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

dinsdag 18 oktober 2016

Charlotte Brontë at The Morgan Library & Museum's Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will exhibition

Kimberly Eve of Victorian Musings is telling about

America finally meets Charlotte Brontë at The Morgan Library & Museum's Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will exhibition September 9, 2016 through January 2, 2017

Read more: kimberlyevemusings

The Fashions Of Anne Brontë And Her Sisters.

Nick Holland is telling on his weblog Anne Bronte
about The Fashions Of Anne Brontë And Her Sisters

Gawthorpe Hall and Charlotte Bronte.

The Kay-Shuttleworth family who lived at the Hall in the 19th century came to hear about Charlotte Bronte, who was becoming a well known author, and invited her to stay, which she did on a couple of occasions.

Vesna Armstrong visited the Hall. On her weblog you can see photographes of the Hall and the garden, the Great Barn and the entrances. Vesna Armstrong/gawthorpe-hall-and-charlotte-bronte

donderdag 13 oktober 2016

13 October 1843 Charlotte writes to Ellen Nussey from Brussels.

13 October 1843
Charlotte writes to Ellen Nussey from Brussels:

'It is a curious position to be so utterly solitary in the midst of numbers - sometimes this solitude oppresses me to an excess'. She continues to describe how she was driven to give her notice to Mde Heger, but upon hearing this Mon Heger 'sent for me the day after - and pronounced with vehemence his decision that I should not leave ... so I promised to stay a while longer ... I have much to say Ellen ... which I do not like to trust to a letter, but which one day perhaps or rather one evening - if ever we should find ourselves again by the fireside at Haworth or at Brookroyd with our feet on the fender - curling our hair - I may communicate to you'.

dinsdag 11 oktober 2016

Visit the Manuscript of 'Jane Eyre' in New York.

How did Charlotte Brontë go from scribbling in secret to one of England’s (and literature’s) most famous names? Look for the answer in a passage in Jane Eyre, in which her famously plain heroine tells her husband-to-be that she is a “free human with an independent will.” That bold declaration is at the center of a new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York—one that celebrates the author’s 200th birthday with a look at the forces that turned her into a writer.
Brontë has been at the center of literary legend since her first published novel, Jane Eyre, appeared under a pseudonym in 1847. The book was immediately loved and loathed for emotions that flew in the face of convention and courtesy, and the identity of its author became a much-contested question. But even after Brontë was discovered to be the person behind the pen name Currer Bell, myths about her childhood, her family members and the atmosphere in which she became an author have persisted. Read all the article; smithsonianmag

vrijdag 7 oktober 2016

'A remarkable, gritty quality'

The Daily Mail features Sally Wainwright and her forthcoming To Walk Invisible.
Sally Wainwright, who wrote TV hits Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, has slammed period shows for projecting a ‘very sanitised, 21st-century television view of history’.
Wainwright made the comments while discussing her new BBC film To Walk Invisible, about the Bronte siblings — Charlotte, Emily, Anne and brother Branwell — and their clergyman father Patrick, who is played by Jonathan Pryce.
I noted that the marvellously acted movie, which will be shown on BBC1 later this winter, has a remarkable, gritty quality to it.
‘Well, I really didn’t want to create a Sunday evening chocolate box thing,’ she said. ‘We have a slightly manicured view of what the past was like.
‘Often history is about wealthy rich people — and about men. We get so many costume dramas, which are very popular and people love them.
‘But they’ve all got very white teeth! They’re all immaculate,’ she complained of the period programmes on both the BBC and ITV.
‘It’s a very sanitised, 21st- century television view of history. When I watch certain period dramas, I often feel it wouldn’t be weird if someone whipped out a mobile phone. It wouldn’t look out of place, because everything is so clean and slick and polished — and healthy and hygienic.
‘I don’t want people to feel like that,’ she added.
Sally Wainwright, a daughter of Yorkshire — raised in Sowerby Bridge ten miles from Haworth, home of the Brontes — said that Charlotte and Emily both had poor teeth
Wainwright, a daughter of Yorkshire — raised in Sowerby Bridge ten miles from Haworth, home of the Brontes — said that Charlotte and Emily both had poor teeth.
The portrait that Wainwright presents in her film, which she also directed, certainly feels authentic. I was struck by how the actors captured the sense of a proper family: one who argued, and swore at each other — yes, even in the 1840s.
Wainwright established a kind of Bronte boot camp at a rented house on the moors at Haworth, where cast members Finn Atkins (Charlotte), Chloe Pirrie (Emily), Charlie Murphy (Anne) and Adam Nagaitis as Branwell did Bronte things for a week.
‘I wanted them together, so they’d feel like a family,’ she explained.
They were shown around the Bronte Parsonage Museum by principal curator Ann Dinsdale; and one evening they had dinner with Juliet Barker, who wrote a biography of the Brontes in 1995.
‘And somebody came and told them how to write with ink. We had a whole afternoon of getting our fingers covered in ink,’ Wainwright recalled gleefully.
‘By the end of the week they were so bonded.’
The film’s focus is about how well Branwell bonded with alcohol and opium — and how his sisters had to tip-toe around him for much of the time, ‘probably half-loving and half-hating him’.
But somehow, the sisters managed to produce great works of literature, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; while Branwell, who had undeniable talent, produced nothing and has, Wainwright said, become famous ‘for failing’. (Baz Bamigboye)

donderdag 6 oktober 2016

Photographs of the exposition in The Morgan Library in New York. In honor of Charlotte Brontë 's 200th birthday

I am happy to show you these photographes from Anne Lloyd

She visited the exposition in The Morgan Library in New York
Here's what Anne is blogging about it

""In honor of Charlotte Brontë 's 200th birthday, The Morgan Library in New York is having, what can only be called an historic exhibit.  On display, for the first time in American, are both the George Richmond 1850 portrait of Charlotte and the famous " column"  portrait of the three sisters by their brother Branwell.

I  never expected they would leave the UK. Branwell's  portrait of his  three sisters is usually always on display at the National Portrait Galley in London. But because it is subject to fading, the 1850  chalk  portrait of CB  Richmond is not normally on display even in the UK...but here it is in New York!. Read more  on

Close up of CB's dress

Charlotte Brontë 's writing desk

dinsdag 4 oktober 2016

Red House Museum will close by 31 March 2017

So Kirklees Council voted to close the Red House Museum. Shame on you. No budget adjustment, no austerity fundamentalism can justify to sell your own history.  From The Telegraph and Argus:
A final decision has been taken today to close a museum with strong links to the Brontës amid cuts to the museums and galleries budget in Kirklees.
Red House Museum in Gomersal is one of two museums that will close by the end of March next year at the latest as Kirklees Council centres on retaining three museum venues under its new vision for culture in the district.
The authority’s museums and galleries budget is being cut by half from April next year, and plans were therefore drawn up to restructure the service.
The decision was taken yesterday by the council’s cabinet to close historic Red House, where Charlotte Brontë was a frequent visitor, immortalising the house in her second novel, Shirley, as well as Dewsbury Museum. [...]
Last week, John Thirwell, chairman of the Brontë Society, said it was “concerned and saddened” to learn of the likely closure of Red House, but said it would continue conversations with the authority to explore how the Brontës’ links with the building could be maintained.
But, during yesterday’s meeting, Graham Turner, cabinet member for Creative Kirklees, said the society were “not interested” in taking on the site.
He said: “We have spoken to many organisations in the museums and heritage sector, and no-one has expressed an interest in taking on any of the sites.”
On Red House, he said: “We have spoken to the Brontë Society, they are not interested.”
He said that cuts to Government funding had led to the budget for the museums service being cut by £531,000.
“No-one in this chamber wants to cut the museums service,” he said.
“But, this is not a statutory service, we didn’t have to do a consultation but we went out of our way to engage with the public.
“If anyone has any ideas on how we can save these services, then please speak to us, immediately.” (Rob Lowson)
BBC News reports it as well:
A museum with close links to the Brontës is set to close under plans to restructure museums and galleries in an area of West Yorkshire.
Kirklees Council voted to close Dewsbury Museum and Red House Museum in Gomersal at a cabinet meeting. [...]
Opponents said the Red House Museum building should be protected because of its history and links to the Brontës.
Charlotte Brontë often visited Red House and featured it in her novel Shirley.
As well as an exhibition in honour of the author, the museum, which was once home to a cloth merchant, charts what life was like in the 1830s.
Supporters of Dewsbury Museum, which has recently been renovated, urged officials to keep it open.
The town's museum is the oldest in the district, opening to visitors in 1896.
It features a toy gallery and a recreation of a classroom in the 1940s.
The Labour-led authority said its hands were tied due to austerity measures, and Dewsbury and Red House would close by 31 March 2017.
It said it was willing to hold talks with any group, or interested parties about future uses for the museum buildings.
Both museums have seen a sharp fall in visitors in recent years.
In 2011-12, Red House had 26,665 visitors, compared to 6,679 in 2015/16
March 31 being the anniversary of the death of Charlotte Brontë. bronteblog

zondag 11 september 2016

List of what the Morgan CB show have on exhibit.

I received this message from Anne Lloyd

She had a press preview for the Morgan CB show!Here's a list of what she saw on exhibit 

List of what the Morgan CB show have on exhibit 

Branwell's column painting of his sisters

The CB Richmond portrait

CB 's 1850 dress/ little blue flower print

CB's boots

a 1856 copy of CB's birth registry

Patrick's copy of of the certificate of registry for CB's marriage
(church copies of the documents in their records)

CB and ABN's Marriage license

CBN's will

Letters from CB to William S. William about the passing
of Branwell and Anne's decline

An copy book from Charlotte's Brussels school days

The famous water color portrait of Anne in profile done by CB

The Misses Bronte's Establishment handout

Funeral cards for Branwell, Emily and Charlotte

PB's cottage poems

Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell poems

CB's handwritten manuscript of " Jane Eyre"

CB's handwritten manuscript of " The Professor"

CB's earliest known production...1829 " book for Ann"

A manuscript of Anne's poetry

A manuscript of Emily poetry

A story in Branwell's hand

Oldest photo of the Parsonage

CB's Roe Head diary

CB's list of " what I written so far" "
Tales of the Islanders" etc.

CB's Writing desk

CB's Paint box

Mary Taylor's personal copy of Jane Eyre, CB sent
to New Zealand and Mary's letter to CB about it

Contemporary published editions of all the sister's books

sermon notes of PB from 1811 based on Mathew 3:11

A good many drawings

little men magazines

CB's Atlas

Photo of Arthur Bell Nicholls

Photo of Rev Bronte

Rev Bronte's copy of the book of Common Prayer

One of Patrick 's letters where he sent snippets of CB 's
hand writing upon request

Wow, this really is a very good collection
I wished I could see it

zondag 28 augustus 2016

Bodice and gloves from Charlotte Bronte.

Charlotte Bronte was tiny: 4’10”. This is her bodice, so small a 10 yr old couldn’t fit it today

Here are some tiny gloves embroidered w places Charlotte travelled

Brontë stones initiative.

More news on the Brontë stones initiative in The Telegraph & Argus:
Plans to install a commemorative stone celebrating the life of Charlotte Brontë at her Thornton birthplace have been submitted to Bradford Council.
The stone will mark the bicentenary of the birth of the older of the literary Brontë sisters, and is part of a wider project to create memorials to younger sisters Emily and Anne, as well as their brother Branwell. 
The Brontë Stones project has been developed by the Bradford Literature Festival, and this application has been submitted by writer Michael Stewart. 
The first stone will be installed on the outside of the Brontë birthplace, 72 - 74 Market Street in Thornton. 
The project is being supported by both Bradford Council and the Arts Council, and will involve high profile writers composing words for the four stones - which will eventually create a trail from Thornton to Haworth.
The planning application, submitted this week, says: “The stones will be inscribed with specially commissioned writing from some of the most prominent writers in the world. “This will generate a lot of positive publicity for Bradford and visitors.” (...) A decision on the application is expected in October. (Chris Young)

dinsdag 23 augustus 2016

Preparing Charlotte's 'Thackeray' dress for transit to New York

Bronte Parsonage Museum: We are really looking forward to the opening of the Celebrating Charlotte exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum next month. Here is Sarah, our Curator, with Ann, our Principal Curator, preparing Charlotte's 'Thackeray' dress for transit to New York.

I wish Charlotte could have known this. Her dress to a museum in New York. And I wish I was curator of the Bronte Parsonage Museum and could touch all these wonderful memories of the Brontes.

Two manuscripts from the library’s ‘Ashley Collection’

From Nick Hollands weblog Anne Bronte:

Thanks to a letter from my publisher, The History Press, I was privileged to be allowed access to two manuscripts from the library’s ‘Ashley Collection’ – manuscripts that are normally kept securely locked away and out of bounds to the public, hand written documents by Emily Brontë herself.

The first lines in the book are:

‘If I might hear thy voice in the hall
But thou art now on a desolate sea
Thinking of Gondal, and grieving for me;
Longing to be in sweet Elbe again,
Thinking and grieving and longing in vain.’

Ashley Manuscripts

A17 — 5768
Collected by T. J. Wise (b 1859, d. 1937) and purchased from his executors after his death. Mainly 19th century literary manuscripts which have since been divided into Ashley MSS (complete manuscripts) and Ashley A and B series (individual items extracted from books into which they had been inserted by Wise).
T. J. Wise, The Ashley Library. A Catalogue of Printed Books, Manuscripts, and Autograph Letters collected by Thomas James Wise, 11 vols. (London, 1922—1936). Wise's own catalogue of his entire collection of manuscripts (except the B series) and books annotated by hand with Ashley MS numbers.


maandag 22 augustus 2016

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will, a new exhibition opening at the Morgan Library & Museum.



Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will September 9, 2016 through January 2, 2017
New York, NY, August 17, 2016 — From the time Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre was first published in 1847, readers have been drawn to the orphan protagonist who declared herself “a free human being with an independent will.” Like her famous fictional creation, Brontë herself took bold steps throughout her life to pursue personal and professional fulfillment. Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will, a new exhibition opening at the Morgan Library & Museum on September 9, traces the writer’s life from imaginative teenager to reluctant governess to published poet and masterful novelist.
The exhibition celebrates the two-hundredth anniversary of Brontë’s birth in 1816, and marks an historic collaboration between the Morgan, which holds one of the world’s most important collections of Brontë manuscripts and letters, and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, in Haworth, England, which will lend a variety of key items including the author’s earliest surviving miniature manuscript, her portable writing desk and paintbox, and a blue floral dress she wore in the 1850s. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a portion of the original manuscript of Jane Eyre, on loan from the British Library and being shown in the U.S. for the first time, open to the page on which Jane asserts her “independent will.” Also shown for the first time in America will be the only two life portraits of Brontë, on loan from London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Read more: themorgan//BrontePressRelease

The Morgan Library

JP Morgan was famous for being a rich and powerful financier.  He arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric.  He was a big player in the steel and rail road industries, negotiating with such players as Andrew Carnegie and Charles Schwab.   But, as many wealthy power men of the day, JP had other passions besides money.  For JP, it was the written word.  So much so that he built himself a private library to house his insanely large and valuable collection of rare books and ancient manuscripts.

The Morgan Library was completed in 1906 but it wasn’t until after JP’s death (1913, see photo below) that the library was opened to the public, around 1924.  The library still houses many rare books, music manuscripts and has a considerable collection of Victoriana, including one of the most important collections of Gilbert and Sullivan manuscripts and related artifacts but many of the more valuable pieces from his original collection now reside in major museums and other institutions.

One of the most interesting things about the library is its former librarian.  Morgan, a man who never allowed women employees to work at his bank, hired a twenty-something African American woman, Belle de Costa Greene.  Greene became Morgan’s trusted friend and a powerful woman in the world of rare books, manuscripts and art.  She enjoyed a colorful life moving between bohemia and the elite in NYC and beyond.  An enormous accomplishment for a young Victorian woman of color.  However, she was fair skinned, she presented herself as Portuguese and people seemed to look the other way.  You can visit the office where she worked in the North Room of the library.  She later became the first Director of the Morgan Library.
Read all: travelingmom/historical-hotspots-in-nyc-morgan-library-a-museum/

dinsdag 9 augustus 2016

" Ireland's Own " magazine. Historical link between Banagher and Charlotte Bronte.

From this week's " Ireland's Own " magazine.

Eileen Casey writes of the historical link between Banagher and the story of Charlotte Bronte, from her honeymoon at Cuba House to the discovery of priceless memorabilia that Arthur had kept at this house for many years after her tragic death.

woensdag 3 augustus 2016

The Old School Room's work has begun.

The Telegraph & Argus:
Work has begun on a near £100,000 project to restore one of Haworth’s most important historic buildings following a major fundraising effort. The renovation of the 184-year-old Old School Room, in Church Street, started on Monday.  The work is expected to last for about two and a half months.  The total cost of renovation of the historic building, which is used for community events and functions, and recently featured on Celebrity Masterchef, is £96,000.  The work comes after eight years of fundraising by Brontë Spirit, the charity dedicated to repairing and refurbishing the property.  Around £70,000 came from grant money and nearly £30,000 from community fundraising.
A spokesman for the scheme said: “On Monday Averil Kenyon, chairman of Brontë Spirit, was on hand to greet the contractors Hopleys as they arrived on site to start the project that is expected to take in the region of ten weeks to complete. “The work has been made possible by a grant of £44,973 from landfill community fund WREN, £10,000 from The Garfield Weston Foundation and £15,000 from The Pilgrim Trust.”
The grade II listed Old School Room was built by Patrick Brontë in 1832 and was extended in 1850 and 1871. (...)  Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith, the rector of Haworth Parish Church, said he was delighted that the main part of the renovation is now under way.  “I congratulate the trustees of Brontë Spirit for the extremely hard work they’ve put in to making this possible,” he added.  “This is excellent news.
“The Old School Room is a very valuable building not just for Haworth but also for the nation.  “It is one of two properties Patrick Brontë was responsible for building, the other being St Gabriel’s Church in Stanbury.  “He was a great believer in education being a way out of poverty – something still very relevant today – and he wanted the children of local mill workers to have an education so they could escape the deprivation of the surrounding area.” (Miran Rahman)

vrijdag 29 juli 2016

THE WRITER of the BBC’s upcoming Brontë movie To Walk Invisible has been honoured by the University of Huddersfield.

Sally Wainwright, who sets many of her TV dramas in West Yorkshire, received honorary awards during the university’s graduation ceremony this month.Sally Wainwright is the creator of many hit TV dramas, several of which have been set and filmed in the Huddersfield and Halifax area.They include the acclaimed Happy Valley, which starred Sarah Lancashire as tough but troubled police sergeant Catherine Cawood and drew up to eight million viewers for its tense finale. 

Other hits have included Last Tango In Halifax and the crime dramas Scott and Bailey.
Most recently Sally wrote a 90-minute drama about the Brontë family, To Walk Invisible, which was filmed last month in Haworth and at a recreation of the Haworth parsonage on Penistone Hill above the village.Sally began her writing career with scripts of Coronation Street, then in 2000 she wrote her first original series At Home With The Braithwaite, which became a worldwide hit. keighleynews

I love  Last Tango In Halifax so I cannot wait to see the movie.

Charlotte's rose.

Here are some pictures of Charlotte's rose, kindly donated by David Austin Roses to celebrate her bicentenary in April. It's a Crocus and our gardeners Jenny and Geoff are delighted with how it's coming along.

woensdag 27 juli 2016

Black satin slipper worn by Charlotte Bronte

On the Facebook page of Tracy Chevalier
I found this:

Here are Charlotte Bronte's evening pumps, lined with white rabbit fur! Look closely and you can see an imprint of her heel.

On the site of the Bronte Parsonage I found some more information


Title black satin slipper worn by Charlotte Bronte
Description black sateen upper, cream inner, flat leather sole, square toe, square vamp, 2 thin black ties (once elasticated?), braid down the side where each tie is attached.
Material sateen, leather
Technique sewn
  • whole 225  mm
  • whole 70  mm
  • whole 40  mm
  • maandag 25 juli 2016

    Charlotte Brontë's London, And Why She Wasn't A Fan.

     Euston Arch in 1896, image via Wikimedia Commons.

    Charlotte Brontë's first visit to London was in July 1848. Along with her sister Anne, Charlotte came down to meet her publisher George Smith of Smith Elder & Co, to disprove rumours that the Bell authors (the pseudonym the sisters were using) were in fact one person. They travelled by overnight train, arriving at Euston station early in the morning.

    Euston would have been Charlotte's gateway to London; she passed through the Victorian railway hub each time she arrived in the capital, and each time she escaped back to the quiet of Haworth.
    It's nice to note that the first WH Smith bookstall at a train station opened in the same year — November 1848 — perhaps Charlotte would have perused the books on offer when she visited.
    Read more and see more beautiful photographs on  londonist/charlotte-brontes-london and  kateshrewsday

    vrijdag 22 juli 2016

    21 July 1832 (letter to Ellen Nussey from the 16-year-old Charlotte Brontë).

    “In the morning from nine o’clock till half past twelve I instruct my Sisters & draw, then we walk till dinner after dinner I sew till tea-time, and after tea I either read, write, do a little fancy-work or draw, as I please. Thus in one delightful, though somewhat monotonous course my life is passed”

    woensdag 20 juli 2016

    Brontë Society acquires £200k book of unpublished Brontë manuscripts

    The Brontë Society has acquired a book for its museum worth £200,000 containing unpublished Brontë manuscripts. The book, which will be displayed at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, is a copy of Robert Southey’s The Remains of Henry Kirke White that belonged to Mrs Maria Brontë and includes annotations by the Brontë children, including unpublished material by Charlotte Brontë.

    The volume was bought from Randall House, a rare book dealer in California, at total cost of £200,000. It spent most of the last century in the US, after originally being sold at the Parsonage in 1861 following the death of Patrick Brontë, Maria Brontë's husband. The acquisition was made possible thanks to a £170,000 donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), in addition to funding from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries.

    The book is one of the rare surviving possessions of Maria Brontë, whose property was shipwrecked off the Devonshire coast shortly before her marriage to Patrick Brontë in 1812. It contains Latin inscriptions in Patrick Brontë’s handwriting stating that this was "….the book of my dearest wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will always be preserved".

    In addition to annotations, markings and sketches by various members of the family, it also includes a poem and a fragment of prose by Charlotte Brontë and a letter by her husband Arthur Bell Nicholls written shortly after her death in 1855.

    Members of the Brontë Society were allowed to view the book at their annual summer festival held
    last month in June. It is currently available to view as part of the "Treasures Tours" organised by the museum and is due to go on public display at the Parsonage in 2017.

    Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, said: "Mrs Brontë’s book is one of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years. It was clearly well-used and of great sentimental value to the Brontë children, who lost their mother while they were very young.  In addition, the unpublished writings by Charlotte offer new opportunities for research, which is really exciting.  This acquisition has been a wonderful addition to our celebrations marking Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary.”

    Juliet Barker, historian and author of biography The Brontës (Abacus), said: "The book alone is a valuable acquisition because of its rare associations with Mrs Brontë before her marriage to Patrick, but its importance is immeasurably increased by the unpublished manuscripts tipped into it. There could be no better place for it to be preserved for the future than the Brontë Parsonage Museum.”

     Randall House
    Established in 1975.
    Randall House has a long tradition in the rare and collectible book world. Ronald R. Randall grew up in a home where his father, David A. Randall, already was established as head of the rare book department for Scribner's. His mother was an accomplished artist and book illustrator. He grew up in New York surrounded by literary figures, books and fine art. Eventually he settled into his bookselling career. Ron spent seven years at John Howell-Books in San Francisco where he further deepened and enhanced his knowledge of books. He even sold books to his father who by this time was Director of the Lilly Rare Book Library at Indiana University.

    In 1975 Ron and a partner opened their own shop in San Francisco.  1985 saw Ron moved Randall House Rare Books to Santa Barbara while his partner stayed in San Francisco.  

    dinsdag 19 juli 2016

    Josephine Reames, great grand-daughter of Sir James Roberts who gifted Haworth Parsonage to the Bronte Society in 1928

    We had another special visitor recently - Josephine Reames, great grand-daughter of Sir James Roberts who gifted Haworth Parsonage to the Bronte Society in 1928. Here she is standing with his picture in the Museum.

    donderdag 7 juli 2016

    Plans to close Red House Museum.

    A VOLUNTARY group has said its “worst fears” have been realised after Kirklees Council revealed plans to close an historic house in Gomersal. Red House Museum in Oxford Road has strong links to the Brontë family - Charlotte Brontë was a frequent visitor and immortalised the house in her second novel, Shirley. But Kirklees Council, which is having to make cuts to its budget, has put forward plans to close both Red House and Dewsbury Museum to save money. The buildings would close later this year, after the October half term. Their collections would be either transferred or stored and “appropriate uses” would be found for the buildings, a spokesman for Kirklees Council said.
    Jacqueline Ryder, the chairman of the Friends of Red House Museum, said they were saddened by the announcement, especially as they were celebrating the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth this year. She said: “This news confirms our worst fears after months of rumour and speculation.
    “Red House is a rare example of a yeoman clothier’s family house and workplace, complete with outbuildings and historic, award-winning gardens. “It was owned and run by the Taylor family for 400 years, who made a substantial contribution to the area’s textile industry. “The family even ran their own bank from Red House for a little while. “Considering the close links with Charlotte Brontë it is very sad that Kirklees Council has made this announcement when we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth.” The proposals would see Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall remain open. A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “The council is planning to work closely with Friends organisations and other local groups and partners in the development of future services.
    “The proposals are in line with the council’s overall response to its financial challenges – strengthening links with local communities, engaging people with key issues and making best use of scarce resources.” A public consultation has begun into the plans and will run until Sunday, July 24.
    A spokesman for the Brontë Society said it would be taking part in the consultation, but declined to comment further. There will be consultation sessions at each of Kirklees’ six art galleries and museums, where people can have their say. There will be a session on July 13 at 11am at Oakwell Hall and Country Park and one on July 19 at 6pm at Red House Museum. Alternatively, visit kirkleestalk.org/index.php/get-involved/lets-talk-about-museums/. thetelegraphandargus

    maandag 27 juni 2016

    Gazette Series lists the advantages of adding a blue plaque to your historic home.

    Gazette Series lists the advantages of adding a blue plaque to your historic home.

    Also recently relisted are seven buildings that witnessed the life of Charlotte Brontë.
    These include Grade I listed Haworth Parsonage, where Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne grew up and where her novels were written, and Grade II* listed Norton Conyers, the property that inspired Charlotte’s most famous novel Jane Eyre.

    Also coming up in July


    We endeavour to send these newsletters every 4-6 weeks, but there is so much going on at present, we thought you'd like to know you can also get the latest news by following us on twitter @BronteParsonage and @BronteShop, Instagram @bronteparsonagemuseum and facebook at BronteParsonageMuseum.

    Our free Tuesday talk in July will focus on Villette, Charlotte Brontë's final (and some say greatest) novel. Head along to the Museum for 2pm on Tuesday 5 July to delve into the secrets of this haunting and deeply autobiographical novel.
    Our friends at the National Media Museum in Bradford are hosting Jane Eyre: Afterlives on Saturday 9 July at 7.30pm. Samira Ahmed, of BBC Radio 4's Front Row, will lead a panel discussion on the Brontë phenomenon before a screening of the 1943 film version of Jane Eyre, starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. Follow this link to purchase a ticket for this fascinating evening.

    zondag 26 juni 2016

    Poetry Festival at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

    Keighley News announces the first Poetry Festival at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
    A field behind the Brontë Parsonage Museum is the setting for Haworth's first-ever poetry festival. Poetry at the Parsonage will bring dozens more than 100 poets and performers from across Yorkshire to Haworth on Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3.
    The Word Club of Leeds has teamed up with the Brontë Society to organise a packed programme of readings and workshops. 
    The festival has been organised on behalf of the Brontë Parsonage Museum by Matthew Withey. He said: “Poetry at the Parsonage will be the biggest gathering of poets anywhere in Britain this year.“It is a free-to-enter festival with sets by more than 100 performers, all coming together on the edge of the moors that inspired some of the finest poetry in the English language.“The weekend will be fabulous feast of words and we invite people to bring their families and share it with us.” 
    Helen Mort, one of the headliners, said events like the festival created a sense of community and encouraged poets to support one another.“Yorkshire has a thriving poetry scene and it’s good to bring everyone together. ”Charlotte’s Stage, at the Old School Room next to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will see performances by Mark Connors, Helen Mort and Alan Buckley on the Saturday, and Gaia Holmes, Clare Shaw, James Nash and Kate Fox on the Sunday. The Saturday line-up for Emily’s Stage at nearby West Lane Baptist Centre includes Ilkley Young Writers and Lorna Faye Dunsire, who appeared as part of Charlotte’s bicentenary celebrations in Haworth in April. 
    Eddie Lawler, also known as the Bard of Saltaire, will headline Emily’s Stage on the Sunday. The event will be compered by Yorkshire favourites Craig Bradley, Geneviève L Walsh, Winston Plowes and Mark Connors of Word Club. Performances will begin at noon each day. Visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on for further information and tickets. (David Knights)

    The Truth About The Illnesses Of Anne Brontë

    Anne was the last of the six Brontë children to be born, and her mother Maria died just a year later. It’s easy to imagine how this could lead to her siblings, father and Aunt Elizabeth spoiling her and being extra protective of her. It seems as well that Anne suffered from asthma and was thought of as a fragile child, as it’s referred to in letters from Charlotte Brontë and from Anne herself.

    Often thought of as being weak and permanently unwell, was that really the case and was asthma actually the cause of her complaints? Read the answer on: annebronte

    zaterdag 25 juni 2016

    “Since 1857, when Elizabeth Gaskell published her famous Life of Charlotte Brontë, hardly a year has gone by without some form of biographical material on the Brontës appearing

    “Since 1857, when Elizabeth Gaskell published her famous Life of Charlotte Brontë, hardly a year has gone by without some form of biographical material on the Brontës appearing—from articles in newspapers to full-length lives, from images on tea towels to plays, films, and novelizations,” wrote Lucasta Miller in The Brontë Myth, her 2001 history of Brontëmania. This year the Brontë literary-industrial complex celebrates the bicentennial of Charlotte’s birth, and British and American publishers have been especially busy. In the U.S., there is a new Charlotte Brontë biography by Claire Harman; a Brontë-themed literary detective novel; a novelistic riff on Jane Eyre whose heroine is a serial killer; a collection of short stories inspired by that novel’s famous line*, “Reader, I married him”; and a fan-fiction-style “autobiography” of Nelly Dean, the servant-narrator of Wuthering Heights. Last year’s highlights included a young-adult novelization of Emily’s adolescence and a book of insightful essays called The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects, which uses items belonging to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne as wormholes to the 19th century and the lost texture of their existence. Don’t ask me to list the monographs.

    As we open Jane Eyre once more we cannot stifle the suspicion that we shall find her world of imagination as antiquated, mid-Victorian, and out of date as the parsonage on the moor, a place only to be visited by the curious, only preserved by the pious. So we open Jane Eyre; and in two pages every doubt is swept clean from our minds. Read the article: theatlantic

    Why are Japanese women still bewitched by the Brontes?


    seem to be besotted with the three Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne. It’s a fascination that goes beyond reading and imagining. A disproportionately high number of Japanese women visit the Bronte’s home village of Haworth in the north of England each year, a pilgrimage that has recently been turned into the subject of a novel by Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author Mick Jackson, “Yuki Chan in Bronte Country.”

    Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” may have bewitched generations of Japanese readers, but Emily’s “Wuthering Heights” (rendered as “Arashigaoka” in Japanese) arguably stands as the most influential novel in Japan written by a non-Japanese woman. It inspired a 1988 Japanese film adaptation, which replaces the wild Yorkshire moors with a rocky Japanese volcano, but has also had a profound influence on some of the country’s most important 20th-century women writers, such as Yuko Tsushima and Taeko Kono.
    Read all the article: japantimes
    Photo: fukuoka



    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.



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