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

maandag 2 februari 2015

Absolutely stunning

The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the original Brontë table being on show now that the Brontë Parsonage Museum has reopened as well as looking at what the new season holds.
A mahogany drop-leaf table where the Bronte sisters sat to write some of their greatest works is back home in Haworth.   Visitors to the Bronte Parsonage were able to see it back in its original setting today when the museum re-opened to the public after a short winter break with its collections refreshed. The artefact, where classics such as Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights were written, returned to the parsonage on Thursday after leaving the Bronte's home in a sale that took place when Patrick Bronte died in 1861. It did return to the Parsonage on loan in 1997 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre, but thanks to a £580,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) - secured by the Bronte Society - the table has finally been returned permanently. Rebecca Yorke at the Bronte Parsonage Museum said: "It's return is really significant. it's one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century. "We know from diary papers the sisters would walk round the table when their father had gone to bed to read each other what they had written every day. When Emily died Ann and Charlotte continued the tradition and then when Anne died, Charlotte did it by herself. It was a very particular part of their routine.
"When it arrived last week it was a beautiful table but now it has been dressed with the sisters' writing things and cups and saucers in the dining room where it would have originally been, it looks absolutely stunning."

Today's first visitor through the doors was greeted with a free guide to the Museum in celebration of the table's homecoming.  As well as the simple wooden table, visitors will also be able to explore other permanent collections - a current exhibition The Brontes and Animals and a new one called Heathcliff Adrift, which was specially commissioned and is part of the Museum's Contemporary Arts Programme this year. It is a collection of poetry by award-winning writer Benjamin Myers and follows the missing three years of Emily Bronte’s hero from Wuthering Heights, accompanied by a series of landscape photographs by Yorkshire photographer Nick Small. It looks at what could have happened to Heathcliff at that time when the industrial revolution was in its earliest days and the ragged landscape was under threat from the arrival of mechanisation. The exhibition opens on Saturday, February 7 and will run until June. The Brontes and Animals exhibition in the Bonnell Room will stay until March when it makes way for a brand new one giving a nod to the Bronte family's fascination with war and acknowledging the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Its curator will be Bronte scholar Emma Butcher. (Kathie Griffiths)

zondag 1 februari 2015

And there the table stands.

Efforts of the Brontë Society president to improve links with Haworth community

Keighley News reports the efforts of the Brontë Society president to improve links with Haworth community:
Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer’s latest efforts to improve links with the Haworth community have been welcomed by the parish council chairman.  Cllr John Huxley said he hoped the moves would benefit both the Brontë Parsonage Museum – which the society runs – and other organisations in the village.  He welcomed Ms Greer’s call for Haworth residents who were members of the Brontë Society to stand for voluntary posts on its ruling council. He said: “I applaud the society for opening doors to that sort of opportunity. I know there are people in the village who are interested in the Brontës.”
Ms Greer had invited nominations for council vacancies from people with skills in tourism/visitor attractions, press/journalism/marketing, IT/digital technology, and publishing.  Cllr Huxley said: “There are people in the village who possess those skills. There’s no reason why they can’t join. “I welcome that the Brontë Society recognises the local community has a part to play in maintaining the Brontë heritage.” Cllr Huxley was delighted that museum’s new operations manager was actively recruiting local people for a committee which would organise events to celebrate the 200th anniversaries of the Brontë sisters’ births.  He was also pleased that museum representatives were again attending tourism group Brontë Partnership. He said their expertise would be invaluable on other committees discussing Haworth issues.  He added: “That’s the sort of thing we want – to see the Brontë Society branching out.” Ms Greer made her rallying call to Haworth residents in a New Year address to members following a difficult year for the society, which saw wrangles over the organisation’s future direction and departures of leading figures.  She told members: “We must bring our membership age down in order to ensure that our beloved Society and Museum continue into the 21st century.” (David Knights)

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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