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 19 november 2016

THE PURCHASE of a historic book linked with the Brontës has been highlighted by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The fund showcased the importance of the Haworth-based Brontë Society buying ‘Mrs Brontë’s Book’ in its glossy annual report. The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) gave the society £170,000 towards the cost of the copy of Robert Southey’s The Remains of Henry Kirke White. Maria Brontë owned the book and it contains annotated scribblings by her daughter Charlotte, author of classic novel Jane Eyre. The book is one of the rare surviving possessions of Maria, and was greatly treasured by the Brontë family while they were living at the parsonage in Haworth.

Amy Rowbottom, a member of the curatorial team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, this week tweeted about the NHMF report. She wrote: “@BronteParsonage thrilled to see the generous grant we received in the NHMF's latest report. Thank you!” She later told the Keighley News that Mrs Brontë’s Book was a significant acquisition by the society.
She added: “We continue to be appreciative that the significance of the book was recognised by the NHMF and that their generosity enabled it to return to the museum where it will go on display next year.”

The book was bought earlier this year with added financial support from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries. Members of the Brontë Society were treated to a first glimpse of the book at their annual summer festival.

The NHMF report stated: “After Mrs Brontë’s early death the book became a treasured family item. “The book contains annotations and sketches by members of the family, as well as an unpublished poem and fragment of prose written by Charlotte Brontë. “The book evidently was shared and valued by the whole family as a memento of their mother. “The book was when Maria Brontë’s possessions were shipwrecked off the Devon coast shortly before her marriage to Patrick Brontë in 1812.

“It contains Latin inscriptions in Patrick’s hand stating that this was “the book of my dearest wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will always be preserved.” The book was sold at the sale held at the Parsonage following the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861 and spent most of the last century in the USA. Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Parsonage Museum, believes Mrs Brontë’s book is one of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years.

dinsdag 15 november 2016

Charlotte Bronte rare letter envelopes to friend up for auction.

Two rare envelopes sent by author Charlotte Bronte to her life-long friend are expected to fetch up to £1,200 when they go under the hammer. The handwritten envelopes were addressed to Ellen Nussey in Leeds and would have contained letters. Bronte and Ms Nussey met at Roe Head School, near Mirfield, in 1831 aged 14 and 13 and they wrote to each other until the author's death in 1855.
Both envelopes are to be sold at an auction in Wiltshire on Saturday. Written in brown ink, the first envelope has a Penny Red stamp and postmarked "Leeds Jan 30 1849" and "Barnsley Keighley and Haworth" with the remains of a black seal. Measuring 10cm by 6cm (4in by 2.4in) it bears a black mourning band to the border. Similarly, the second 11cm by 6cm (4.3in by 2.4in) envelope is also written in brown ink with a Penny Red stamp. It is postmarked "Leeds MR 31 1846" on the front and "Bradford and Haworth" on the reverse. A small printed scrap "Attend to Time" on the reverse has been affixed by Bronte.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son, said: "These covers are written to her childhood friend and closest confidante Ellen Nussey, who first met Charlotte Bronte in 1831.
"Anything related to Charlotte is desirable but to have a pair of covers written by her to her closet friend offers an incredible opportunity to a collector or museum." The pair exchanged hundreds of letters during their friendship, 350 of those Bronte penned to Ms Nussey were used by Elizabeth Gaskell as the basis to write her 1857 biography The Life Of Charlotte Bronte. Bronte rejected a marriage proposal by Ms Nussey's brother, Henry. Her friend later went on to witness the author's wedding to her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. bbc/news/uk-england-leeds

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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