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

zondag 15 april 2018

Happy Birthday Maria Brontë, nee Branwell.

Maria’s father Thomas Branwell by James Tonkin

Today marks the 235th birthday of a very special woman – Maria Brontë, born Maria Branwell, the mother of the Brontë siblings: Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, Emily Jane, and Anne.

What happened to her?
Read it all on the excellent blog of Nick Holland

dinsdag 10 april 2018

Patience Agbabi Launch event for our Writer in Residence.

We are delighted to welcome our 2018 writer in residence, Patience Agbabi, to begin her residency at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Patience will read from and perform her work at this launch event which will set  the scene for what she plans to explore during 2018.
The evening is the first in a series of events  co-produced with guest curator Melanie Abrahams, Creative Director of literature organisation Renaissance One. The series will see a range of writers engage with contemporary themes within Wuthering Heights, including independence, alienation and emancipation, through  a programme of walks, talks, salons and events. 

vrijdag 6 april 2018

New online guide focuses on district's film and TV heritage: PHOTOS

A NEW website has been launched which enables people to explore the district’s rich film history – and even take a tour of locations. The Bradford Film Heritage site acts as a guide to the area’s historic associations with top movies. It also spotlights leading TV productions which have used buildings and sites across the district. The Keighley area has figured strongly for years on the radar of film and TV producers and location scouts. Haworth of course has provided the setting for many Bronte-related productions.

The new heritage website includes a map showing where scores of productions were filmed, facts about the films and TV shows and the history of the locations. There is also a section carrying a timeline of filming in Bradford district dating back to the 1890s. An original version of the website was developed in 2013 by Bradford City of Film, in partnership with Titus Salt School and the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme. The project was supported by Bradford Industrial Museum, Bradford Libraries, the National Science and Media Museum, Keighley News sister paper the Telegraph & Argus, the University of Bradford Working Academy and the Yorkshire Film Archive.

The website is Bradford Film Heritage and you will be surprised to see how many films have actually been shot (fully or partially) in the area. To name but a few Brontë-related, there's the first Wuthering Heights, Wuthering Heights 1970, Wuthering Heights 1992, Wuthering Heights 2009 and of course To Walk Invisble.Read all: keighleynews 

zaterdag 31 maart 2018

Our dear Charlotte is no more.

Early on Saturday morning, 31 March 1855, Charlotte Bronte dies. Arthur Bell Nicholls writes to Ellen Nussey:

'...Our dear Charlotte is no more - She died last night of Exhaustion. For the last two or three weeks we had become very uneasy about her, but it was not until Sunday Evening that it became apparent that her sojourn with us was likely to be short - We intend to bury her on Wednesday morn[in]g'.

zaterdag 24 maart 2018

Spring at the Bronte Bell Chapel

Everything going well in the Bronte bell chapel this morning. It feels like spring at last. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Aspects of the Brussels of the Brontës: The prehistory & post

An intriguing letter of 9 September 1841 has survived, written by Martha Taylor, in Koekelberg, to Ellen Nussey. It is also a somewhat confusing letter, as it seems to show that Mary Dixon was already in Brussels in September 1841: “You must write to me sometimes. George Dixon is coming here the last week in September, and you must send a letter for me to Mary to be forwarded by him.” Earlier in the letter she wrote that she was “going to begin working again very hard, now that John and Mary [Taylor] are going away” (obviously back to England).

Post Sending letters by official post was expensive, and finding alternative ways was a recurring theme in the letters of these years. Read all the article: brusselsbronte

zondag 18 maart 2018

Winter in march.

Due to the severe weather conditions, and to ensure the safety of our staff, visitors and collection, the Museum will not open today, Sunday 18 March. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.

zaterdag 17 maart 2018

“There was Easter proper.

“There was Easter proper, which always required new clothing of some kind, for fear of certain consequences from little birds, who were supposed to resent the impiety of those who do not wear some new article of dress on Easter-day…So piety demanded a new bonnet, or a new gown”

Elizabeth Gaskell, from Wives and Daughters

vrijdag 16 maart 2018

Emily Brontë's bicentenary will be part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

The Telegraph and Argus 

Emily Brontë’s bicentenary will feature in the district’s contribution to the Great Exhibition of the North. The Brontë Parsonage Museum is planning four days of linked activities in July to tie in with Emily Brontë’s birthday weekend. Brontë Society staff are currently working on the weekend as part of the July-December part of this year’s programme of events marking Emily’s 200th anniversary year.

The Great Exhibition of the North – which will run in several regions of Northern England – will also draw in Bradford Literature Festival, Bradford Festival, Bradford Science Festival and the city’s Big Party weekend. Bradford Council was shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition but lost out to Newcastle-Gateshead.

Bradford went on to work with Newcastle-Gateshead to plan a programme of complementary and connected activity is due to run between June 22 and September 8. The Bradford programme is supported by £50,000 of Leeds City Region pool funding, which is raised through the business rates. Buildings and other spaces around Bradford will be transformed into venues for activities showcasing the district’s cultural creativity.

Art, design, innovation and playfulness are the central themes of the Great Exhibition and the aim is to support creative/cultural industries, celebrate creativity, raise the district’s confidence and aspiration. Organisers also hope to inspire future generations and encourage Bradfordians to get involved with the Great Exhibition

The business rates pool enables councils in the Leeds City Region to retain and invest the proceeds of growth in business rates. It has supported investments with a value of more than £11 million since it was created in 2014. Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said that joining forces in such a way with other councils in the Leeds City Region meant it could re-invest in cultural activities such as the Great Exhibition of the North. (Jim Seton)

vrijdag 9 maart 2018

Overlooked No More: Charlotte Brontë, Novelist Known for ‘Jane Eyre’.

Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. With Overlooked, we’re adding the stories of 15 remarkable women.
Charlotte Brontë was a 20-year-old schoolteacher — impatient, dreamy, long-suffering, unpublished — when, in 1836, she sent a sample of her writing to Robert Southey, England’s poet laureate at the time. Although her friend and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell would eventually write of Brontë’s “constitutional absence of hope,” the young teacher clearly already had a firm sense of her own worth — an enterprising spirit and ambition, and a longing for her own genius to find its way into the world. Read on: nytimes/obituaries/overlooked-charlotte-bronte

zaterdag 17 februari 2018

I had better make sure this is in my best handwriting.

The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the Worth Valley in Yorkshire today, and it seems she enjoyed all of the literary connections involved. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where all three Bronte sisters wrote their novels. This year marks both the 90th anniversary of the founding of the museum, as well as the bicentennial of Emily Brontë’s birth. In honour of the latter, the museum has, through 2017, been recreating a manuscript of Wuthering Heights. A museum spokesman said “During 2017, over 10,000 visitors participated in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights – A Manuscript project, which set out to create a new version of Emily Brontë’s long-lost manuscript by copying it out one line at a time. “Her Royal Highness will also meet Clare Twomey before writing the last line of Wuthering Heights into the newly-created manuscript in the very house where Emily wrote the original.” princeofwales

The Duchess has long been a keen supporter of literacy project and is a patron of the National Literacy Project, as well as the BBC 2 500 words competition which is running at the moment. She was then no doubt very pleased that in addition to her guided tour of the museum by Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale, the visit also included a private reception where she met staff, and local children who had recently taken part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum.

Earlier Camilla fulfilled a life-long wish to visit the Brontë family parsonage in - and even
got to make her mark by writing the final line in a new manuscript of Wuthering Heights.
Ostensibly her visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, on the edge of some of Yorkshire’s most beautiful moorland, was to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Bronte and 90 years of the museum, but it was also a very personal one for the duchess.
I've always wanted to visit this place,’  she told Mail Online. ‘This really is such a treat. I’ve always been fascinated by the Brontës.’ Camilla received a short, personal tour of the house with principal curator Ann Dinsdale, and got to handle - gloves on- some of its most precious treasures, including sketches made by the famous sisters themselves - Emily, Charlotte and Anne - and miniature, handwritten books. ‘How did they do this?’ she marvelled. ‘Even with my glasses and a magnifying glass I can barely read them.’
She also wondered at how tiny the sisters, dresses were - ‘they really were so tiny, weren’t they?’ - and of the sadness of their lives. None of the sisters lived until old age: Charlotte died at 38, Emily at 30 and Anne at 29, and all were childless.
Their father, Patrick Brontë, curate of Haworth Church, outlived all of his six children and also his wife. She was also invited to take part in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript project, which set out to recreate the long-lost first manuscript of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights by inviting 12,000 visitors to each copy a line from the book. Some enthusiasts queued for three days to write the line of their choice for the bound book, which will be displayed for the rest of the year. The duchess was invited to write the last line in the manuscript which read: ‘and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth’. ‘I had better make sure this is in my best handwriting, ‘ she joked, but afterwards admitted: ‘I think that tailed off a bit towards the end, sorry.’ Afterwards she stopped off at a short reception where she met museum staff and volunteers, as well as local schoolchildren who recently took part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum. The duchess is an avid reader and patron of a number of literary charities. There was something of a royal first later as she boarded a vintage bus for a very bumpy ride through the streets of the village. As the bus started creaking ominously at the top of a steep hill, the royal joked loudly: ‘I hope the brakes are working!’ But she still managed to wave cheerily to local well-wishers and tourists lining the streets. dailymail/Camilla-joins-Charles-day-engagements-Yorkshire

maandag 12 februari 2018

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is to visit Haworth.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is to visit Haworth on Friday 16 February. Camilla will visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which has recently reopened following a period of conservation work and preparations for the bicentenary of Emily Brontë. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Museum in Haworth Parsonage, the house where the Brontës spent most of their lives and wrote their great novels. During her visit, Her Royal Highness will be guided through the historic rooms of the Parsonage by Principal Curator, Ann Dinsdale. The Royal will also have a close-up viewing of some of the ‘treasures’ relating to Emily Brontë in the museum library. [...]
The visit will also involve a private reception where Her Royal Highness will meet museum staff and volunteers and local school children who recently took part in a creative writing competition organised by the Museum. The Duchess of Cornwall is an avid reader and undertakes a number of engagements to promote the importance of supporting literacy both to children and adults alike. The Duchess has been Patron of the National Literacy Trust since 2010 and is also Patron of other organisations including Book Trust, The Wicked Young Writers Award, Beanstalk, First Story and BBC Radio 2's 500 words competition. Kitty Wright, Executive Director of The Brontë Society said, “It will be an immense honour to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to the Museum and we are looking forward to sharing our world-class collection with her.  All the staff are looking forward to the visit and we can think of no better start to Emily Brontë’s bicentenary celebrations.”

donderdag 18 januari 2018

Winifred Gerin's biography, Charlotte Bronte: Evolution of a Genius.

In december last year I received by post a parcel from Philadelphia, USA
Inside the parcel this biography of Charlotte Bronte by Winifred Gerin

Anne Lloyd sent it to me
Anne and me got to know each other through this blog

She told me, she started to be interested in the Bronte Sisters because of this biography
My love of the Bronte Sisters started after reading Jane Eyre when I was a girl
Years later I was reading the biographies of The Brontes of 
Juliet Barker and of Rebecca Fraser
Both biographies I loved
I learned a lot about the Brontes

Anne told me that this biography of Winifred Gerin is the best
I am reading it on the moment and I am impressed
I learn to understand things even better
What I find very interesting is that W G
interweaves the books Charlotte wrote
with the events that took place in the life of Charlotte

Winifred Gerin's biography
Charlotte Bronte:

Evolution of a Genius

Winifred Gerin's biography, Charlotte Bronte: Evolution of a Genius, was published in 1967. She used a variety of sources in writing the biography including Bronte's juvenile writings (preserved in manuscript only), and Bronte's letters. Gerin researched the personalities and backgrounds of Bronte's known acquaintances and visited sights from Bronte's life (from Thorton, to Cowan Bridge, to the home in Ireland where she stayed on her honeymoon) (Gerin xv). Gerin received information on Charlotte Bronte's experience in Belgium first hand from the Heger family. All of this was published for the first time in her biography. 

Gerin focused on Bronte's "evolution towards fulfillment" (xv). Gerin viewed Bronte’s grief as an essential part of her character. Gerin revealed the passion that Bronte had felt for M. Heger, which was something Gaskell had not done. Gerin also saw the importance of Bronte's childhood writings and felt that they traced Bronte's development as a writer. She felt that they were the "key to her mature productions" and spent a great deal of time analyzing them (xv). 

Gerin's biography recognized how the events in Bronte's life shaped her character. She recognized that Bronte's love for M. Heger was an important factor in her life and included it in her book. She was as concerned as Gaskell with defending Bronte, rather with presenting facts, and thus she did not omit things or modify them as Gaskell did. One hundred years later, women are viewed differently. What was once considered coarse, is no longer so. Gerin was able to present Bronte's life as it was. 

Read on: 123helpme/view.
wiki/Winifred Gerin

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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