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

vrijdag 3 augustus 2018

Brontë Parsonage Museum and Haworth.

Join us for a day of celebration.

Join us for a day of celebration as we mark ninety years since the opening of the Museum at Haworth Parsonage. To mark this special occasion, we’d like your help to recreate this photograph, taken when we first opened on  4 August 1928. The first ninety visitors through the door will pay what they would have paid in 1928 – just 6p! During the day there will be talks about the Museum and its journey through the last nine decades, plus a drop-in workshop where you can create your own mini-museum. Oh, and there’s almost certainly going to be cake!

Doors open at 10am. Usual admission applies after the first ninety visitors.bronte/the-bronte-parsonage-museum-is-90

Thank you from the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

Thank you to everyone - audiences, visitors, artists, writers, creatives, as well as our hard-working staff and volunteers - who played a part in our Emily bicentenary weekend celebrations. We look forward to sharing some memories and photographs with you soon...facebook/BronteParsonageMuseum

woensdag 1 augustus 2018

The Brontë Brussels calendar, or daily life in Brussels in 1842 and 1843: A first introduction.

Charlotte Brontë clearly liked living in Brussels. Had there not been this somewhat problematic relationship with M. and Mme. Heger she would certainly have stayed longer. Brussels was fairly small for a capital city, but it had a “cosmopolitan character,” as she says in The Professor. The best artists visited the city for performances, there were very interesting museums, exhibitions, concerts (the sisters may have seen Berlioz and Liszt), theatre plays, flower shows, many bookshops.

In 2017 the Belgian Royal Library has digitized newspapers of 1842 and 1843, which give a very good idea about life in these years in general, and life in Brussels in particular. kbr.be/en It seems rather likely that Charlotte read one or two of these newspapers that were published. It does at any rate seem certain that the Hegers were subscribed to one or two, possibly indeed those two from Brussels that have been digitized. Read all: brusselsbronte/the-bronte-brussels-calendar-or-daily

maandag 30 juli 2018

Happy 200th Birthday To Emily Bronte

The fireplace at Thornton Parsonage by which Emily was born

As today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emily Brontë, a woman still celebrated and loved across the world. It’s understandable, therefore, that the media is taking a fresh look at Emily and her legacy, but it is quite clear that the Guardian’s intent was not to praise Emily Brontë but to bury her. .theguardian/emily-bronte-strange-cult-wuthering-heights-romantic-novel. The choice of Kathryn Hughes to write the appraisal would surely seem perverse otherwise, for here is a woman who admits freely that she dislikes Emily Brontë and that she has never finished her only novel, the sublime ‘Wuthering Heights’. It is the equivalent of a restaurant critic reviewing a meal they have never tasted, or a sports correspondent reporting on the World Cup final after following it via a Twitter feed, but worse than this are the factual inaccuracies and strange conclusions that litter the article, and it’s this that has prompted me to respond in print. 

I have loved Emily Brontë’s writing since I discovered ‘Wuthering Heights’ atop the reading list I’d been given in my first week at University. I was blown away by the book’s power and urgency, and a life long love affair with the Brontës and all their works had me in a vice like grip. I was happy to be held there, and in subsequent years my admiration for Emily, Charlotte and Anne has only grown, which is why my latest biography, ‘Emily Brontë – A Life In 20 Poems,’ was a sheer pleasure to research and write.

It was somewhat surprising therefore to read the Guardian’s assertion that ‘nearly all Emily Brontë’s biographers and scholars over the past century have been women.’ This is to discount seminal works by the likes of Edward Chitham, but worse than this it seems that the writer is using the championing of Emily by women writers to belittle her achievements, rather than seeing this as a cause for celebration. Visitors to Haworth are also sure to notice that women and men equally are drawn to the three literary sisters, so the Guardian’s claims seem either dispiriting or disingenuous.

My celebration of the 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte's birthday, part 1, her Birthday.

Liberty was the breath of Emily’s nostrils; without it, she perished. 
Charlotte Bronte

Emily Jane Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, poem, mystica, daughter and sister, animal lover, lover of the moors, housekeeper, lover of nature, breadmaker, finance manager. 

Today we celebrate that she was born 200 year ago 
 This year I will every week 
describe a part of her life on my blog
  I use these two books

Emily Brontë was born on 30 July 1818 in the village of Thornton 72-74 Market Street on the outskirts of Bradford to Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte. She had three sisters older than her, Maria (4 year old), Elisabeth (3 year old) and Charlotte (2 year old) and one brother Branwell  (1 year old). 
 Emily's parents

Maria Branwell 

Maria Branwell  was petite, plain, pious, intelligent and well read with a ready wit. She made friends easily, and the friends that the Brontë's made in Thornton remained life-long friends to Patrick and his children. Read more on: Maria Branwell

Read all about him: kirklees/patrickbronte

Winifred Gerin: Only two facts are known about her infancy; apart from the date of her birth, noted in the diary of of her parents young friend Elizabeth Firth, the one record concerning her is of her christening at her fathers church, St. James's, Thornton on 20 august 1818. 

Elizabeth Firth

Miss Elizabeth Firth lived at Kipping House at Thornton, near Bradford, to which village the Brontë Family moved in 1815 when Patrick Brontë became curate there. Elizabeth was then 18 years old; her father, John Scholefield Firth, was a doctor; her mother had died in an accident the previous year. A friendship rapidly developed between Elizabeth and Maria Brontë, and both father and daughter were asked to become godparents to the Brontës daughter Elizabeth. heffield.ac.uk//ElizabethFirthdiariestranscript

Beautiful photo' s: brontebirthplace

During this time Patrick was curate at the Old Bell Chapel in Thornton. Referring to his five years' residence at Thornton, Patrick Bronte wrote in 1835

" My happiest days were spent there."

From an old diary, published by Prof. Moore Smith in the Bookman, October, 1904,
and written by his grandmother, who, as Miss Firth, lived near the Brontes at Thornton in her early days, it is evident
that both Mr. and Mrs. Bronte enjoyed themselves in a quiet way, visiting and receiving visits
from the Firth family, who lived at Kipping, and from Mr. and Mrs. Morgan and uncle Fennell.

There were very few houses in Thornton at that time, so that Patrick Bronte would be able to get
round to his parishioners fairly often; he was always a faithful pastoral visitor. Miss Elizabeth
Branwell, Mrs. Bronte's sister, spent several months at the Thornton parsonage in 1815 and 1816,
and as she is constantly referred to in the diary, it is probable that she was responsible for some
of the social intercourse between the Brontes and prominent families in the neighbourhood,
and was able to render help to Mrs. Bronte in the management of her young family.

The historic fireplace that witnessed the birth of the Brontes

Inside the dining room by the fireplace is where Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell were born
Click on haworth-villagebrontes/thornton to see more images about the Thornton house

St. James's, Thornton

Emily´s christening at her fathers church,  on 20 august 1818

The original font (in which the Bronte children Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were all baptised) bronte-country

Horoscope of Emily Bronte

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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