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

woensdag 28 juni 2017

Bronte collections of the Leeds University.

Leeds University

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Anne (living in the USA)  from the blog Stay at Home Artist. This year she visited Haworth for the second time. She told me that she went to Leeds University.
She saw 6 of Charlotte's letters to Amelia Taylor (in a beautiful book). 

I searched for this university and found a lot of interesting information. 
For instance:

The letters of Branwell Brontë

This resource provides searchable transcriptions of the letters of Branwell Bronte (1817-1848) kept in Special Collections at the University of Leeds Library.

Patrick Branwell Brontë was the younger brother of the Brontë sisters. His life has been infamously documented as one of alcoholism, debt and longing for a married woman called Lydia Robinson, with whom he supposedly had an affair. Much of the evidence for this comes from letters written by the Brontës, including these letters written by Branwell himself.

Transcriptions were made by volunteers working on a crowd sourced transcription project in 2015.

Haworth nr Bradford
May 15th

Dear Sir,
I have received great pleasure from the
examination of the three Drawings which you put
in to the hands of Mr J. Brown, and it appears
to me that the Design at £40. No. 2. has
received the greatest approbation from the Committee
appointed to carry into effect the erection of a
monument to the late Mr Andrews
If you could come over to Haworth on
the Afternoon of Friday May 20th ; during
the evening of which day the Committee will sit,
they will be able to speak more distinctly
to you than I have power to do - and I am sure
my Father would be pleased to see you if you can
make it convenient to visit us before the meeting.
Mr Brown will be thankful for any instruct
-ions you may be pleased to give him, and as he
expects an order for two more monuments - of course
through your hands - he will be thankful for some
information respecting the best method of colouring
letters Sunk in marble tablets.
Excuse the extreme illegibility of this scrawl
as I am scarcely hoping recovering from severe in-
disposition, and, with a hope to see you on Frid-
Believe me,
Dear Sir,
yours most respectfully,
P.B. Bronte
I should feel obliged by knowing per return
of post whether it will be in your power to come
over on the day mentioned above, or not.
[A sketch of a tombstone with the word RESURGAM on it. The initials P.B.B. are in the foreground. ]

Bibliography and relevant literature

• Alexander, Christine and Jane Sellars, The Art of the Brontës, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
• Alexander, Christine and Margaret Smith, The Oxford Companion to the Brontës, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
• Barker, Juliet, The Brontës (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1994)
• Grundy, Francis Henry, Pictures of the Past (London: Griffith and Faran, 1879)
• Gunnis, Robert, Dictionary of British sculptors, 1660–1851 (London: The Abbey Library, 1953)
• Leyland, Mary, ‘The Leyland family’, Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society 29–48 (1954),
• Neufeldt, Victor, The poems of Patrick Branwell Brontë (London: Routledge, 1990)
• The works of Patrick Branwell Brontë, ed. V. A. Neufeldt, 2 vols. (London: Taylor and Francis, 1997–9)

Revd. Arthur Bell Nicholls
A final substantial collection of letters from Charlotte's husband, the Revd A. B. Nicholls, rounds off the biographical material (Nicholls' hand-copied collection of his wife's poems is included too). The account to Ellen Nussey of Charlotte's final illness, associated, it now seems, with pregnancy, is remarkably reserved; Nicholls retains his formal composure throughout even when commemorating, on 14 February 1855, his just departed wife: she was 'as good as she was gifted'. library.leeds/revd_arthur_bell_nicholls

Brontë Treasures In The Ellen Nussey Archive
And here the wonderful story of Nick Holland 

The Brotherton Library Special Collections room houses many old and valuable manuscripts, but there was one set in particular I was looking for: referenced ‘BC MS 19thC Brontë/07’ it is the Ellen Nussey archives. Collated inside the pages of a leather bound book are hand written letters and extracts written by Charlotte Brontë’s best friend Ellen Nussey, and they give startling insights into the Brontë sisters as a whole. Read all: annebronte/bronte-treasures-in-the-ellen-nussey-archive/

dinsdag 27 juni 2017

More then 1.000.000 pageviews.

I hardly believe it. My blog about the Bronte Sisters reached more then 1.000.000 pageviews. When I started it was for myself. I wanted to collect information. After a while I realised that people were interested. Through the time I met some very nice Bronte lovers. Paula and Kirsten from Holland. Anne and Jessica from the USA. Lynn, Nick and others from the United Kingdom. George from France with his big love for Emily.

It was so nice meeting all of you

And now
On to the next million ;-)

Branwell Brontë's Bicentenary Celebrations.

Branwell Bronte
This year, 200th anniversary of his birth
We remember him as the failure of the family. Despite being a passionate poet, writer and artist, he failed to hold down conventional jobs, and repeatedly succumbed to vice. Finally, his world fell apart after the end of an affair with a married woman, Lydia Gisborne, which accelerated his dependence on opiates and alcohol. He died at the young age of 31 from the long-term effects of substance abuse.

The poet Simon Armitage is the museum’s creative partner for this bicentenary, curating an exhibition that pairs his own poetry with objects owned by Branwell; inviting us to reflect on the workings of his mind and our relationship with this problematic fellow. At the heart of the exhibition is a letter to the Romantic poet William Wordsworth. Branwell, then a earnest 19-year-old, encloses one of his own poems, and expresses his hopes and dreams of building “mansions in the sky”.
Wordsworth never replied.

Life threw repeated punches at Branwell, but within this series of unfortunate events there was happiness and worth. We must not forget that the Brontë brother grew up in the same literature-charged environment as his three siblings. For much of their young lives, they collaborated on fantasy sagas as complex as our modern-day Game of Thrones. Set in the worlds of Glass Town and Angria, the siblings wrote the tales in tiny books and acted them out together. But Branwell was at the centre of this universe, often dictating the events of the saga or writing long parliamentary speeches and war epics. As Armitage says: “He was driving the whole show. He had this flurried imagination and they seemed to be wildly encouraging of each other.” Read more: theguardian

Branwell was a talented artist


Brontë ParsonageBranwell was a talented artist & while he never quite made it as a portrait painter, we think his "Gos-Hawk" is pretty special

Branwell Brontë was born 200 years ago
He was the first Brontë to publish his work, often as 'Northangerland', his literary alter ego

This apron was decorated by him for the Three Graces Lodge, in Haworth, in the 1830s

Monthly Intelligencer newspaper
As a child, Branwell created the imaginary world of Angria with Charlotte - this is his Monthly Intelligencer newspaper

Here's his Little Henry play set

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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