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 9 september 2020

The Bronte Parsonage has received a £20,000 donation from the estate of TS Eliot.

The Bronte Parsonage has received a £20,000 donation from the estate of TS Eliot after the coronavirus pandemic put the museum's future at risk.
A trustee of the poet's estate said the donation had been made possible due to the success of the musical Cats.
The Bronte Society, which runs the museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, said it had a little known link to the poet.
This week, the museum announced a consultation on redundancies as Covid-19 has limited visitor numbers.
Rebecca Yorke, a spokesperson for the Bronte Society said: "The very generous donation from the TS Eliot estate was totally unexpected and has given our fundraising a huge boost, we are extremely grateful and touched by their support."
"It is thought that the 'Bradford millionaire' that Eliot refers to in The Waste Land may have been Sir James Roberts, who was a customer of the bank where Eliot worked.
"Sir James was a Yorkshire industrialist and philanthropist who bought Haworth Parsonage and gifted it to The Bronte Society in 1928.
"It's wonderful that there is still a connection between Eliot and the Brontes all these years later."
The parsonage, which was the family home of authors Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte, usually attracts more than 70,000 visitors per year.
However, it was forced to close during lockdown and only reopened to the public over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The parsonage is unable to welcome the usual number of visitors due to the "intimate nature of the house," Ms Yorke said.
The Bronte Society has now notified staff of its intention to enter a period of consultation with them, which may lead to redundancies.
An online festival, called #Bronte2020, took place on Friday, contributing more than £6,500 to the cause.

maandag 7 september 2020

A Trip to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Nicola, from Brontebabe Blog visited last week
 Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Plymouth Grove, Manchester
She is showing us around the house and did make beautiful photographes
See all on: 

Elizabeth Gaskell was an English novelist, short story writer, and biographer. Her most famous biography is probably The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), which was the first biography of Charlotte to be published. Elizabeth Gaskell, or Mrs. Gaskell, as she is often called, was a friend of Charlotte’s and was approached by her father, Patrick Brontë, after her death to write the biography. 

September in the writing of the Brontes.

Nick Holland is posting a beautiful blog about autumn and the Brontes:

He writes:

 Is it just me, or is this year, for all its strangeness and unpredictability, racing by with wicked speed? In the blink of an eye we are now in September, the start of meteorological autumn and a month when we see nature change around us. Leaves start to turn golden, then brown, and then fall; nights grow darker and longer, even sunny days, suddenly scared to walk alone as they had done throughout summer, are accompanied by a growing chill. It can also, however, be a month filled with beauty, so which aspects did the Brontës of Haworth feel most vividly? In today’s post we’re going to look at September in the writing of the Brontës. 

Read more on annebronte/september-in-the-writing-of-the-brontes

The Mad Woman of Norton Conyers.

J W Hartley sent me an email with this story: The Mad Woman of Norton Conyers.

Norton Conyers is a medieval manor house at Wath near Ripon in North Yorkshire. The building has had later additions and has recently been restored winning the Historic Houses Association & Sotheby’s Restoration Award in 2014. The house has belonged to the Graham family since 1624 who had strong connections to the royals. Sir Richard Graham fought for King Charles I at the Battle of Marston Moor where over four thousand Royalists were killed. Sir Richard who fought until the battle was over was badly wounded and chased on horseback by Oliver Cromwell and a troop of cavalry back to Norton Conyers. On arrival Sir Richard was carried to bed where he soon died after which Oliver Cromwell arrived to find the dead body of Sir Richard Graham and ordered his men to ransack the house. Charles I stayed at Norton Conyers in 1633 and James II stayed at the house in 1679. 

It is perhaps most famous for being an inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated novel Jane Eyre. The novelist is believed to have visited Norton Conyers in 1839 and the family legend of a “madwoman” secretly confined to an attic room might have given her the idea for the crazed Mrs Rochester.

Charlotte was very interested in the Graham family legend of a mad woman who was held in an attic room during the 1700s. the woman was said to be imprisoned in an upstairs attic room at Norton Conyers which was only accessible from a hidden door and staircase on the first floor. The discovery of a blocked staircase at Norton Conyers in 2004 from the first floor to the attic confirmed that the house was the inspiration for Jane Eyre. It is believed that the character Bertha Antoinetta Mason in the novel Jane Eyre is based on the mad woman of Norton Conyers. 

It is possible the insane woman held at Norton Conyers was one of the Graham family or maybe somebody they gave pity as insane asylums were basically prisons. People suffering from mental illness were often treated unfairly as it was not recognised as a condition however progress was being made as people now generally believed it was a medical matter and not a supernatural event as in previous years. Family members would confine mentally ill people to, prevent them from being humiliated in public by others, protect them from harm, protect others from harm and keep them out of the prison like insane asylums where they would be treated harshly. Under these circumstances we can sympathise with the Graham family and Mr Rochester as this may have been the most humane option available at the time. 

Norton Conyers is open to the public 28 days a year, other nearby places to visit on a day out around Ripon could include Ripon Cathedral, Marmion tower, the Victorian Workhouse Museum, the Prison And Police Museum, the Courthouse Museum, Thornborough Henge, and even Lightwater Valley Theme Park. 

Read more and see a lot of pictures on: nortonconyers-RESTORATION AWARD

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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