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 30 augustus 2014

Charles Dickens's Relationship with his Famous Contemporaries

Bronte’s debut novel, Jane Eyre, was an immediate popular success on publication in 1847. Dickens claimed never to have read it, but Slater believes this claim is improbable, (p.282) and Dickens’ next two novels after Jane Eyre both seem to be influenced by it. David Copperfield’s use of first-person narrative, and certain episodes, especially when David is humiliated in front of his class-mates by being made to wear a sign advertising his bad behaviour, recalls Jane Eyre. Bleak House’s Esther Summerson has also been seen as bearing certain similarities to Jane Eyre, though where Jane is headstrong and independent, Esther is placid, subservient and self-effacing. Bronte herself found Esther’s character “weak and twaddling.” (Schlicke, p.56)mark-Wallace

Both Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, and Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens, have many Victorian similarities. Both novels are influenced by the same three elements. The first is the gothic novel, which instilled mystery, suspense, and horror into the work. The second is the romantic poets, which gave the literature liberty, individualism, and nature. The third is the Byronic hero, which consists of the outcast or rebel who is proud and melancholy and seeks a purer life. The results when all three combined are works of literature like Jane Eyre and Great Expectations. BOTH NOVELS CONVEY THE SAME VICTORIAN IDEOLOGIES COMMON FOR THE TIME PERIOD IN, WHICH THEY WERE WRITTEN. Brontë displays many of her experiences and beliefs through the main character, Jane, in her novel. As does Dickens, he portrays his own experiences and thoughts through Pip, the main character of Great Expectations.

Dickens and Brontë use setting as an important role in the search for domesticity. Great Expectations is a circular book, with Pip finding his childhood home at the end of the story finally filled with happiness and a real family (Chesterton, 102). Pip begins the novel in his village, innocent though oppressed. Moving to London, he becomes uncommon, but also loses his natural goodness. Paying his financial debts and living abroad after losing his “great expectations,” he regains his goodness, or at least. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

Equipped with an edition of Bleak House and little else, Professor Slater began by pointing out that there is a complete lack of evidence that any of the Brontës ever met Dickens, and not much to say about their opinions of him, even though just about everybody in their time read his works. We can speculate, of course, and we do know that Charlotte Brontë was averse to the caricaturing style and was wary of showiness and too much self promotion: reports of all those lavish London dinner parties at the Dickens household, with pineapples studding the table, would have aroused her disapproval.
Nevertheless, significant connections have been made: few important novelists of the nineteenth century were particularly interested in children, or the way they were treated. Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë stand out as different here. Lowood and Dotheboys Hall spring to mind, and Wackford Squeers and Brocklehurst have often been put together (misleadingly) in the same club. The young Jane Eyre could be compared and contrasted with Esther Summerson quite profitably, and it has been argued that Bleak House was an influence on Villette. Professor Slater read a few paragraphs from Chapter 3 in which Esther remembers her childhood doll, the only 'person' she felt able to talk to. Miss Barbary, Esther's strict godmother, later revealed as her aunt, could be lined up alongside Jane's aunt. bronteparsonage

vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

Anne Brontë made this pencil sketch at the age of eight.

Anne Brontë made this pencil sketch of a church surrounded by trees on this day in 1828, at the age of eight.

Wuthering fights as Brontë Society accused of losing its way

IT IS one of Britain’s oldest societies of its kind, dedicated to the memory of Yorkshire’s most famous literary family.

But the Brontë Society has been plunged into turmoil amid claims it has “lost its way” after dozens of members raised serious questions about the way it is being governed. About 40 members of the literary society, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, have expressed concerns and how its governance is having an impact on the world-famous Brontë Parsonage Museum, which it owns. Critics are close to getting 50 signatures to force an extraordinary general meeting in a bid to oust the ruling 
council. In a letter, members John Thirlwell and Janice Lee claimed there was an urgent need to “modernise” the society.

They want a new council to be elected with new members “to bring higher levels of professionalism and experience to the society”. The letter calls for work to be carried out to “raise the profile and reputation of the museum’s collections, programmes, and research”. It concludes: “The remaining task is to identify members with board-level experience of 
charity and company work who will stand at the EGM for election as members of the new 
council. “Without such leadership, the society will wither away, and the legacy of the Brontës will have been squandered.”

Mrs Lee told The Yorkshire Post that, in her opinion, the current council appeared to be “enthusiastic amateurs”.Mr Thirlwell claimed the running of the Parsonage Museum should be left in the hands of museum staff, putting an end to what he called the “micro-managing” by the society’s council.
He added: “The big picture is that the Brontë Society has lost its way. The museum should be run by a Trust and in a more professional way.” Mr Thirlwell claimed a 
recent consultants’ report concluded the Brontë Society was not best placed to be a fund-raiser because it was members’ club.
Members including Mr Thirlwell and Mrs Lee are still angry at the sudden departure in June of Ann Sumner, the society’s executive director, after just 16 months in the role. Questions have been asked about the circumstances of her leaving, but details have not been disclosed. Mr Thirlwell, a TV producer, said: “I, for one, would want Ann Sumner to come back.

“She had improved the relations between the village of Haworth and the Brontë Society, which has not always seen eye to eye with the village. She was very well respected in the museums field.”
Mrs Lee, who is a volunteer at the museum, added: “Ann Sumner came with a remarkable CV – she was amazing and had already started making inroads into taking the Parsonage forward.”
The Brontë Society Council confirmed it was aware a letter had been sent “expressing concerns” over the way it was governed. It said: “The letter was sent by two current members, to other members of the society, but not directly to the council. Trustees welcome feedback from members and take the concerns of members very seriously and will therefore be responding formally to all members without delay. “The council is working hard with an experienced and accomplished leadership team to ensure that the business planning of the Brontë Parsonage Museum is on a secure footing.” yorkshirepost

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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