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

vrijdag 24 juni 2016

Neighbours of the Brontes.

Read all of the interesting article of Nick Holland on: Anne Bronte

Looking further around Haworth we find hundreds of other names, some of them familiar to Brontë fans and some ghosts from the past: John Feather, manufacturer; William Garnett, innkeeper; James Hudson, shoe maker; Thomas Parker, overlooker of power loom; Joseph Mosley, clock maker; Zilla Wright, worsted maker; Ellis Hird, wool comber; John Winterbottom, Baptist minister; Tabitha Aykroyd (staying with her sister Susanna Wood and listed as ‘independent’, and incidentally one of three unrelated ‘Tabitha Aykroyd’s living in Haworth at that time); William Wood, joiner and cabinet maker (and also the nephew of Tabby and the coffin maker who commented on how thin Emily Brontë’s coffin was); Enoch Thomas, innkeeper of the King’s Arms (friend of Branwell, and also at one time innkeeper of the Black Bull); Mary Whitaker, pauper. These are people who would have come into contact with the Brontës regularly, whether at the church or whilst walking through the streets, but of course they would little have guessed at their hidden talents, and could never imagine how they would put their village on the map for ever.

The shops that we see on Haworth Main Street today were at the time mainly housing, although there were stores such as Barraclough’s ironmongers and Hartley’s grocery. When looking through the census the thing that strikes us is how many of the residents are employed in the wool industry, either as worsted makers, combers, weavers or bobbin makers. These people lived mainly in an area called Piccadilly, or the Pick, and it rapidly became an unhealthy slum with large families living in one room that was always kept warm to aid the wool combing process. The tightly packed houses of the 1840s  that made up the Pick are gone now and have been replaced by modern housing and a new health centre. Even so, you can see where it stood by looking through the archway that lies across from the Black Bull Inn known as gauger’s croft.

John Feather

boards.ancestry/John Feather.  John was a worsted manufacturer in Keighley and employed at least 20 workers.

William Garnett

oldwhitelionhotel William Garnett bought the White Lion in the 1820s and ran it for about twenty years. He died in 1859 after a long retirement and is buried in St. Michael’s churchyard nearby


Effectively the family of Joseph Greenwood (1786–1856), second son of James Greenwood Sr of Bridgehouse, who acquired, or perhaps was given, Springhead Mill when quite young. Though he did not remain in the cotton trade long, letting the mill from 1822 onwards, he remained a strong force in Haworth until the early 1850s, and one that usually worked contrary to the interests of his own brothers. He became an Anglican, a church land trustee, and a Tory, and was thus a natural supporter of Patrick Brontë on most, but not all, issues (he supported Richard Butterfield’s petition to annul elections to the local Board of Health, a move that was a grievous set-back to the cause of sanitary reform). Patrick went to great lengths in the mid-1830s to have him made a magistrate, eventually succeeding in June 1836. The basis of Joseph Greenwood’s local power was land and presumably rent from his mill, which was let to the Merralls. In 1853 he and his sons went bankrupt, and he moved to Utley, near Keighley. Branwell mentioned the elder son disrespectfully in a letter to John Brown in 1840, calling William Greenwood “Prince William at Springhead” (described as “fat”) and ridiculing his “godly” friend Parson Winterbottom, minister of the West Lane (not the Hall Green of the other Greenwoods) Baptist Church at that time, suggesting William may have reverted to a branch of the family’s old faith.  blackwellreference

dinsdag 14 juni 2016

Angry rows sour Judi Dench's Bronte Society yet again

After trying to put the simmering tensions between traditionalists and modernisers behind them, following a string of resignations that included president Bonnie Greer after last year’s AGM, the warring factions soon re-emerged at yesterday’s gathering in West Yorkshire.
The members of the world’s oldest literary society, whose new president is Dame Judi Dench, who was absent due to filming commitments, were stunned to be told another five guiding lights of the organisation had stepped down from the governing council since Christmas. In a further blow, staff from the Bronte Museum in Haworth, who had formed a senior management committee to help run the society because it was so light on trustees, have also quit. As a result they have handed management duties back to the council. Members have accused the council of acting like the Stasi in the way they have compiled lists of regulations for the society to make it more inclusive. A woman in the audience shouted: “When I read all these rules and regulations I felt like I had come into the Stasi. We need fresh air and openness.” New chairman John Thirlwell was clearly rattled as he tried to present his report to the meeting held in a Baptist Hall across the road from the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. When interrupted by one member he snapped back: “I’m just trying to deliver my report, if that’s all right with you.” There were then furious exchanges as members fought to be heard over each other, with society bosses threatening to expel the protesters. Alexandra Lesley, who quit as chairman after only six months in the post, was determined to be heard, with a man supporting her screaming, “let her finish” over and over. Vice president Patsy Stoneman, who was chairing the meeting in Dame Judi’s absence, told the man: “If you continue in this manner I will ask you to leave the room. I’m in charge of this meeting.” Members were aghast at the sheer number of resignations and wanted to know why people had stepped down. They were unimpressed by the reply from the platform: “You will just have to ask them.” Member Richard Wilcox said: “I’m looking at this big swathe of resignations and wondering why is this? “Why have so many people resigned? It’s not entirely a mystery but can we have an explanation?” There were also cries that the new council had been elected to find a “harmonious way forward” but had instead “presided over a catastrophe”.
Mr Thirlwell said the resignations had been for a number of different reasons. He said: “It knocked us back but we rallied. I was very sorry indeed to see some of these people resign.” When it was found a journalist working for the Sunday Express, who is a member of the society, was present at the meeting a vote was held to exclude him. Treasurer the Rev Peter MayoSmith said his presence represented a “conflict of interests” and the meeting was private. Members voted 56 to 46 for him to stay. The Bronte Society was established in 1893 and opened its museum in 1895.
It is open to all those with an interest in the lives and works of the Bronte sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte. express/angry-rows-Bronte-Society

zondag 12 juni 2016

To Write Invisible – The Brontë Lecture

Interesting article from Nick Hollands weblog Anne Bronte

Yesterday, I attended the annual lecture at the Brontë Society summer festival, this time delivered by acclaimed biographer of Charlotte Brontë, Claire Harman. The venue, Haworth’s large and impressive Hall Green Baptist Church, was packed to the rafters, so much so that I had to take a seat on the upper balcony. There were initial microphone problems, and at one pound a battering noise on the door as if somebody was trying to break in (reminiscent of Cathy at the window of Wuthering Heights), but Claire carried on like the professional she is and delivered a very interesting lecture. Read on: Anne Bronte

zaterdag 11 juni 2016

And more beautiful photographes.

A few images taken on the Main Street set for "To Walk Invisible". Shops in the Bronte sisters time.

Pictures from
The Brontës knew a village that was a scene of constant building activity: new houses and shops were always in the course of construction and old houses were replaced by new.
In the time of the Brontës it had booksellers, grocers, tailors, drapers, a clockmaker and surgeons.  Around the miniature square at the church steps (8) were an apothecary, a wine and spirit merchant, an ironmonger (who doubled as a postmaster), a temperance hotel and four inns (the Black Bull, the Old White Lion, the Cross, and the King’s Arms).  In among these businesses were more humble trades: many boot and clog makers, a blacksmith and joiners, plasterers and stone masons.   Many of the buildings on Main Street were built as shops, with large display windows – some with handsome stone surrounds – to attract customers.  The village had a Cooperative Society with a shop, once in the central ‘square’ but later further down Main Street, where its premises, built in 1897, proudly display the inscription ‘Haworth Industrial Cooperative Society Limited Central Stores’ (15).  The village also had a branch of the Yorkshire Penny Bank, which opened in 1860 and by 1894 had moved to what is now the Visitor Information Centre (7), adding the prominent turret on the older building to proclaim its importance. In the time of the Brontës, Haworth was very much a working village.  The main industry was the production of worsted yarn and cloth: worsteds were fine cloths using long-fibre wool.  The work was mainly carried out in factories: the biggest in Haworth was Bridgehouse Mills (24), on the Bridgehouse Beck in the valley below the village. Haworth - Historic England

When Mrs. S. A. J. Moore died in August, 1950, a link with a family closely associated with the Brontës was snapped. She was the grand-daughter of John Greenwood, the Haworth stationer who supplied the Brontë sisters with the notepaper which they used for their voluminous writings. Mrs. Moore's mother, Mrs. Jane Ellen Widdop, often came into contact with the Brontës when she was a little girl. tandfonline

Originally a woolcomber, John Greenwood became the stationer and bookseller from whom the Brontës obtained their writing paper. oxfordindex

Barraclough's first shop in Haworth was opposite the Black Bull Inn, at the top of the main street. It is claimed that amongst others who stopped to peer into the shop window was the Revd.Patrick Bronte. Read more: archiver.rootsweb.ancestry/BARRACLOUGH/



See how Haworth's Main Street was transported back to 1840s for a new BBC drama

HAWORTH'S most visited street has been transformed to resemble the way it looked in the 1840s as part of a major new BBC drama about the Bronte Family. The team responsible for To Walk Invisible has been busy installing replica 19th century style shopfronts and laying compost down on the street to make it look bleaker and grubbier. Preparation work on Main Street began late last month but the "set dressing" intensified last week. A section of the street was then closed to both vehicles and pedestrians from Monday and will reopen at 7pm on Thursday. The closure will allow filming to take place between the Post Office and Croft Street. Several shops have temporarily closed and will re-open at the end of this week. Traffic diversions have been put in place, with pedestrian routes between the upper and lower parts of Main Street signposted.

To Walk Invisible has been written and directed by Yorkshire woman Sally Wainwright and is due to be shown by the BBC at Christmas. Main Street trader Simon Packham, whose shop And Chocolate has been made to look like an 1840s ironmonger's, said he was deeply impressed by what the set makers have achieved. "I'm amazed by the work they've done here, it's incredible," he added.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing this screened." thetelegraphandargus

donderdag 9 juni 2016

You have to use your imagination here.

First is Tony's book shop (the old Cobbles and Clay), all local produce;
Then there is Daisy Days like you have never seen it, purveyors of fine meats;
Next along, and the only shop with a vague hint of familiarity, is my chocolate shop, er, ironmongers;...
and finally, bright turquoise window frames extinguished, is Catkins, stationers;

The film crew really have done an amazing job here. Even if you saw the changes over the weekend, the transformation today has been fantastic.

I think the only thing left is for me to attempt some 'innocent' and surreptitious product placement amongst the rat traps and knife grinders. Don't tell Auntie Beeb

The Bronte Society Summer Festival 2016.

This weekend, from Friday 10th to Monday 13th June, marks the 2016 Brontë Summer Festival in Haworth. This annual event revolves around the Brontë Society conference, which this year will be held on Saturday at 2pm, but there’s a lot of other great events taking place as well for society members and members of the public alike.

Read more on Nick Holland's blog: annebronte

dinsdag 7 juni 2016

More shots from the wonderful To Walk Invisible film

andChocolate Haworth@andChocolateUK                           

Update on the goings-on in Haworth today.

Update on the goings-on in Haworth today. Our shop is now R. Lambert Chemist & Druggist! We feel so lucky to be a (small) part of this amazing film set for the BBC drama "To Walk Invisible" and have watched Main Street transform before our very eyes today! Filming starts tomorrow.


maandag 6 juni 2016

Haworth Main is now a film set under construction.

Rose & Co.
Haworth Main is now a film set under construction. Our shop will form part of the set, the only changes to the shop front will be to the sign as the shop is alr...eady so in keeping with the era! The people on our forecourt are busy making "groceries" for the set, and soil is being spread on the cobbles for a more authentic look. More pics to follow - remember we are closed - re-opening Friday.

Cobbles & Clay will re-open on Saturday 11 June 2016.

IMG_0387The BBC production team, who have been using the upstairs space at Cobbles & Clay for meetings over the past few months, have now started setting up for filming of of Sally Wainwright’s TV film drama about the Brontes ‘To Walk Invisible’, on Haworth’s Main Street.

Filming will take place 6-9 June 2016 which unfortunately means we have to close for a few days but we’re taking the opportunity to make some exciting changes to the café. Our cake fridge and produce deli will be moved closer to the entrance so that customers can get to them without blocking up the till area, and the coffee machine and till are being moved closer to the kitchen. We’re also creating extra seating downstairs, bringing in some new display shelving and adding a lick of paint.

We’re also very excited that our sister gift shop Daisy Days and the cellar of our old premises, which are further down Main Street, will be part of the 1840s set being created for the film. Until filming starts on 6 June, Main Street and all its shops are open as usual.

Also, beautiful photographes of  Mark Davis facebook/photo (click)

vrijdag 3 juni 2016

And white I had to buy and did buy to my own amazement.

Charlotte Brontë, early June 1854 (letter to Elizabeth Gaskell): “The wedding dress [which was made in Halifax] – I wholly decline the responsibility. It must be charged upon a sort of friendly compulsion or over-persuasion. Nothing would satisfy my friends but white, which I told you I would not wear. Accordingly the dressed me in white by way of trial – vowed away their consciences that nothing had ever suited me so well – and white I had to buy and did buy to my own amazement”

zondag 29 mei 2016

Poetry at the Parsonage festival of poetry and performance

On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July, in association with Word Club, the Brontë Society will be hosting its inaugural Poetry at the Parsonage festival of poetry and performance at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and nearby venues in Ha...worth, West Yorkshire. Acts will include Craig Bradley, Kate Fox, Helen Mort, James Nash, Winston Plowes, Genevieve Walsh and many, many more - showcasing the very best in contemporary poetry in Yorkshire. Marking the summer highpoint of our year-long celebrations to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the festival will be free-to-enter and filled with fun and frolics for all the family - a fitting tribute to a poet who, together with her sisters and brother, did so much to elevate this vibrant artform

dinsdag 24 mei 2016

Former Haworth employee now appearing in major new drama about Brontes visits her old workplace

Haworth-based company and is now part of a major new BBC production about the Brontes dropped in to visit former colleagues. Megan Parkinson, who is playing the part of Martha Brown in the BBC production To Walk Invisible, visited Airedale Springs.

WOMAN who worked for a
To Walk Invisible, written and directed by Sally Wainwright, is a drama about the Bronte family and is being filmed in Haworth over the next few weeks, including on Penistone Hill and in Main Street.

Megan, 19, a former South Craven School pupil, is originally from Silsden and worked for Airedale Springs in 2014 to 2015 before moving to London last year.


Haworth Main Street is being taken back to the 1840s.

Filming has started today up on the television set
An exciting start to the week, Haworth Main Street is being taken back to the 1840s and filming has commenced at the Bronte Parsonage television set.


BradfordCity of Film@bfdcityoffilm 23 mei Dartford, South East                      
Film set nearly finished in Haworth
Attention to the tiniest detail of the Brontë family's famous Haworth home has amazed and delighted local experts helping with the BBC project which starts filming on location this week.  An exact copy of the Parsonage, where the literary sisters wrote their world-famous works, is now complete on nearby Penistone Hill.  The three-story timber and MDF building will provide a perfect 1840s backdrop for the BBC TV drama, To Walk Invisible, created by award-winning Yorkshire writer and playwright Sally Wainwright, said Rebecca Yorke, marketing officer of the Parsonage Museum.
"Everyone here has been absolutely staggered by the BBC's attention to detail," she said.
"We were invited to studios in Manchester where they are filming interior scenes and it really was quite unnerving for us to be in this amazing replica.  "It was just like our own building down to the very last thing - only more "lived-in" and a bit scruffy as it would have been at the time.
"Our Parsonage is much more how it was after Charlotte had enjoyed some success and spent some money on it.  "Production staff spent ages with us to produce an exact copy of the building, even measuring flagstones to get them just right and have copied all the gravestones which are in place with all the words carved into them.  "Examples of other attention to detail are that they have got the right pet dogs, Flossie, a spaniel cross and Keeper, a mastiff type.  "And they have also made copies of the dog's original named collars - which is an incredible approach."  Collection manager at the Parsonage Ann Dinsdale said she was particularly impressed by the quality of costumes.
"It's going to look absolutely stunning, the dresses and clothes have been copied perfectly.  "The BBC has done a huge amount of research, even to the extent of producing manuscripts, letters and the portable writing desks which the sisters used, full of things like pen nibs, ink wells and blotting paper.  "They have even copied poetry manuscripts and Emily's little notebooks written tiny script," she said.  Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council's new chairman, Councillor Angel Kershaw, said everyone was looking forward to seeing the finished drama.  "It's fascinating to see all the work and all looks very good and so authentic.  "The producer came to talk to the parish council and said he would be happy to have local people involved as extras during the filming.  "Another thing is that when they've finished filming they've also promised to leave the site exactly as it was."
Faith Penhale, executive producer for Lookout Point - which is making the drama with the BBC, said: "It is such a treat to be able to film our drama about the Brontë sisters in and around Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters came from.  "Everyone has been so supportive and excited, which we all really appreciate." (Chris Tate) bronteblog/absolutely-staggered-by-bbcs-attention

Bronte sister's burial records go online.

BURIAL records for the youngest of Haworth's famous Bronte sisters are included in a new online archive. Family history website findmypast.co.uk has published for the first time more than 5.4 million Yorkshire registers, including births, deaths and marriages. The Yorkshire Digitisation project, launched two years ago, comprises scanned images of original handwritten registers and marks the final phase of a collection spanning the years 1538 to 1990. Anne Bronte can be found in the burial records for St Mary's Parish Church, in Scarborough. Read more: keighleynews

dinsdag 10 mei 2016

Haworth's Old School Room building to receive grant worth nearly £45,000

A MAJOR project to repair and refurbish one of Haworth's most valuable and historic buildings has received a welcome funding boost.
The Brontë Spirit Charity, which is in charge of the Old School Room, in Church Street, has today revealed that it will be able to carry out vital repairs to the landmark property thanks to a £44,873 grant from funding body WREN.

The money, awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund, will be used to fix the badly-leaking original roofs of the Patrick Brontë-inspired building. Averil Kenyon, chairman of The Brontë Spirit group, believes that once this work is complete, the fully restored facility will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.
She said: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Haworth and its visitors.
"It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we are really looking forward to finishing the very necessary repairs to the roofs at the west-end of the building.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Penny Beaumont, who is WREN’s grant manager for Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Haworth Old School Room Roof Repair Works project, and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many groups of people across Haworth.

"WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and we are looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”
Mrs Kenyon added that she hopes that the repairs to the old, battered Victorian-era roof will be completed before the start of next winter.

Located between Haworth Parish Church and the Brontë Parsonage Museum on Church Street, the grade II listed Old School Room is one of the most important parts of the village's literary heritage.
Originally built by Patrick Brontë in 1832 and used for teaching by all his famous children, it is an integral part of the Brontë family landscape and story.

Since 2011 the Old School Room has been managed by a small charity, The Brontë Spirit.
This is made up of local people whose aims are to conserve and maintain the building for future generations, and to build on the Old School Room's 184-years of service to the community.
At the end of last year Bradford Council approved an application to replace six windows on the northern side of the building with new, timber frame replica windows. keighleynews

maandag 9 mei 2016


Rough winter melts beneath the breeze of spring…
No man nor beasts to folds or firesides cling,
Nor hoar frosts whiten over field and tree;…
Now let us, cheerful, crown our heads with flowers,
Spring’s first fruits, offered to the newborn year,…

Extracts from To Sestius, Patrick Branwell Bronte
April in the garden has centred around Charlotte’s 200th birthday on the 21st of the month. Getting the garden ready for such a joyous occasion was a particular pleasure and it was also pleasing that the day was a fine, bright and sunny day.

One small event that excited Jenny and I most from the garden point of view was the planting ceremony in the rear garden of the gift of a standard rose generously donated by David Austin Roses in memory of Charlotte. It is actually a rose called ‘Crocus’ which we were able to choose ourselves. We thought this most apt for Charlotte with it being slightly understated, but a very pretty creamy white colour. We were thinking of her likeness to the ‘Little Snowdrop’ as she was described on her wedding day. Read all: bronte./april-in-the-parsonage-garden

Maria Branwell birth certificate.

Charlotte Bronte mother’s baptism from Madron 1783

donderdag 5 mei 2016

'A whispering of leaves and perfume of flowers' (Charlotte Bronte on EG's garden)

E Gaskell's House@GaskellsHouse 11 uur geleden                       
'A whispering of leaves and perfume of flowers' (Charlotte Bronte on EG's garden) on this beautiful spring morning!

zondag 1 mei 2016

Beautiful pictures of the grave of Anne Bronte.

What a beautiful and sweet picture of the grave of Anne Bronte

The pictures are taken by Sara Barrett
She writes: The weather wasn't too good but it's always nice to visit.

maandag 25 april 2016

The Bronte Sisters cast announced

Casting has been announced for the new two-hour BBC drama To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters about the personal lives of the Bronte family, written and directed by Sally Wainwright, creator of Happy Valley.

Scottish actress Chloe Pirrie will play Emily, author of the complex and ground-breaking Wuthering Heights

Finn Atkins will play the deeply ambitious Charlotte Bronte, who wrote the phenomenally successful Jane Eyre.

Irish actress Charlie Murphy, (represented by The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland, who also starred in Happy Valley and The Village, will play the determined and level-headed youngest sister Anne, the writer of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. 

Their brother Branwell, whose destructive behaviour threatens to tear his family apart, will be played by Adam Nagaitis.


donderdag 21 april 2016

I will collect all kinds of congratulations on the 200 celebrations/birthday of Charlotte Brontë.

I will collect all kinds of congratulations on the 200 celebrations/birthday of Charlotte Brontë,

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!
This beautiful cake, which will be delivered by conference organiser Eleanor Houghton later today, will be cut and served to delegates at our conference in Charlotte Bronte's honour on the 13th and 14th of May.

Parsonage looking beautiful - filled with thanks to

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!

Today, 21st April 2016, marks a very special day indeed – it’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most loved novelists: Charlotte Brontë. Celebrations will be taking place on all continents, and I myself will be having a slice of cake and a glass of bubbly in Haworth later today; it should be a birthday party to remember, and of course we’ll also be honouring Emily Brontë and our own dear Anne Brontë in 2018 and 2020 respectively. In today’s blog we’ll take a brief look at Charlotte’s life and at just why she’s so popular two centuries after her birth.
Historic England@HistoricEngland
Happy birthday Charlotte Brontë! Here are 7 buildings which witnessed her life
This was the birthplace of Maria and Patrick Brontë’s four youngest children, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. It was home to the Brontë family from 1815 when Patrick was curate at the church of St James in Thornton, until 1820 when the family moved to Haworth.

Happy 200th birthday, Charlotte Brontë!
Ponden Hall@PondenHall   

Hip hip hurrah!

(tweehonderdmaal) voor Charlotte Brontë, auteur van de klassieker Jane Eyre en de oudste van de drie schrijvende Brontë-zusjes. Zij werd tweehonderd jaar geleden geboren op 21 april 1816.

Brussel. Zicht op de Isabellastraat. Achteraan de Sint-Goedele. Het witte U-vormige gebouw (links) is het pensionaat Heger

Op 21 april is het tweehonderd jaar geleden zijn dat de Engelse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë geboren werd. De High Tea Birthday Party in Hotel Métropole op 24 april is misschien de gelegenheid om (over) Brontë te lezen.

The Brussels Brontë Group werkt samen met beeldhouwer Tom Frantzen (van onder andere Zinneke) aan een standbeeld van de zussen Charlotte en Emily in Brussel. Een ideale locatie ervoor zou Bozar zijn, waar het Pensionnat de Demoiselles Heger-Parent stond.

Happy birthday Charlotte!

getting ready for tea party
Portrait Gallery@NPGLondon
A pen and ink self-portrait by Charlotte Brontë , on the manuscript of her poem 'Sunrise'
Celebrating Charlotte's birthday with trusted apple and almond cake
Brontë Parsonage@BronteParsonage
Charlotte's cake baked by . It was delicious.


On this day in History, Charlotte Bronte born on Apr 21, 1816

On this day in History
 Charlotte Bronte born on Apr 21, 1816
200 years ago
The Brontës are remarkable for being three successful authors from one family. But, more remarkably, Charlotte, Emily and Anne were all women who were successful at a time when women didn't have much freedom, either at home or in society. I have always loved their novels which are full of strong female characters who challenge the social conventions of their time. And I can still see their impact today through writers, musicians and film-makers who are continually inspired by them.
But were they really feminist pioneers in their own lifetimes? And what did they really do for women? Read  more: bbc
Celebrations  for Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary will be taking place across the world, but here's our guide to what's happening in Haworth ...
The Old School Room, Haworth, 11am - 4pm
Charlotte's Birthday Party

We're throwing a party for Charlotte and everyone is invited! There will be tea, birthday cake and a few surprises, so please come along and help us celebrate.

We'll be joined by pupils from Haworth Primary School, who will perform early scenes from Jane Eyre and during the afternoon we'll have music from local performers Charlotte Jones and Eddie Lawler, also known as the Bard of Saltaire.

Members of Otley Cycling Club will be riding between Thornton and Haworth with a floral tribute, which will be laid in the Parsonage Garden at approximately 1pm.  Rev Peter Mayo-Smith will lead the proceedings and there will be a reading by our 2016 creative partner Tracy Chevalier.

Artist Julia Ogden will help visitors make a birthday card for Charlotte and there will also be the opportunity to learn more about the Bronte Society.

At 2.45pm Great British Bake Off contestant Sandy Docherty will present a cake baked especially for the occasion and at 4pm a rose bush (kindly donated by David Austin Roses) will be planted in Charlotte's honour.

Brontë Parsonage Museum, 10am - 8pm  Celebrating Charlotte

Join us for what is sure to be a memorable day at the Museum!  BBC Radio Leeds will be broadcasting live from the Parsonage between 9am and 12pm so please come along and join in the fun.

Visitors to the Museum will be invited to hear talks on different aspects of Charlotte Brontë's life, including her experience of school at Cowan Bridge, getting published and her time in Brussels.   Talks will take place at 10.30am and 2pm.  Tracy Chevalier will give a talk about her exhibition, Charlotte Great and Small at 6.30pm.

There will also be the opportunity to meet with members of our Collections team and view some of Charlotte's possessions, letters and manuscripts in the library. These  'Treasures' sessions will take place at 12pm, 2pm and 4.30pm.

The Museum will be open until 8pm and visitors arriving after 6pm will be invited to join us for a celebratory drink.

All activities are free with admission to the Museum, but as space is limited, places to the talks and Treasures sessions will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. charlottes-birthday-party

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!
This beautiful cake, which will be delivered by conference organiser Eleanor Houghton later today, will be cut and served to delegates at our conference in Charlotte Bronte's honour on the 13th and 14th of May.



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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