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 17 januari 2015

Anne Brontë's 195th birthday

When Charlotte's friend Ellen Nussey visited Haworth in 1833, she reported that Emily and Anne were "like twins", "inseparable companions". She describes Anne at this time:
"Anne, dear gentle Anne was quite different in appearance from the others, and she was her aunt's favourite. Her hair was a very pretty light brown, and fell on her neck in graceful curls. She had lovely violet-blue eyes, fine pencilled eyebrows and a clear almost transparent complexion. She still pursued her studies and especially her sewing, under the surveillance of her aunt. " (Chitham, 1991, p. 39) edu//bronte-anne
Anne Brontë was born on January 17th, 1820, at Thornton (see also The Brontë Birthplace). Anne was the last of the six children of Patrick and his wife Maria Branwell Brontë. Her siblings, by age, were Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, and Emily Jane. Patrick Brontë was the curate of Thornton. Given the size of the family, Patrick actively sought a better clerical appointment. After much difficulty, he was appointed to the perpetual curacy of Haworth. The Brontë family moved to the parsonage there in April, 1820.

Anne was barely a year old when her mother became ill. Maria Branwell Brontë died on September 15th, 1821. Elizabeth Branwell agreed to stay. Thus, she was a surrogate mother to Anne throughout her childhood. Anne slept with Aunt Branwell, not with Charlotte and Emily. She and her aunt were particularly close, and this loving adult role model may have strongly influenced Anne's personality and religious beliefs.  The character of Agnes Grey refers to poems as "pillars of witness" in a passage that may well reflect Anne's own view: Anne's religious poetry certainly fits this pattern.
"When we are harrassed by sorrows or anxieties, or long oppressed by any powerful feelings which we must keep to ourselves, for which we can obtain and seek no sympathy from any living creature, and which yet we cannot or will not wholly crush, we often naturally seek relief in poetryand often find it, toowhether in the effusions of others, which seem to harmonize with our existing case, or in our own attempts to give utterance to those thoughts and feelings in strains less musical, perchance, but more appropriate, and therefore more penetrating and sympathetic, and for the time, more soothing, or more powerful to rouse and to unburden the oppressed and swollen heart. Before this time, at Wellwood House and here, when suffering from home-sick melancholy, I had sought relief twice or thrice at this secret source of consolation; and now I flew to it again, with greater avidity than ever, because I seemed to need it more. I still preserve those relics of past sufferings and experience, like pillars of witness set up in travelling through the vale of life, to mark particular occurrences. " (Agnes Grey, Everyman Classics Edition, 1985, pp. 121)
THOUGH bleak these woods, and damp the ground
With fallen leaves so thickly strown,
And cold the wind that wanders round
With wild and melancholy moan;
There is a friendly roof, I know,
Might shield me from the wintry blast;
There is a fire, whose ruddy glow
Will cheer me for my wanderings past.
And so, though still, where'er I go,
Cold stranger-glances meet my eye;
Though, when my spirit sinks in woe,
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh;
Though solitude, endured too long,
Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue,
And overclouds my noon of day;
When kindly thoughts, that would have way,
Flow back discouraged to my breast;
I know there is, though far away,
A home where heart and soul may rest.
[Page 121]

Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine,
The warmer heart will not belie;
While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine
In smiling lip and earnest eye.
The ice that gathers round my heart
May there be thawed; and sweetly, then,
The joys of youth, that now depart,
Will come to cheer my soul again.
Though far I roam, that thought shall be
My hope, my comfort, everywhere;
While such a home remains to me,
My heart shall never know despair!
The manuscript version of this poem is dated November 7th, 1843. Although it is 'signed' with a Gondal signature, "Hespera Caverndel", it may also reflect Anne's personal feelings about her home. There are some minor differences in spelling and formatting; the original manscript does not contain any punctuation.

Anne Brontë's 195th birthday is celebrated on the web with several posts:  Giving the Forgotten Sister and Badass Feminist Author Her Due is the rather explicit title of Flavorwire's post:Anne Brontë, born on January 17, 1820, is often the butt of Brontë jokes. She’s known as the forgotten Brontë sister, or the one with less talent compared to preternatural geniuses Charlotte and Emily. But this is a simplistic reading of her life. Anne lacked her sisters’ wild romanticism and affinity for dark heroes, but she had a strength and gift all her own, and leaves a strong feminist literary legacy. (Sarah Seltzer) And you can also find vindications of the work of the youngest of the Brontë sisters on Hard Book Habits, Alba Editorial's Facebook wall, Legimus, Book Perfume,  etc. bronteblog

A case of history repeating

Distrust of politicians... savage cuts which hit the poorest and a working class ready to revolt. Writer Juliet Barker talks to Yvette Huddleston about the lessons we can learn from the past.

A country ruled by a political class considered to be out of touch with ordinary working men and women, where many people feel they don’t have a voice, where employment legislation and pay cuts seem to hit the most vulnerable and where in some quarters there is a growing resentment towards immigrants. Sound familiar? It could be an account of Britain today, but is in fact a description of England in the spring of 1381 in the lead-up to the mass popular rebellion known as the Peasants’ Revolt. Read more: yorkshirepost

vrijdag 16 januari 2015

Historical maps

I received a nice email
""I am sure you are familiar with most web sites such as the British Library etc, but I include below a link to a map website done by the Woodland Trust organisation in the UK.  This is a very good site for historical maps.  I think they have amalgamated various 19th century maps to form a composite coverage of the UK.  The old maps show c1843 to c1893.  If this site is not familiar to you then it can provide may interesting maps of places associated with the Bronte family.  A bit of a mystery is highlighted when Charlotte and Ellen Nussey stayed with the Hudson's at Easton.  Charlotte's letter to Ellen 24th October 1839 tells of their "pleasent walks" to Harlequin Wood.  The web site map will show you that the wood in question is most likely to be one named Hallookill Wood.""
This indeed is a very interesting site
Thank you very much for sending me
Easton House
blackwellreference: : Farmhouse two miles inland from Bridlington. Charlotte and Ellen Nussey stayed there in September 1839, and soon after their arrival walked to the coast so that Charlotte could have her first view of the sea – “dark blue and green and foam-white” (to EN, 24 Oct 1839). According to Ellen they stayed with the Hudsons, most unwillingly, for a month, but were then allowed a week on their own in lodgings in Bridlington. Charlotte referred to this later as “one of the pleasant recollections of my life” (to EN, 4 Mar 1845?), and painted at the time a watercolor of the house and gardens, with the Hudsons in the foreground – a picture rather uncharacteristic of Charlotte’s usual productions, and now only known from a photograph. She and Ellen stayed with the Hudsons again in June 1849, after the death of Anne. The house, in the tiny hamlet of Easton, was built in 1810 and demolished around the 1970s.

woensdag 14 januari 2015

Irish Bronteland

The fertile land of County Down has been farming country for centuries. It was here that Patrick Brontë, father of Charlotte, Emily and Anne - the Brontë sisters, was born into a farming family on 17th March 1777 - Saint Patrick's day.

Follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family through the buildings that survive within the Homeland. The Brontë Homeland Drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and School near Rathfriland, ten miles south of Banbridge. It is well signposted along the 10-mile route shown on the map.

Drumballyroney Church and School, where Patrick Brontë taught and preached, have been preserved and now include displays about the Brontë family.

Brontë Homeland Picnic Site, Knockiveagh. An ideal place to stop and see the rolling hills where Patrick grew up and the Mountains of Mourne in the background.

Alice McClory's Cottage, Brontë Road. The cottage was the childhood home of Patrick's mother, Alice McClory.

Patrick’s birthplace at Emdale is on an 8-mile signposted Homeland drive which starts from the centre. The remains have been in the care of the Brontë Homeland Trust since 1956.

Glascar School. Patrick taught here in the 1790's, although the original schoolhouse was replaced by this more modern building in 1844. He is said to have used enlightened teaching methods to bring out the best in his pupils.

A lot of photographes from the Irish Bronte Land
The highlight of the homeland drive was of course the Birthplace Cottage at Emdale, a small two-roomed cottage where Patrick Brontë was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1777.  Or to describe it in Patrick’s own words (from the poem entitled “The Irish cabin”):

“A neat Irish cabin, snow proof
Well thatched, had a good earthen floor,
One chimney in midst of the roof,
One window, and one latched door.”

Ireland and Wuthering Heights

The Derry Journal claims to have found the real life inspiration for Wuthering Heights (one of many claims):
It’s perhaps best known for the story of tragic Half Hanged John McNaughton. But a little known fact about the historic Prehen House in Derry is that it’s believed to have been the inspiration behind Emily Bronte’s epic novel Wuthering Heights. The Wuthering Heights link and John McNaughton are just two of the subjects covered in a series of historic tours which will take place at Prehen House this weekend. [...] And the story of John McNaughton remains the house’s biggest selling point, despite the various versions of his story which have been told down the years. John McNaughton was a friend of the Knox family. In 1761 Mary Ann Knox who was just 15 became besotted with McNaughton and the two began a relationship. McNaughton convinced Mary Ann to marry him in secret. But her father Andrew Knox found out their plan and forbid it — he believed McNaughton only wanted her considerable dowry, to continue his gambling. When Mary Ann was travelling to Dublin with her father on November 10, McNaughton held up the carriage to try and elope with the girl. The shoot-out went wrong and McNaughton accidentally killed Mary AA conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB.nn. McNaughton was sentenced to hang for his crime but on the gallow the rope broke. Local legend says he was offered the opportunity to escape but declined, as he did not want to be remembered as a half-hanged man.
Ironically McNaughton became infamous as ‘half hanged’ and his ghostly presence has been said to have been seen in Prehen.

“People know the story better than the house,” said Colin. “During the tours visitors will get to see practically all of the house and hear the entire history. We were very lucky that the year before last Queen’s University Belfast visited and dug up the old borne in the grounds. Amazingly they found an old fort out there and a tower.” Colin explains how there’s a strong suspicion that Emily Bronte could have based her novel Wuthering Heights on the tragic love story of John McNaughton and Mary Anne Knox. “Look back at that situation in the 1760s,” he said. “This was a love story, a great romance. He was brought into the family. Then she leaves him and he comes back and wreaks havoc and revenge. There was quite an outrage at the time. There were contemporary articles written about it all over England and news would have travelled very fast.

Patrick Bronte grew up in County Down, he would have known all about it. He was a clergy man and a teacher and educated his daughters himself. It would be strange if he didn’t tell them this story. There are so many similarities between elements of the Wuthering Heights and what happened here,
“One imagines Emily Bronte must have heard the story.”
(Erin Hutcheon)


Based on this article I am searching on the internet and I found some links

A conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB. Kilkenny was the destination for our weekend excursion in May 2005, based at the River Court Hotel. As we were accompanied by several members of the Brontë Society (Irish Section) there was a strong Brontë connection in some of the places visited. 

We called to see the attractive gardens at Rossanagh Cottage. This was formally the dower house of the residence of the Rev. Thomas Tighe who, when rector of Drumballyroney, encouraged Patrick Brontë to go to Cambridge and take Holy Orders. lisburn
Rev. Thomas Tighe & the Bronte Connection

After Lady Mary’s death in 1748, William Tighe married secondly Margaret, eldest daughter of Captain Thomas Theaker, MP, who bore him a son, Thomas, and daughter, Barbara. The son, Thomas, was educated at Harrow and Cambridge and became Rector of Drumballyroney in County Down. As such, he provides another extraordinary literary link for the Tighes. One of the Rev. Thomas Tighe’s child protégés in Drumballyroney was the future Rev. Patrick Bronte, father of the famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The Rev. Tighe died in 1821. Thomas’s sister Barbara was married in 1776 to the Rev. Michael Sandys, Rector of Powerscourt. turtlebunbury//family_tighe

Haworth villagers for Council

Bonnie Greer continues her 'campaign' to make the people of Haworth feel included in the Brontë Society. As the Yorkshire Post reports,

Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer has called for local people in Haworth to consider running for leadership roles in the literary group. In a new year address sent to members following a turbulent year, Ms Greer said she wants to see Society members who live in the village to stand for election for voluntary posts on the Society’s Council. The American-born writer said: “We must engage even more with Haworth and we’re lucky and unique to be situated in a living and thriving village. I would recommend, for example, that villagers stand for Council. “We must bring our membership age down in order to ensure that our beloved Society and Museum continue into the 21st century.”
Her comments follow months of turmoil which saw angry exchanges between Society members and the sudden departures of its executive director and chairman. During the internal wrangling, critics called for Haworth’s Parsonage Museum to be run by a Trust rather than the Society’s council.
Ms Greer told members: “Personally I don’t want to see the Society become a Trust, separating the Museum from the members. The Museum belongs to you, and I will support your right to keep it and have it taken care of by a Council elected by you, the Members.” She said “grievances” aired by some members last year had led to a “rather expensive” extraordinary general meeting in October.
She added: “Council and staff have done everything possible to alleviate reputational damage and to ensure the business of the Society and Museum has not lost momentum.” Her letter contains nomination papers for election to the Council. The Society is seeking to fill the posts of three honorary officers, who are standing down, and at least one other post. Ballot results will be declared on June 6. The Society is keen to receive nominations from people with skills in tourism/visitor attractions, press/journalism/marketing, IT/digital technology and publishing. (Andrew Robinson) bronteblog/haworth-villagers-for-council

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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