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 15 november 2014

Look at these very beautiful photo's. What an atmosphere. This is how I imagine that the Brontes were seeing autumn.

I found them on the Facebook page ""I love Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage""
 and Mick Midgley, who is living in Haworth, did make the photographes
Thank you Mick Midgley



woensdag 12 november 2014

Christmas Fayre at Haworth

We are SO excited at Scribbly Towers, as we are busy getting our first big Bronte order ready for their Christmas Fayre at Haworth on Saturday. It will be wonderful! Do pop along if you can - I feel Christmassy already
Haworth Victorian Christmas

dinsdag 11 november 2014

More on the Brontë Society's inner troubles

Museums  Journal publishes an unofficial account (based in an alleged full transcript  filtered by an anonymous Brontë Society member) of the Brontë Society EGM held on 18 October. Deeply disturbing and sad:
“I’m worried that this will all just be swept under the carpet again,” said the member, who asked to remain anonymous.
According to the transcript, the EGM was told that employees at the Brontë Parsonage Museum were unhappy with their treatment by trustees and had asked to join a union.
One speaker described an “atmosphere of bullying and criticism” at the museum and another said staff felt undermined and were “afraid to put their heads above the parapet”. The meeting heard that there was a “depressingly cyclical nature” to the departure of the museum's directors. Read more on: bronteblog/the-bronte-society-civil-war

More on the Brontë Society's inner troubles in the Yorkshire Post today:
The Brontë Society is in “crisis” and urgently needs to change the way it operates and address poor morale among staff at the Parsonage Museum, according to an expert.
The literary society’s recent extraordinary general meeting, called by 53 disgruntled members, was told by an independent adviser that it needed to review its structure and ask “whether it is now fit for purpose”.
In minutes seen by The Yorkshire Post, the adviser says that four problems faced by the Society added up to a “crisis situation”.
“You are currently without a chief executive of the museum, without a chair of your Council, you’ve got a body of staff who are asking for recognition by a union and you’ve got a group of members who have called an EGM. Any one of those individual situations would put any society under stress and pressure but having four at once is a very, very unusual situation.” Read more on: bronteblog/a-bronte-crisis

The Brontes and Keighley

From 1753 the Union stage coach departed on the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike from what was the Devonshire Arms coaching inn on the corner of Church Street and High Street. Rebuilt about 1788 this public house sports a classical style pedimented doorcase with engaged Tuscan columns in the high fashion of that age. The original route towards Skipton was Spring Gardens Lane – Hollins Lane – Hollins Bank Lane.[5] Keighley was to become an intersection with other turnpikes including the Two-Laws to Keighley branch of the Toller Lane - Blue Bell turnpike (1755) from Bradford to Colne; the Bradford to Keighley turnpike (1814); and the Keighley—Halifax turnpike.

On the outskirts of town is Cliffe Hall, also known as Cliffe Castle, now Keighley Museum.[18] Keighley is the location of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a heritage railway that passes through Haworth (part of the Brontë Country, home of Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë) and terminates at Oxenhope. At Ingrow is the Museum of Rail Travel. Top Withens and the Brontë Waterfall are within walking distance of Stanbury, a mile and a half from Haworth.

The town's industries have typically been in textiles, particularly wool and cotton processing. In addition to the manufacture of textiles there were several large factories making textile machinery. These included Dean, Smith & Grace, George Hattersley & Son and Prince, Smith & Stell. The former operated as a manufacturer of CNC machine tools, particularly precision lathes, until 2008.

Keighley has a parish church (St. Andrew's Shared Church) and is home to many Christian denominations. It has churches and places of worship for Anglicans, Methodists, United Reformed, Mormons, Quakers, Salvation Army and Jehovah's Witnesses. Keighley has a significant Roman Catholic minority re-established following the repeal of the penal laws. The Catholic population was boosted in the mid-19th century with the arrival of Irish immigrants escaping the 1840s potato famine who came to work in the textile and weaving industries. Keighley has three Roman Catholic churches (St Anne's - 1840, St Joseph's - 1934 and Our Lady of Victories - 1939) and four Roman Catholic schools (St Anne's - 1857, St Joseph's - 1922, Our Lady of Victories - 1960 and Holy Family - 1964).

Built in 1791 as a cotton spinning mill and we know it was spinning in 1795, and there was a corn mill next door. The chimney was added when the mill was converted from water to steam power.
Robert Heaton of Ponden Hall. Ponden Band was around in 1854. They played at the celebrations in Haworth at the end of the Crimean war. A Directory of the Halifax Manufacturers' Hall published in 1787 tells us Robert Heaton, of Ponden,  Stanbury, had Room No. 120 in the Rustic.
History of tmills in Keighley valendale/mills

  • The Parish and Methodist Churches
  • The Devonshire Arms
  • The Mechanics’ Institute helensheritagewalks
More historical information about Keighley

Keighley Mechanics Institute

The founders were: A joiner John Haigh, a tailor William Dixon, a painter John Bradley, and a reed-maker John Farrish valendale/mechanics
The prominent building in the right foreground, next door to the County Court, was the original Keighley Mechanics’ Institute of 1834, a pioneering educational initiative offering its members classes, lectures and the use of the library and scientific apparatus. The stone globe above its entrance symbolised knowledge. Demolished in 1970, older readers may remember these premises in their later role as Yorkshire Penny Bank. The photograph has been supplied by Mr Kevin Seaton, of Shann Lane, Keighley. keighleynews/featuresmemorylane/

Devonshire Arms (Hotel), Church Street.


Landlords Samuel Morgan.  T. Ecroyd was proprietor 1884 (post chaise) : To Kendal, the Union - To Leeds, the Union - Invincible (from Preston) Possibly on the site of the old Roebuck Inn) (Red Buck)

Free Bought by Corporation ex Duke of Devonshire 6 Jul 1897.
The Devonshire seems to have been very much the center of activity, not only was it a coaching Inn, it is mentioned time and time again in news papers, meetings held, auctions of property and the like.

The Brontes and Keighley

Suspicion grew that Currer, Ellis and Acton were really one man writing under different names, Charlotte decided to come clean to her London publisher and, with Anne accompanying her, walked through a rainstorm to Keighley to catch a night train (with a change at Leeds) to London, where she made her dramatic revelation next morning: "We are three sisters."

The sisters, and sometimes Branwell, would go far on the moors; sometimes four miles to Keighley in the hollow over the ridge, unseen from the heights, but brooded over always by a dim film of smoke, seemingly the steam rising from some fiery lake. The sisters now subscribed to a circulating library at Keighley, and would gladly undertake the rough walk of eight miles for the sake of bringing back with them a novel by Scott, or a poem by Southey. At Keighley, too, they bought their paper. The stationer used to wonder how they could get through so much.  readbookonline

The children also learned to draw and paint, taking occasional lessons from John Bradley, founder member of the Keighley Mechanics' Institute, and possibly from Thomas Plummer, son of the master of the Keighley Free Grammar School. oxforddnb

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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