists from this little known collection, within the unique setting of the Parsonage. We are delighted to be working with the Methodist Church in partnership for this exhibition as well as the University of Leeds'.Artists, Faith, Methodism and the Brontës



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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