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

maandag 18 mei 2015

BBC to dramatise Brontes' lives

The home life of the Brontes will be brought to life in a new BBC1 drama about the literary sisters, written and directed by Last Tango In Halifax author Sally Wainwright. ( I love this series.)

The one-off, two-hour drama will follow Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte's relationship with each other and their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life was plagued by alcoholism and drug addiction. To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters will be filmed in and around Yorkshire, where the most famous sisters of English literature lived. Casting is yet to be announced for the drama, described as "an original perspective on the Bronte sisters". BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: "The Bronte sisters have always been enigmatic but Sally Wainwright's brilliantly authentic new BBC1 drama brings the women behind some of our greatest literary masterpieces to life.
"It's an extraordinary tale of family tragedy and their passion and determination, against the odds, to have their genius recognised in a male 19th century world." Bafta-winning writer Wainwright, whose other credits include TV series Happy Valley, said of the drama: "I am thrilled beyond measure that I've been asked by the BBC to bring to life these three fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women." The drama explores the siblings' relationship with each other and their self-educated father, who grew up in an impoverished home in rural Ireland and encouraged his children - irrespective of their gender - to become passionate about literature. It also portrays their "increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life - following a tragically misguided love affair - sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour". Charlotte, arguably the most talented of the three sisters, died at the age of 38. Her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, was published in 1847 and was an instant success. Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, while Anne, the youngest of the three , penned The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall. expressandstar

zaterdag 16 mei 2015

The Brontë Society has announced on its website the subject of the 2016 conference.

The Brontë Society is pleased to announce that the 2016 conference will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 19 – 21 August 2016 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.   In 1837 Charlotte Brontë wrote to the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, for advice on a literary career. He replied that ‘literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life: & it ought not to be’. Our conference in 2016, the first of the three Brontë bicentenaries, takes up the challenge of what might be the ‘proper business of a woman’s life’. The many facets of this subject present a wide range of possible papers both academic and literary, including:

Women’s position in English culture and society in the nineteenth century
Contemporary writing on ‘The Woman Question’
Charlotte Brontë’s own writings on the matter
Her relationship with other women writers
Her literary reputation
Her influence on later feminist movements.
The Keynote Speaker will be Jenny Uglow, OBE.

 The conference weekend will include an optional excursion to The Gaskell House, the home of Charlotte’s friend and biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell, which has recently been opened to the public.
Abstracts for papers (no more than 300 words) should be sent by 28 February, 2016, to:
The Conference Organiser, The Brontë Society
The Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR
Successful speakers will be notified by 31 March, 2016.

A tumultuous year for the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Bad news from the Brontë Parsonage Museum as reported by The Yorkshire Post:
Managers at the Bronte Society are confident of boosting visitor admissions to the Parsonage Museum after new figures revealed they dipped to under 70,000 last year.
The year saw a seven per cent drop in admissions from 73,830 in 2013 to 69,503 during a tumultuous 12 months which saw the departure of several key people including director Ann Sumner.
However, the Society claimed the drop in visitors was caused by the late reopening of the Museum following the relocation of the admissions area. Russell Watson, honorary treasurer of the Society, who has written to members ahead of the annual meeting on June 6, said: “The operating income of the Society is heavily dependent on the number of visitors to the Parsonage Museum. In 2014 the Museum did not reopen until the third week in February due to the reconfiguration of the admissions area. “Visitor admissions started slowly after this late opening, although they picked up later in the year.” [...] Finance manager, Clare Dewhirst, is expecting visitors to increase as important bicentenaries approach. She said: “Although the 2014 accounts show a small decline in visitor numbers, this is largely attributable to the fact that we opened later than usual in 2014 due to the improvement and relocation of the admissions area. “Our general admissions income for the year exceeded budget, which was due in part to the increase in visitor participation in the Government Gift Aid scheme. “We look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Museum in the coming months and years ahead as we prepare for the bicentenaries of each of the Bronte siblings.” (Andrew Robinson)

vrijdag 8 mei 2015

Brontë Studies. Volume 40, Issue 2

Brontë Studies. Volume 40, Issue 2

pp. iii-iv Author: Adams, Amber M.

Found: The ‘Lost’ Portrait of Emily Brontë
pp. 85-103    Author:   Heywood, Christopher
An illustration in The Woman at Home (1894), captioned ‘EMILY BRONTË. From a painting by Charlotte Brontë, hitherto unpublished’, matches an unsigned portrait, recently found in a private collection. The illustration was copied from the portrait of Emily Brontë that was seen in Haworth in 1879 by William Robertson Nicoll (1851–1923), owner and editor of The Woman at Home. A pencilled inscription on the back of the newly found portrait, apparently in Charlotte’s handwriting, reads: ‘Emily Brontë / Sister of Charlotte Bro[nté] / Currer Bell’. In 1908 Nicoll declared in an article that the original portrait had become ‘irrevocably lost’. This article proposes that it has been found. The painter is identified here as the Bradford portrait artist, John Hunter Thompson (1808–90).

The Library at Ponden Hall
pp. 104-149    Author:  Duckett, Bob
Abstract:The long-established Heaton family of Ponden Hall (also known as Ponden House), 2½ miles (4 km) west of Haworth, was important to the people of Haworth, the Brontë family included. This article considers the remarkable library at Ponden Hall to which the Brontës had access. Hitherto, the contents of this library have been known only by a poorly compiled auctioneer’s sale catalogue. An improved version of this catalogue has been compiled. The role of the library in the Brontës’ extensive knowledge of literature, travel and law is considered. An abridged version of this revised catalogue is appended to this article as an appendix.

New buses and a new brand to promote Brontë Country's attractions

There are new buses in Brontë country to help promote the Brontë sights according to Keighley News.

A £210,000 investment in new Brontë branded buses aims to tighten the link between the main route serving the Worth Valley and the area's visitor attractions. Bus firm Transdev in Keighley is rebranding its 500 route between Keighley, Haworth, Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge as the Brontë Bus. It features brand new vehicles with free WiFi and more comfortable seating. The service runs hourly, seven days a week. The company say it will also work with the Brontë Society and Parsonage Museum to help bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire. Alex Hornby, Transdev’s managing director, said: “Along with the many things to see and do locally in Haworth and the surrounding area, the bus journey is an attraction in itself with amazing views across the Worth Valley. "We look forward to bringing more visitors into the area and contributing to the growth of the local economy even further.” Rebecca Yorke, marketing and communications officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: The Brontë Bus 500 between Keighley and Hebden Bridge has always been a great way for local residents and visitors to travel to the museum, particularly as part of the route offers such fantastic views of the moors that inspired the Brontës’ famous novels.
“We’re delighted Transdev has decided to rename it the Brontë Bus, especially as we approach our celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth next year." (Miran Rahman)

Haworth 1940s weekend 16-17 may

To celebrate Haworth 1940s weekend, we are offering an insight into life at the Parsonage during the wartime years.

Visitors can meet Mrs Mitchell, wife of Custodian Harold Mitchell, and hear about the life of their young son Eric, the last child to be born in the Parsonage, and his 1940s childhood.

Visitors will also have the chance to see our special 1940s display which features a copy of the original screenplay for the 1943 film adaptation of Jane Eyre along with stills and other memorabilia from the 1940s Brontë films.

donderdag 30 april 2015

Makers of multi-million pound new Bronte film preparing to cast actors to play the remaining members of the famous literary family

THE producers of a major new film about the Bronte family say they soon hope to make further progress on casting actors for the key remaining roles. The film, called The Brontes, is being made by Yorkshire-based Clothworkers Films, and is due to be released in April next year.
Actors’ roles are being chosen by casting director Sarah Leung.
One of the actors announced so far is Matthew Lewis, who will play Branwell Bronte. Mr Lewis is well known for playing the part of Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. Director David Anthony Thomas said he was expecting the rest of the selection process to be complete “within the next few months".
“A lot depends on the dynamics and interplay between the Brontes, both as family members and as chief protagonists, so that's where we've been focusing so far,” he said. “The cast will be announced upon the completion of the casting process. “The level of interest and anticipation has far surpassed our expectations, and it's unusual for a project at an early stage of development to achieve this level of excitement. “It is very encouraging, and we look forward to building on this as we release more news over the coming months. We will be sharing our work with the thousands who've been following our progress so far.” keighleynews

Haworth 1940s weekend

Letters from Charlotte Brontë to Prof. Constantin Heger

 In 1842 Charlotte and Emily Brontë travelled to Brussels to study at the Pensionnat Heger, a school for young ladies run by Madame Zoë Heger. There the sisters studied French literature under the instruction of Madame’s husband, Constantin Heger. This connection with the dynamic and rigorous Monsieur Heger had the most profound influence on Charlotte Brontë’s life and work.  After Charlotte left the pensionnat on New Year’s Day 1844 she was unable to forget Monsieur Heger. At first she wrote to him every fortnight and then, on Madame Heger’s insistence, she attempted to limit herself to a letter every six months. These letters to Constantin Heger are increasingly unguarded expressions of her torment as she waited for replies that dwindled and then halted altogether.

What language are the letters written in? 

All four surviving letters to Heger are written in French – the language in which he tutored Charlotte – though the post script to the last letter she ever sent him is in English. In her parting words to Heger, she declares that the French language is ‘most precious to me because it reminds me of you – I love French for your sake with all my heart and soul’. Biographer Lyndall Gordon and scholar Sara Dudley Edwards have speculated that writing in a foreign language allowed Brontë the licence to express feelings that she mightn’t have voiced in her native English.

Why were the letters torn up and repaired? 

Of the four remaining letters, three were torn up. The first has been mended with strips of paper; the second and third have been sewn back together; the fourth is intact, though the name and address of a Brussels shoemaker has been scribbled in the margin. Critics have speculated that Monsieur Heger tore up the letters, only for Madame Heger to retrieve them from his wastepaper bin and piece them together again.

woensdag 29 april 2015

‘I’ll walk where my own nature will be leading’

Poem Emily Bronte
Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians

Discover 1,200 Romantic and Victorian literary treasures, new insights by 60 experts, 25 documentary films, 30 inspirational teachers’ notes and more. Discovering Literature has been supported since its inception by Dr Naim Dangoor CBE, The Exilarch's Foundation

From: .bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians
So when thinking about Wuthering Heights, we should not see it as a novel that simply depicts or belongs to the moors. The final stanza of one of the Brontës’ most celebrated poems (we do not know if it was written Emily or Charlotte) begins ‘I’ll walk where my own nature will be leading’. It is concerned with both an essential human ‘nature’ and an absolute freedom that goes beyond any particular place or time. The speaker’s deep sense of embodiedness and place is seamed with the hope of radical freedom. At the very end of Wuthering Heights, a little shepherd boy who is ‘crying terribly’ tells Nelly that he has seen the dead Heathcliff and Cathy ‘walk’ on the moors (ch. 34). It confirms how they remain simultaneously deeply identified with the landscape and sinister and alien presences within it. Their own deep sense of belonging to the moors is a source of terror and estrangement for others. Belonging is the way not to belong. - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/walking-the-landscape-of-wuthering-heights#sthash.vImHr8hH.dpuf

Violent Seizures and Lexic

Violent Seizures and Lexic

 A recent thesis and a paper published in a recent conference:

Privately deviant, publicly disciplined: the violent seizure of female narratives in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Woman in White, and Lady Audley’s Secret
Amanda K. Hand, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2015

In Victorian England, women were subjects within their patriarchal society. What Anne Brontë, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon emphasize and “sensationalize” is the subjugated marriage relationship, violently portraying men forcing their wives into submission. Brontë’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Collin’s The Woman in White, and Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret provide examples of men attempting to control the women in their lives. These novels deploy moments of violent seizure to dramatize and critique the inequalities inherent in the strict Victorian marriage laws. However, despite this usurpation of the female narrative, the insurgent testimony of the female voice persists in the mind of the reader. This thesis will examine the Sensation genre, focusing on the female narratives within the three novels. It will argue that the female narrative cannot be shut out or stifled. Once it has been released into the world, it must evoke power and create a culture of change.
The Lexical Characteristics of Jane EyreLiu Chunling
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
2015 International Conference on Social Science and Technology Education (ICCSTE 2015)
Atlantis Press
ISBN:  978-94-62520-60-8
  Jane Eyre is a famous masterpiece of Charlotte Brontë. The novel’s literary achievement is immortal, especially the brilliant language. The description not only brings readers aesthetic pleasure but also hint the fate and emotion of characters. Charlotte’s original description forming a colorful picture makes Jane’s image more perfect and vivid and drives readers to search more for the beauty of the novel and the life. Moreover, Charlotte endows words with indefinite sense and deep connotation. This thesis aims to explore the lexical characteristics on the theory of linguistics.

zaterdag 25 april 2015

I’m working to help diversify membership and bring on younger members - local, regional, national and international - who are all crucial to the future of the Brontë Society.”

 The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the goings-on within the ranks of the Brontë

Society.Campaigners pushing for the modernisation of the Brontë Society are standing for election to the organisation’s ruling council. The controversial campaign’s two leaders are among those responding to the society’s call for new blood to fill a ‘skills gap’ on the council. Success for John Thirlwell and Janice Lee could help drive through far-reaching changes to the way that both the literary society and Brontë Parsonage Museum is run.  Also standing for the ruling council is Haworth vicar, the Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith, who hopes the society will do more to attract tourists to the village.  The Haworth-based Brontë Society, which runs the museum, recently relaxed its rules governing council membership to help fill a shortfall in nominations.  It is understood that at least five of the 12 council members are due to stand down on the annual meeting in June.
Mr Thirlwell this week warned that whoever was elected, it was vital the new-look council responded to concerns raised by the modernisers.  He said key to this would be the findings of a review, currently being carried out, into the structure and governance of the Brontë Society.
Mr Thirlwell said: “The agreement was that we would see the report before going to the annual general meeting in June, so we can have some sensible debate about how the Brontë Society should operate. “The museum should be a separate entity with a trust running it. We’re hoping the review will give us a way to put a new structure in place. “We’ve had a lot of support from the people of Haworth saying ‘let’s get the society to work with local people, so that Haworth gains from this literary history’.” Mr Mayo-Smith, priest in charge at Haworth Parish Church, hopes to bring his past business experience to the council if he is elected.  He also believes Haworth is failing to the most of its tourism potential, and wants the Brontë Parsonage Museum to pack a “harder punch”.
A spokesman for the Brontë Society said a sufficient number of members had put their names forward by April 11, the deadline for nominations, and the aim was to ensure the council had the “best possible skill set”. The spokesman said membership numbers had risen since the beginning of the year.  Bonnie Greer, president of the Brontë Society: “It’s great that new members are coming forward to join council and we hope that any new members on the Brontë Society Council will continue the work and dedication of the present one.”  “I’m working to help diversify membership and bring on younger members - local, regional, national and international - who are all crucial to the future of the Brontë Society.” (David Knights)

donderdag 23 april 2015

Yorkshire Census Case Study

Read all: yorkshirecensus/bronte
All three are to be found on the 1841 census, but Emily died of tuberculosis in 1848 and Anne of an unknown illness a year later, and only Charlotte appears, back in Haworth, on the 1851. She died in 1855, having revealed her true identity as the author of Jane Eyre only a few years previously.
With that information in hand, I set out to look for their census records in the Yorkshire 1841 & 1851 Census CD sets from British Data Archive.

Charlotte Brontë on www.TheGenealogist.co.uk by doing a search under the 1841 Yorkshire census transcripts, and immediately found her. I decided to view an image of the census record (see the excerpt below) and found her to be living at Upper Road House. The search results informed me that I could also find this record on the CD set (CD 28, HO107 / 1313 / 7, folio 13).
The other two sisters, Emily and Anne. I searched for Emily first, again on www.TheGenealogist.co.uk, loaded up the census image, and found her living at Parsonage House with her sister Anne and their father Patrick. The search results showed me that I could also find this record on the CD set (CD21, HO107/1295/6/, Folio 41).

woensdag 22 april 2015

His imagination was the spark that fired many of their childhood games and early writing.

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Parsonage, said: “Branwell’s poetry was published before any work by Charlotte, Emily and Anne and the Brontë Society believes his bicentenary deserves to be commemorated along with those of his sisters.
“Equally importantly, he was a creative leading light amongst the Brontë siblings, and his imagination was the spark that fired many of their childhood games and early writing.” Read all: yorkshirepost

Keighley News has an article on Charlotte Brontë's birthday celebrations yesterday.

Keighley News has an article on Charlotte Brontë's birthday celebrations yesterday.

A BBC crew is in Haworth today only hours before the launch of a major Brontë celebration.
Plans for a five-year-long festival to mark the Bronte siblings' 200th birthdays will be launched tonight at the house in Thornton where most of them were born. Coincidentally, One Show presenter Cerys Matthews is making a short film about the youngest sister, Anne Bronte. The Brontë200 festival, masterminded by the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will last five years.
It will begin next year with Charlotte’s 200th anniversary, followed by Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020. The Brontë Society also plans to commemorate the siblings' father Patrick Brontë in 2019, 200 years after he was invited to take up the parson’s role in Haworth.
The launch party, being held on the same day as Charlotte Bronte's 199th birthday, is at Emily’s, in Thornton. It is hosted jointly by proprietor Marc de Luca and staff from the the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Guests at the party will hear how the Brontë Society intends to ‘bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire’ through a series of events, exhibitions and partnership projects. [...]
Matthew Withey, chairman of the Brontë Society Bicentenary Committee, said: “The bicentenaries of the Brontë siblings provide a tremendous opportunity for the Brontë Society to celebrate the legacy of the Brontës across the globe.” There will be a website, bronte200.org, which will serve as a hub for all events and activities connected to the Bicentennial programme. (David Knights)

The Record features the Haworth Municipal Library... in New Jersey

John S. Sauzade, an Englewood-based lawyer and railroad financier, came to own much of the land around a railroad station in northern New Jersey in the years leading up to 1872, the directory said. Sauzade, the author of at least two novels, admired the work of Charlotte Brontë, the author of “Jane Eyre,” the directory noted, so he named his railroad station and the surrounding land “Haworth” in her memory.
“I’m sure the Brontë sisters would have totally approved of our support for a library in the ‘new world,’Ÿ” John Huxley, the chairman of the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, explained in an email. “You never know,” he added, “we might be asking them for help someday!” (Nicholas Pugliese) Read all the article: bronteblog

dinsdag 21 april 2015

Today is Charlotte Brontë's 199 birthday

An important press release by the Brontë Society. The first clues of what will be the 2016 Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary:

We often have visitors to the Museum who tell us that they were named after one of the
Brontë sisters, so we thought it would be fascinating to find women of all ages called
Charlotte who share her birthday.  We are asking Charlottes born on or near 21st April to
contact us at seekingcharlotte@bronte.org.uk so that we can invite them to share our
celebrations in 2016.”

To support the bicentenary programme, the Society is developing a dedicated website
www.bronte200.org which will serve as a hub for all events and activities connected to the
programme and a Brontë200 logo which will be available for use by other organisations
wishing to celebrate the bicentenaries.
Read all:
Brontë 200

vrijdag 17 april 2015

April is Charlotte’s month and we will be celebrating her 199th birthday at the museum on Tuesday. (April 21

SPRING has truly sprung in Haworth and the museum has welcomed lots of visitors over the Easter holiday. Our events and activities continue to be popular with families, and people of all ages enjoyed encountering Tabby - the Brontë family’s servant - and Charlotte’s friend Ellen Nussey during their visit. April is Charlotte’s month and we will be celebrating her 199th birthday at the museum on Tuesday. (April 21) Visitors to the museum on that day will have the opportunity to meet our collections manager, Ann Dinsdale, in the library and get a close-up view of some of Charlotte’s personal possessions. Sessions will be held at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm and will be free with admission to the museum. Places will be limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure not to time your visit too late!

We have a busy weekend in the run up to Charlotte’s birthday.
Tomorrow at 7.30pm, William Atkins, author of The Moor: Life, Landscape, Literature will be giving a talk at West Lane Baptist Centre in Haworth. The book is described as a mixture of history, literary criticism and nature writing, and Haworth Moor has a starring role! The event is part of our Contemporary Arts Programme and tickets cost £6.

On Saturday one of our museum assistants, Charissa Hutchins, is staging an opera concert at the Old School Rooms in Haworth. Charissa and other young professional opera singers will perform some light opera classics before giving a rare presentation of the final act of Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Bronte Society and tickets costing £7 (£5 concessions) can be ordered via charissa_bronte@outlook.com. On Sunday you can join Ann Dinsdale for cream tea at historic Ponden Hall, thought by many to be the inspiration for Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights. Ann will be sharing the latest news from the museum in what is sure to be a real treat of an event. More information can be found at ponden-hall.co.uk. And finally, back to Charlotte’s birthday.

This year will mark 199 years since her birth in Thornton, which means that 2016 will be a very significant year for the Brontë Society.
Next year will see the commencement of a five-year programme celebrating the bicentenaries of all the Brontë siblings: Charlotte in 2016; Branwell in 2017; Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.
During 2019, the Brontë Society will be celebrating Patrick Brontë and his role in the parish of Haworth. It’s a very busy and exciting time for everyone at the museum and we will be working with some very interesting partners over the next five years, so if you aren’t already on our mailing list, be sure to sign up soon! To launch the countdown to the Charlotte’s bicentenary, we are hosting a celebration at 6pm on Tuesday at her Thornton birthplace, now Emily’s by De Luca Boutique.
This will be a very special occasion and we will be unveiling some of our plans for 2016 and beyond. Visit our website bronte.org.uk for full details and booking information. keighleynews

woensdag 15 april 2015

Happy birthday Maria Bronte

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Maria Branwell, mother to the six Bronte children. We're sure she would have been very proud of this quilt sewn by Charlotte, Emily and Anne. It's too fragile to be displayed but staff have been fortunate enough to have a rare glimpse of it in the Library this morning. facebook./photos Facebook page of the parsonage.
Maria Branwell (15 April 1783 – 15 September 1821) was the mother of British writers Emily Brontë, Anne Brontë and Charlotte Brontë, and of their brother, Branwell Brontë, who was a poet and painter.[1]
Maria was the eighth of eleven children of Thomas Branwell and Anne Carne of Penzance, Cornwall, born April 15, 1783. Her father was a prosperous merchant with extensive property holdings in the town, and the family was involved in local politics as well as trade, Maria's brother Benjamin serving as the town's Mayor in 1809. The Branwells and Carnes were leading members of the Wesleyan Methodist community in Penzance cornwall-calling/methodism, and the Branwells were instrumental in building the town's first purpose-built Wesleyan chapel in 1814...
Maria was petite, plain, pious, intelligent and well-read with a ready wit. She made friends easily, and the friends she had made from Thornton remained life-long friends to Patrick and his children. Her only extant written work, apart from letters, is the unpublished tract The Advantages of Poverty In Religious Concerns. bronte.//family-and-friends/mrs-bronte
Maria, let us walk, and breathe, the morning air,
And hear the cuckoo sing,-
And every tuneful bird, that woos the gentle spring.
Troughout the budding grove,
Softly coos the turtle-dove,
The primrose pale,
perfumes the gale
The modest daisy, and the violet blue,
Inviting, spread their charms for you.

15 april 1813
 Patrick Bronte for Maria Branwell

Parsonage needs to pack a “harder punch”

The Yorkshire Post resumes the story of the Brontë Society's inner debate.

A film-maker and a retired deputy headteacher are planning to help “modernise” a Yorkshire literary society by taking on unpaid leadership roles - just six months after they were branded “agitators”.
John Thirlwell, a film producer/director, and Janice Lee, a former deputy head, are seeking election to the ruling council of the Brontë Society.The pair, who both live in Yorkshire, hit the headlines last year when they and 50 disgruntled members forced an extraordinary general meeting of the Society after claiming it had “lost its way” In September they called on the ruling council to step aside “to bring greater levels of professionalism and experience to the Society.""They said the Society needed fresh, modernising leadership to replace those who were “micro-managing” the Brontë Parsonage Museum, owned by the Society. In October they were criticised by outgoing chairman Christine Went as “agitators” who were “behaving irresponsibly” in seeking power for themselves.
Six months later Mr Thirlwell and Mrs Lee are seeking election to the ruling council. It is understood that at least five of the 12 council members are due to stand down at the annual meeting in June.
And it now emerged that the Brontë Society was so worried about a lack of Council nominees that it took legal advice on relaxing the rules to allow people to stand after being members for less than two years. A message to members on April 2 said “exceptional circumstances” had arisen as “an insufficient number of nominations have been received and a skills gap has been identified.”
The message added: “If this situation is left unaddressed and further nominations are not received, this would mean that the minimum number of trustees would not be reached which would lead to a breach of the charity’s articles which must be avoided if at all possible.” Mr Thirlwell said that, if elected, he wanted to “support innovation” in telling the Brontë story. “We have a fantastic story but maybe we are missing out some of the newer ways of telling it.” Also standing is Peter Mayo-Smith, priest in charge at Haworth Parish Church, who has a background in business and believes Haworth is failing to make the most of its tourism potential. “The more tourists we have, the greater the income it generates for the area. An awful lot of my parishioners get their income through tourism.”
He said Parsonage needed to pack a “harder punch”. Opening up nominations to newer members would “throw up a lot more talent,” he believes. A spokeswoman for the Brontë Society said a sufficient number of members had put their names forward by Saturday April 11, the deadline for nominations. “Relaxing the two year membership rule allows the Society to ensure Council has the best possible skill set,” she added. “It has been done before, even as recently as 2012 and this was the reason for the extension in this instance.” The spokeswoman said membership numbers had risen since the beginning of the year “and we expect this trend to continue as we move towards the bicentenaries next year.” Bonnie Greer, President of the Brontë Society: “It’s great that new members are coming forward to join Council and we hope that any new members on the Brontë Society Council will continue the work and dedication of the present one.”m She said the Council “saw the need to refresh its skill base.” Ms Greer added: “I’m working to help diversify membership and bring on younger members
. bronteblog

woensdag 8 april 2015

Castration, Moral Management and Self-Discovery

Pre- Oedipal Lucy Snowe: Isis Unbound Over Castrated Male Body
Onur Ekler
Electronic International Journal of Education, Arts, and Science,  Vol 1, No 1,  77-84 (2015)

Illegible Minds: Charlotte Brontë’s Early Writings and the Psychology of Moral Management in Jane Eyre and Villette
Beth Tressler
Studies in the Novel, Volume 47, Number 1, Spring 2015, pp. 1-19

Lucy’s Quest for Self-discoveryKevser Ates
Electronic International Journal of Education, Arts, and Science,  Vol 1, No 1,  55-61 (2015)

Read more: Castration, Moral Management and Self-Discovery

zaterdag 4 april 2015

Haworth History Tour

Amberley Publishing has just published a new book about Haworth:
Haworth History Tour
Steven Wood, Ian Palmer
Amberley Publishing
ISBN: 9781445646275
168 x 124 mm | Paperback | 96 pages | 120 illustrations | February 2015

Haworth is a picturesque Pennine village that is now famed for the Brontë family and the steam railway. Behind the tourist village of today lies a long history of people making a living from the uncompromising moorland of this area. Haworth History Tour takes the reader on a journey through the many changes the village has undergone in its long history. While some areas will seem relatively unchanged, many are now unrecognisable. The curious and nostalgic alike will delight in uncovering or rediscovering the roots of Haworth with the help of this wonderfully illustrated guide.

BBC News celebrates the London Letters Live season with a Charlotte Brontë letter:
In celebration of London's Letters Live season, BBC Newsnight invited actress Louise Brealey to read a letter written by Charlotte Brontë following the loss of her sister Emily.
It was composed on Christmas day 1848, six days after the Wuthering Heights author's death, in response to a letter from publisher W S Williams.

vrijdag 3 april 2015

Charlotte Bronte in Brussels

In Villette then, Miss Bronte pictures Lucy Snowe's arrival  in Brussels much as it occurred to herself on her second visit. Now let us follow her, step by step " for the first time " to her predestined home. " Having left behind us the miry Chaussee "hat is to say, the Chaussec de Gand " the diligence rattled over the pavement, passed through the Porte de Flandre, and stopped at the bureau. Hence Dr. John Bretton courteously conducted Miss Snowe along the boulevards, on foot, through darkness, fog, and rain, past the Alice Verte " at that time "

almost a civic pleasaunce, referred to in The Professor^ but now an arid waste of sand and stone, a mere eastern quay to the Canal de Willebroeck " until by the Rue Ducale or the Rue de la Loi the north-east gate of the Park was reached, and the park " crossed " to an opening into the Rue Royale opposite the Montagne du Pare, which descends to the Lower Town. Here her guide left her, after having instructed her how to reach a decent inn by descending the Belliard steps.It has been supposed that this would in reality have been too long a walk; but in the author's eyes it must have been a mere ramble, for in The Professor the newly affianced Crims worth and Frances Henri celebrate their engagement by making *' a tour of the city by the Boulevards " " a jaunt of twice the distance which tired the lady but *'a little." Lucy's progress from this point to the Pensionnat has created some difficulty in readers' minds, yet it is clear enough. Misunderstanding her instructions, she missed the Belliard steps ' to the Rue d'Isabelle, wherein, at its junction with the Rue des Douze Apotres and the Rue de la Chancellerie was supposed to stand the inn of ' The opening in the Rue Royale would not reveal to the passer-by, particularly at night-time, the existence of the Belliard steps, because the head of the stairway is masked by the pedestal of the General's statue. forgottenbooks


Rue Ducale 13 – the house where Zoë Parent died

Late in the evening of 9 January 1890, Claire Zoë Parent (b.1804) passed away at Rue Ducale 13, suffering from double pneumonia. In the Brussels Brontë story, she holds a prominent role of course, as directrice of the Rue d'Isabelle pensionnat which Charlotte and Emily attended in 1842–43, and as part model for the characters of Madame Beck (Villette) and Zoraïde Reuter (The Professor) in Charlotte's novels.

In May 1889, Zoë and her husband, Constantin Heger, accompanied by their daughter Louise, left Rue d’Isabelle for Rue Ducale 13. Their new home was a three-storied, neoclassical maison particulière, modest in size compared to other, more palatial houses on the street, but no less elegant. They had not bought their new house, they were only renting it out. Doubtless it was an expensive place to rent, but at this stage the Hegers were a relatively prosperous middle-class family, and were well able to permit themselves some luxury. After Zoë's death, Heger and his daughter remained at Rue Ducale until June 1892, before moving to Rue Montoyer 72 in the nearby Quartier Leopold.
For anyone looking for Rue Ducale 13 today, there is a surprise in store. As one goes along Rue Ducale from the Royal Palace towards Rue Zinner, the house numbers pass from 11 to 15, with no number 13 in between. Yet, with the help of some Brussels City Archives documents, this missing number can be explained. During the period 1892–1912, houses 9, 11, and 13, owned by the Comte t'Kint de Roodenbeke, underwent a series of transformations. As a result, house number 13 was incorporated into number 11. The number 13 was formally cancelled by Brussels City authorities with effect from 28 January 1913. Read more: brusselsbronte




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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