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 november 2014

The Parsonage of the Brontes and ot the Wades

View taken around 1900 showing Wades extension. Also visible is The Barn (to the right of the Parsonage) which was a stonemasons workshop in the Brontes day (and just out of shot of the earliest image). It was demolished in 1903. The top of church lane is visible and part of the sunday school.
This is such a beautiful, special photo
But...... it is not the way the Brontes knew the Parsonage
The gable wing was added 100 years later by the Rev. John Wade
This is the Parsonage as the Brontes knew


maandag 17 november 2014

Haworth. Winter and allready a little Christmas time.

Thank you:  Haworth Brontescapes


St. Michael & All Angels Parish Church

Patrick Bronte had first been asked to come to Haworth in 1819 by the Bishop of Bradford. However, the Bishop had gone over the church trustee’s heads in appointing Bronte, so they were against the idea. Feeling he could not become incumbent of Haworth without the trustee’s support, Bronte declined the position and Samuel Redhead was appointed in his place. As Redhead had also been appointed without consulting the trustees, the parishioners of Haworth were understandably riled, and their unruly behaviour lead to Redhead becoming the shortest serving incumbent in the church’s history, lasting only 6 weeks.

In 1820, with the trustee’s agreement, Patrick began the 41 years he would spend as Vicar of Haworth Parish Church. Patrick was a conscientious priest, carrying out his duties as well as directing the National and Sunday Schools. Patrick’s Sunday School is still standing today, you can find out more information about it here. He was a talented preacher and this combined with the high birthrate meant he baptised around 290 children a year. Unfortunately due to the fact that at that time, the life expectancy in Haworth was only around 22 years of age, and 40% of children dying before their 6th birthday, Bronte also held many funerals.

Patrick Bronte’s memory is sometimes overshadowed by that of his famous and talented children. Yet in Haworth, then a small, busy, over-crowded mill town, he made a lasting difference to the population with his improvements in education and sanitation as well as performing the role of a popular rural vicar. Text: haworthchurch/the-brontes

Scroggling the Holly 2012

Published on Dec 24, 2012
Scroggling the Holly marks the start of the festive season in Haworth, and is a modern ceremony involving gathering holly to decorate the town. Expect lots of Victorian-style fancy dress (Haworth is of course the hometown of the famous Bronte sisters who dwelt at the Parsonage in the nineteenth century) in a procession with morris men,chimney sweeps, a holly cart, brass bands and other musicians and entertainers. The parade goes up the cobbles from the Christmas Tree to the church, where the Holly Queen is crowned on the steps before the gates are opened with a special key to admit the spirit of Christmas and Santa.

To find out more about British calendar customs and traditions, visit http://calendarcustoms.com/

Portraits of publicity-shy Brontë sister examined — University of Leicester

Portraits of publicity-shy Brontë sister examined — University of Leicester

Dr North said: “Charlotte Brontë has always been seen as a writer who was shy of publicity and wanted to "walk invisible".  “But the evidence suggests that she thought carefully about how her reputation might be shaped through portraits – and that she was less modest in her self-image than has previously been recognised.

zaterdag 15 november 2014

Look at these very beautiful photo's. What an atmosphere. This is how I imagine that the Brontes were seeing autumn.

I found them on the Facebook page ""I love Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage""
 and Mick Midgley, who is living in Haworth, did make the photographes
Thank you Mick Midgley



woensdag 12 november 2014

Christmas Fayre at Haworth

We are SO excited at Scribbly Towers, as we are busy getting our first big Bronte order ready for their Christmas Fayre at Haworth on Saturday. It will be wonderful! Do pop along if you can - I feel Christmassy already
Haworth Victorian Christmas

dinsdag 11 november 2014

More on the Brontë Society's inner troubles

Museums  Journal publishes an unofficial account (based in an alleged full transcript  filtered by an anonymous Brontë Society member) of the Brontë Society EGM held on 18 October. Deeply disturbing and sad:
“I’m worried that this will all just be swept under the carpet again,” said the member, who asked to remain anonymous.
According to the transcript, the EGM was told that employees at the Brontë Parsonage Museum were unhappy with their treatment by trustees and had asked to join a union.
One speaker described an “atmosphere of bullying and criticism” at the museum and another said staff felt undermined and were “afraid to put their heads above the parapet”. The meeting heard that there was a “depressingly cyclical nature” to the departure of the museum's directors. Read more on: bronteblog/the-bronte-society-civil-war

More on the Brontë Society's inner troubles in the Yorkshire Post today:
The Brontë Society is in “crisis” and urgently needs to change the way it operates and address poor morale among staff at the Parsonage Museum, according to an expert.
The literary society’s recent extraordinary general meeting, called by 53 disgruntled members, was told by an independent adviser that it needed to review its structure and ask “whether it is now fit for purpose”.
In minutes seen by The Yorkshire Post, the adviser says that four problems faced by the Society added up to a “crisis situation”.
“You are currently without a chief executive of the museum, without a chair of your Council, you’ve got a body of staff who are asking for recognition by a union and you’ve got a group of members who have called an EGM. Any one of those individual situations would put any society under stress and pressure but having four at once is a very, very unusual situation.” Read more on: bronteblog/a-bronte-crisis

The Brontes and Keighley

From 1753 the Union stage coach departed on the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike from what was the Devonshire Arms coaching inn on the corner of Church Street and High Street. Rebuilt about 1788 this public house sports a classical style pedimented doorcase with engaged Tuscan columns in the high fashion of that age. The original route towards Skipton was Spring Gardens Lane – Hollins Lane – Hollins Bank Lane.[5] Keighley was to become an intersection with other turnpikes including the Two-Laws to Keighley branch of the Toller Lane - Blue Bell turnpike (1755) from Bradford to Colne; the Bradford to Keighley turnpike (1814); and the Keighley—Halifax turnpike.

On the outskirts of town is Cliffe Hall, also known as Cliffe Castle, now Keighley Museum.[18] Keighley is the location of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a heritage railway that passes through Haworth (part of the Brontë Country, home of Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë) and terminates at Oxenhope. At Ingrow is the Museum of Rail Travel. Top Withens and the Brontë Waterfall are within walking distance of Stanbury, a mile and a half from Haworth.

The town's industries have typically been in textiles, particularly wool and cotton processing. In addition to the manufacture of textiles there were several large factories making textile machinery. These included Dean, Smith & Grace, George Hattersley & Son and Prince, Smith & Stell. The former operated as a manufacturer of CNC machine tools, particularly precision lathes, until 2008.

Keighley has a parish church (St. Andrew's Shared Church) and is home to many Christian denominations. It has churches and places of worship for Anglicans, Methodists, United Reformed, Mormons, Quakers, Salvation Army and Jehovah's Witnesses. Keighley has a significant Roman Catholic minority re-established following the repeal of the penal laws. The Catholic population was boosted in the mid-19th century with the arrival of Irish immigrants escaping the 1840s potato famine who came to work in the textile and weaving industries. Keighley has three Roman Catholic churches (St Anne's - 1840, St Joseph's - 1934 and Our Lady of Victories - 1939) and four Roman Catholic schools (St Anne's - 1857, St Joseph's - 1922, Our Lady of Victories - 1960 and Holy Family - 1964).

Built in 1791 as a cotton spinning mill and we know it was spinning in 1795, and there was a corn mill next door. The chimney was added when the mill was converted from water to steam power.
Robert Heaton of Ponden Hall. Ponden Band was around in 1854. They played at the celebrations in Haworth at the end of the Crimean war. A Directory of the Halifax Manufacturers' Hall published in 1787 tells us Robert Heaton, of Ponden,  Stanbury, had Room No. 120 in the Rustic.
History of tmills in Keighley valendale/mills

  • The Parish and Methodist Churches
  • The Devonshire Arms
  • The Mechanics’ Institute helensheritagewalks
More historical information about Keighley

Keighley Mechanics Institute

The founders were: A joiner John Haigh, a tailor William Dixon, a painter John Bradley, and a reed-maker John Farrish valendale/mechanics
The prominent building in the right foreground, next door to the County Court, was the original Keighley Mechanics’ Institute of 1834, a pioneering educational initiative offering its members classes, lectures and the use of the library and scientific apparatus. The stone globe above its entrance symbolised knowledge. Demolished in 1970, older readers may remember these premises in their later role as Yorkshire Penny Bank. The photograph has been supplied by Mr Kevin Seaton, of Shann Lane, Keighley. keighleynews/featuresmemorylane/

Devonshire Arms (Hotel), Church Street.


Landlords Samuel Morgan.  T. Ecroyd was proprietor 1884 (post chaise) : To Kendal, the Union - To Leeds, the Union - Invincible (from Preston) Possibly on the site of the old Roebuck Inn) (Red Buck)

Free Bought by Corporation ex Duke of Devonshire 6 Jul 1897.
The Devonshire seems to have been very much the center of activity, not only was it a coaching Inn, it is mentioned time and time again in news papers, meetings held, auctions of property and the like.

The Brontes and Keighley

Suspicion grew that Currer, Ellis and Acton were really one man writing under different names, Charlotte decided to come clean to her London publisher and, with Anne accompanying her, walked through a rainstorm to Keighley to catch a night train (with a change at Leeds) to London, where she made her dramatic revelation next morning: "We are three sisters."

The sisters, and sometimes Branwell, would go far on the moors; sometimes four miles to Keighley in the hollow over the ridge, unseen from the heights, but brooded over always by a dim film of smoke, seemingly the steam rising from some fiery lake. The sisters now subscribed to a circulating library at Keighley, and would gladly undertake the rough walk of eight miles for the sake of bringing back with them a novel by Scott, or a poem by Southey. At Keighley, too, they bought their paper. The stationer used to wonder how they could get through so much.  readbookonline

The children also learned to draw and paint, taking occasional lessons from John Bradley, founder member of the Keighley Mechanics' Institute, and possibly from Thomas Plummer, son of the master of the Keighley Free Grammar School. oxforddnb

vrijdag 7 november 2014

Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum in December

Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum in December to see the house decked with its traditional decorations, and celebrate Christmas with talks, walks, workshops, carols and candlelit tours. It's a wonderfully festive time of the year to visit Haworth.
Saturday 6 December, 10.30 - 12.30pm
Make a festive wreath for your front door inspired by the traditional Christmas decorations at the Museum.
Tickets are £20 and booking essential, places are limited. Ticket price includes all materials, refreshments (mince pies and mulled wine) and admission to the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 December
Visit our stall at the Haworth Christmas Market - we will be there all weekend. On Sunday 7 December, arrive at the Parsonage for 2.20pm to watch children from Haworth Primary School singing carols in the garden. A traditional carol service will follow at St Michaels and All Angels Church in Haworth at 3pm. All welcome.
These events are FREE - but please note that usual Museum admission charge will apply.
Friday 12 December, 7pm
A candlelit tour of the Museum with Collections Manager Ann Dinsdale, to see the house lit by candles and dressed with its traditional decorations. This special atmospheric evening will include mince pies and mulled wine and the opportunity to ask all you have ever wanted to know about the Brontes and christmas!
Tickets £15 and places are limited so booking is essential. Book online at http://www.bronte.org.uk/whats-on
Christmas at the Parsonage
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December
A festive weekend of activites for Museum visitors, including talks and walks, readings of Christmassy passages from classic literature in the rooms of the Parsonage, and drop-in craft activity to create baubles for your Christmas tree.
Free with admission to the Museum
Events will vary across the weekend so please ring for more details if there is something you specifically wish to take part in. All activities are drop-in.
Friday 12 December, 7pm
A candlelit tour of the Museum with Collections Manager Ann Dinsdale, to see the house lit by candles and dressed with its traditional decorations. This special atmospheric evening will include mince pies and mulled wine and the opportunity to ask all you have ever wanted to know about the Brontes and christmas!
Tickets £15 and places are limited so booking is essential. Book online at http://www.bronte.org.uk/whats-on
Christmas at the Parsonage

Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December
A festive weekend of activites for Museum visitors, including talks and walks, readings of Christmassy passages from classic literature in the rooms of the Parsonage, and drop-in craft activity to create baubles for your Christmas tree.
Free with admission to the Museum
Events will vary across the weekend so please ring for more details if there is something you specifically wish to take part in. All activities are drop-in.
from the E-news letter december bronte.org.uk

Haworth councillor calls for Bronte Society to forge closer ties with village following its recent internal wrangles

A HAWORTH politician has called on the Brontë Society to improve its links with the local community. Parish council chairman John Huxley urged the long-established literary society to forge closer ties once it had overcome its current internal problems. Complaints that the society -- which runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth -- had lost its way culminated in an extraordinary general meeting last month when 53 members called for a change of leadership. Cllr Huxley suspected this internal strife had affected the society’s communication with the wider community in recent months, but said the situation been “patchy” for many years. He said: “We’ve been through several directors in the past few years, and initiatives where the Society has wanted to engage with the community, but there have been several false starts. “We would like a regular communication with the Brontë Society for activities that would sustain jobs and the tourism industry. “There’s an important legacy which I feel many people in the community would like to take part in. We want to be supportive.” Cllr Huxley welcomed new moves by the Society to work closely with the community, as part of a £99,178 Arts Council England-funded contemporary arts programme.  He said: “I have met the new operations manager, but we’ll have to wait until management has settled down. “A well-coordinated Brontë Society is an important and integral part of Haworth. It would have spin-offs for the whole community if they could get themselves together. “ A spokesman for the Bronte Society this week said that discussions about several forthcoming bicentenary celebrations – funded with the Arts Council grant -- had involved society members, museum staff and representatives from Haworth. She added: “This will assist in developing and delivering an exciting and innovative programme of events and exhibitions around the bicentenaries. She said: “We are also currently in recruiting a project manager to co-ordinate the bicentenary plans, with a focus on working closely with local people, businesses and community groups as well as with the newly-appointed membership officer and the marketing and communications officer. “The leadership team at the Parsonage and the trustees are determined to renew and develop relationships with local, national and international partners to ensure that we not only continue to safeguard the legacy of the Brontë family, but add valuable new chapters and interpretations to it over the coming years.”keighleynews/Haworth_councillor_calls_for_Bronte_Society

a group from Oxenhope are trying to find the real locations behind the Brontës' work in order to make a documentary.

 Keighkey News reports that a group from Oxenhope are trying to find the real locations behind the Brontës' work in order to make a documentary.

An Oxenhope man is on a mission to track down some of the real life locations which inspired the works of the Bronte sisters. Ian Howard, who began his research in earnest 12 months ago, received a major boost when his friend Josh Chapman provided him with the memoirs of his grandmother, Joanna Hutton, who was the first female curator of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in the 1960s.
Also included amongst the memoirs was an unpublished manuscript by a woman called Dorothy Van Ghent, who died in 1968. Mr Howard, who works as a landscape gardener, said Dorothy had been trying to locate the same locations he is hunting for. "It was really nice to find out that there was someone else who wasn't sticking to the better known story of which locations the Brontes had used," he said. "It showed that my own ideas weren't just a wild goose chase! "She is very specific about the places she thought the Brontes were referring to, and she was definitely onto something."
He said Josh Chapman's brother Oliver, who like Josh and Ian also lives in Oxenhope, would be making a documentary about the project. Mr Howard said: "Josh has been looking at Google images to spot likely locations on the moors. One of the interesting things about the Brontes was how they were inspired by local legends. "Their books are very cleverly written with a lot of layers of meaning." Oliver Chapman said his grandmother, who was the last person to actually live in the parsonage, had a fascinating story to tell. "She talks about rich Americans turning up at nine or ten o'clock at night wanting a tour of the parsonage," he said. "The Brontes were her vocation, and it was a subject she spoke very passionately about." He said his grandmother had talked about souvenir hunters damaging items in the parsonage, because they were so keen to grab and make off with fragments of this historic site. He said it had been revealing to find out how much opposition there had been in his grandmother's time to the idea of a female curator of the parsonage. He noted that some of this opposition had even come from other women. "The documentary is only in its initial phases so far," he said. "We'll start with a five-minute film and see how that goes. "It'll be very interesting, not least because this is about someone whose ideas about the Brontes are so different from the official version." (Miran Rahman)

zaterdag 1 november 2014


Geographically, Bronte Country consists of the Pennine hills immediately to the west of, but also including, the Bradford / Leeds conurbation of West Yorkshire, as well as Kirklees and Calderdale. [N.B. Please click here for a geographical definition and map of the Bronte Country area.]
Unlike the pastural limestone valleys of the Yorkshire Dales which begin further to the north, the geology in Bronte Country is predominantly of Millstone Grit, a dark sandstone which lends the crags and scenery here an air of bleakness and desolation. Top Withens and many of the other Bronte associated locations lie within easy reach of the village of Haworth, where the Bronte family lived at the Haworth parsonage Other Bronte related attractions in the heart of Bronte Country include the Bronte Birthplace in Thornton on the outskirts of Bradford (where Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, Emily and Anne were born while their father was parson at Thornton church), Ponden Hall near Haworth ("Thrushcross Grange" in "Wuthering Heights") and Oakwell Hall and Red House in Kirklees ("Fieldhead" and "Briarmains" respectively in Charlotte Bronte's "Shirley"). Slightly further afield in what is known as the Pendle Witch Country of East Lancashire there is Wycoller (believed to be the location for Ferndean Manor in "Jane Eyre"), and Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley, where Charlotte Bronte was a regular visitor. Outside of Bronte Country but on edge of the Yorkshire Dales some forty or so miles to the north is the village of Cowan Bridge (near Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales) where the local school provided the inspiration for Lowood School in "Jane Eyre", while the country house at Norton Conyers (near Ripon in the Vale of York / Vale of Mowbray) is believed to be the setting for Thornfield Hall in the same novel. [N.B. Also in the Yorkshire Dales but closer nearby is the popular beauty spot of Bolton Abbey - which was visited by the Bronte family as a special excursion in 1833.] Further afield again Anne Bronte's grave can be found at St. Mary's Church in Scarborough - a popular resort on the Yorkshire Coast and near to the North York Moors to the east. [N.B. There are also Bronte connections with the English Lake District as Branwell Bronte held a tutoring job in Broughton in Furness and sketched the church during his stay there in 1840. Charlotte Bronte also stayed in the English Lake District some ten years later.] Back in the Bronte Country area itself, attractions which are not directly associated with the Brontes (but which are well worth a visit in their own right) include the industrial village of Saltaire in Bradford (built by Sir Titus Salt in the mid nineteenth century, and now a UNESCO designated World Heritage Centre), the National Media Museum in Bradford, the Keighley Bus Museum in Keighley, and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (which runs from the village of Oxenhope through Haworth and Oakworth to the town of Keighley in the Aire Valley). The Bronte Country area has other literary and cultural associations: For instance the poet Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd near Hebden Bridge (his wife Sylvia Plath being buried in nearby Heptonstall), while the playwright J.B. Priestley, the composer Delius, the novelist John Braine and the artist David Hockney (like the Bronte sisters themselves) were all born within the district of the city of Bradford. The Pennine Way long distance footpath passes through Bronte Country, as does the Bronte Way, the Bradford Millennium Footpath and the Great Northern Railway Trail. As such the area is popular for walking and cycling in particular. bronte-country 

£100,000 grant for Haworth's Bronte Parsonage Museum celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth

PLANS to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Bronte have been given a major cash boost of nearly £100,000. The Brontë Society’s contemporary arts programme has been awarded a grant of £99,178 by the Arts Council of England. The grant will offer a much welcomed helping hand to the upcoming celebrations of Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary year. As well as its museum role, Haworth's Brontë Parsonage is home to a contemporary arts programme which celebrates the radical nature of the Brontës and the ways in which they have inspired successive generations of artists and writers.
Read more: keighleynews

donderdag 30 oktober 2014

Hebden Bridge in the time of the Brontes


Steep hills with fast-flowing streams and access to major wool markets meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water-powered weaving mills and the town developed during the 19th and 20th centuries; at one time Hebden was known as "Trouser Town" because of the large amount of clothing manufacturing.[2] Drainage of the marshland, which covered much of the Upper Calder Valley before the Industrial Revolution, enabled construction of the road which runs through the valley. Before it was built, travel was only possible via the ancient packhorse route which ran along the hilltop, dropping into the valleys wherever necessary. The wool trade was served the Rochdale Canal (running from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester) and the Manchester and Leeds Railway (later the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) (running from Leeds to Manchester and Burnley).

The first Hebden Bridge Railway station opened in 1840, with a small booking office and separate waiting rooms for the first class ladies and gentlemen. hebdenbridge  hbstationfriends

Sutcliffe and George Sowden
Sutcliffe Sowden was a graduate of St Mary Magdalene College, Cambridge.  In 1839 he became curate of Cross Stone under the Revd Joseph Fennel. His appointment to Hebden Bridge two years later seems to have been due to a sermon that he preached at Cross Stone. Revd Sutcliffe Sowden was the intimate friend to the Revd Arthur Bell Nicholls, who was ordained along with Sutcliffes younger brother George at Ripon Minster in October 1846 A.B.Nicholls became curate of Howarth in 1845. Out of this friendship came Revd Sowdens aquaintance with the Bronte family. the-bronte-connection
Archdeacon Musgrave ensured that Sutcliffe's brother, George, suceeded him as vicar at Hebden Bridge. Whilst staying with his brother at Cross-Stone in 1840, George first saw the Brontë family. Here is an extract from his description of Patrick Brontë on that occasion: "... his quaint old fashioned look and his stupendous necktie: how it was constructed, I never could imagine." 

Unlike Sutcliffe, George did not know Charlotte personally before her marriage, but when invited to stay at Haworth in 1854, soon after Charlotte's marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls, he got to know her quite well. In 1894 he described Charlotte as being "... a thoroughly ladylike woman, and very self-possessed..." and days that her conversation was quite 'unaffected'.
Coming downstairs to breakfast one morning at Haworth Parsonage, George found Charlotte "ascending the steps from the cellar... with a teacake in her hand, which she took into the kitchen to toast for our breakfast, perfectly unconcerned and natural, never dreaming of an apology for being caught in a domestic employment."
Yesterday morning the whole of Hebden Bridge and it's district was thrown into a state of great excitment and sorrow by the news spreading rapidly that their incumbent the Rev. S Sowden had met with his death by drowning. The sad news proved but to be true.His remains were removed to the Neptune Inn, and afterwards to his home.  The funeral obsequies were performed by Mr Sowdens most intimate friend,  the Rev. A. B. Nicholls of Howarth
Halifax antiquary Francis Leyland recorded that Charlotte Brontë, in the lonely days before her marriage, would sometimes walk, or occasionally drive, to Hangingroyd, Hebden Bridge, the residence of Sutcliffe Sowden.  visitcalderdale/brontelinks

The Lane Ends Burial Society responsible for building Old Town Clubhouses met at the Hare and Hounds and built the cottages in 1823. They were originally designed as weavers’ cottages, at a time when hand loom weaving was still a profitable trade, with a shared weaving room across the top floor, and connecting doors between the houses to enable workers to get access to the shared room. The census returns showed that most of the residents were engaged in worsted weaving until the trade began to fail later in the century. Many of the small cottages housed families of six or seven adults: impossible to imagine now. hebdenbridge
Photo's of Hebden Bridge
Blog of Hebden Bridge



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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