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

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


dinsdag 24 maart 2015

Daughters of 1920s film actress visit Brontë Parsonage Museum to see Wuthering Heights pictures

TWO YORKSHIRE sisters had a special treat when they visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth and took a trip back in time to their mother’s childhood stardom.
Jill Freeman and Anne Powell are the daughters of Florence ‘Twinks’ Hunter, the Yorkshire-born actress who played young Cathy in the 1920s silent film production of Wuthering Heights.
Last year, the Brontë Society acquired the full script of Albert Victor Bramble’s 1920s production which includes 22 pages of director’s notes including details of costumes and locations.
The script, together with original stills showing the film crew and members of the cast, are now on display to the public, but Mrs Freeman and Mrs Powell made an appointment to view it at close quarters in the museum library. Mrs Powell said: “It’s just wonderful to see these pages detailing what mum had to do. There is no surviving copy of the film, but this script gives us a glimpse of what it might have been like.” Mrs Freeman added: “It’s very special to see this and imagine our mother as a six-year-old actress.” Florence Hunter was one of the most successful child stars during the early British film industry. She became known as ‘Twinks’ after her screen billing of ‘Baby Twinkles’. She died in Ripon in January 2000. Rebecca Yorke, communications officer at the museum, added: “One of the central aims of the Brontë Society is to share its world class collection with people of all ages and from all over the world. “Museum staff are always happy to welcome to the library by arrangement, guests who have a personal or academic link to a particular item and not a week goes by when we don’t have a visitor who feels a special ‘connection’ to the museum and the collection.
“Earlier this week, we had a visit from someone who has been visiting the museum for 55 years and had had their wedding photographs taken in the Parsonage garden! “The comments we receive in our visitor's book and via social media reinforces the fact that the Brontës continue to have contemporary relevance and worldwide appeal.
“Our recent acquisitions of the Brontë family dining table, where the novels where written, and the Wuthering Heights film production script have really captured the imagination and attracted many visitors, all of which is good news for the museum, the society and the local economy.” keighleynews

zondag 22 maart 2015

Cottage Poems by Patrick Brontë

A new paperback edition of Patrick Bronté's Cottage Poems:
Cottage Poems
by Patrick Brontë
Paperback: 76 pages
Publisher: Leopold Classic Library (March 20, 2015)

Leopold Classic Library is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive collection. As part of our on-going commitment to delivering value to the reader, we have also provided you with a link to a website, where you may download a digital version of this work for free. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. Whilst the books in this collection have not been hand curated, an aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature. As a result of this book being first published many decades ago, it may have occasional imperfections. These imperfections may include poor picture quality, blurred or missing text. While some of these imperfections may have appeared in the original work, others may have resulted from the scanning process that has been applied. However, our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. While some publishers have applied optical character recognition (OCR), this approach has its own drawbacks, which include formatting errors, misspelt words, or the presence of inappropriate characters. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with an experience that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic book, and that the occasional imperfection that it might contain will not detract from the experience.

zondag 15 maart 2015

Author Juliet Barker talks of making history accessible and her love of Yorkshire Dales life

JULIET Barker is a Yorkshirewoman through and through. Despite the fame and success she has achieved through her writing, she has never been even slightly tempted to move further than from the West Riding to Wensleydale. “Never,” she says firmly. “I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Yorkshire.” It’s certainly been inspirational.

From her study window in a converted hay loft, she could gaze out at Penhill – “I couldn’t work anywhere without a view,” - and get down to work, usually at 4am, finishing her latest book. “The swallows would swoop in and around and out again as I worked.” It was her love of research that started her own writing career. Her first and only “proper” job after leaving Oxford where she studied History, was as librarian and curator at The Bronte Parsonage in Haworth. “I would see writers coming in and researching for their books, but most of them them just looked at what other people had written. They ignored all that mass of original material we had there just waiting to be looked at.”
In the end, she was driven to write her own – much acclaimed – biography of the Brontes, which turned previous accounts pretty much on their head. “We’ve all bought Mrs Gaskell’s version of this isolated family living miles from nowhere, but Haworth is just four miles from Keighley. By the time the Brontes were there, it was a busy industrial area with 15 mills.”

As part of her decade of research - as if it wasn’t enough that the Bronte family left a terrific amount of written material, much of it in tiny writing, very testing for the eyesight - Juliet spent read two years reading local newspapers of the time. “Addled my brain, but gave me so much information about the Brontes in the community that no one had ever bothered with before,” she says.
The Brontes ended up as a stonking great book, winning awards and establishing her as a writer who really knew her stuff. Despite its scholarship, it’s wonderfully readable.

Read more of this interview on: darlingtonandstocktontimes

zaterdag 14 maart 2015

Nurslings, Revenge and Gender diference

Nurslings of Protestantism: The Questionable Privilege of Freedom in Charlotte Brontë's Villette
Monika Mazurek, Pedagogical University of Cracow
Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 49/4, 2014

In Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, a number of foreigners at various points express their amazement or admiration of the behaviour of Englishwomen, who, like the novel’s narrator Lucy Snowe, travel alone, visit public places unchaperoned and seem on the whole to lead much less constrained lives than their Continental counterparts. This notion was apparently quite widespread at this time, as the readings of various Victorian texts confirm – they often refer to the independence Englishwomen enjoyed, sometimes with a note of caution but often in a self-congratulatory manner. Villette, the novel which, similarly to its predecessor, The Professor, features a Protestant protagonist living in a Catholic country, makes a connection between Lucy’s Protestantism and her freedom, considered traditionally in English political discourse to be an essentially English and Protestant virtue. However, as the novel shows, in the case of women the notion of freedom is a complicated issue. While the pupils at Mme Beck’s pensionnat have to be kept in check by a sophisticated system of surveillance, whose main purpose is to keep them away from men and sex, Lucy can be trusted to behave according to the Victorian code of conduct, but only because her Protestant upbringing inculcated in her the need to control her desires. The Catholics have the
Church to play the role of the disciplinarian for them, while Lucy has to grapple with and stifle her own emotions with her own hands, even when the repression is clearly the cause of her psychosomatic illness. In the end, the expectations regarding the behaviour of women in England and Labassecour are not that much different; the difference is that while young Labassecourians are controlled by the combined systems of family, school and the Church, young Englishwomen are expected to exercise a similar control on their own.

More books on: Nurslings, Revenge and Gender diference

Main street and Black Bull 1926

vrijdag 13 maart 2015

A new item for the collection arrived at the Museum

A new item for the collection arrived at the Museum this week: Charlotte's sketch, 'Fisherman Sheltering Against a Tree', inspired by an illustration by Thomas Bewick. Charlotte produced the drawing in 1829, when she was just 13 years old. It will go on display next year as part of the exhibition to celebrate Charlotte's bicentenary. In the meantime, here's a sneak preview...

The Bronte sisters were fond of Beswick’s work and there is a reference to him in Jane Eyre.

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Brontë Parsonage, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring this drawing home to Haworth to sit with the rest of the collection of the Brontë family. “This sketch represents the start of Charlotte’s creative genius and is a rare insight into one of Britain’s great literary minds. We’re committed to locating and securing the Brontë family’s possessions to maintain the legacy of the family and strengthen their literary heritage.”

Brontë Society President Bonnie Greer said: “The acquisition of this exquisite piece of Charlotte’s juvenilia is another example of the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum‘s leadership in not only the discovery, purchase and display of Bronte artefacts, but of our leadership in Bronte studies. yorkshirepost

In 1848 the publishing firm Smith, Elder & Co. wrote to Charlotte Brontë to request that she personally illustrate the second edition of Jane Eyre. The author’s modest response will be familiar to anyone who has in later life revisited the artistic output of their childhood and teenage years,
“I have, in my day, wasted a certain quantity of Bristol board and drawing-paper, crayons and cakes of colour, but when I examine the contents of my portfolio now, it seems as if during the years it has been lying closed some fairy has changed what I once thought sterling coin into dry leaves, and I feel much inclined to consign the whole collection of drawings to the fire” (Alexander and Sellars p. 36).
Hoping to work as a professional miniature painter, she diligently copied prints until she became an accomplished amateur, even exhibiting two drawings at Leeds in 1834. But she rarely drew from life or from her own imagination, and gradually realised that she would never overcome the restrictions of this form of artistic education. Instead, she focused on writing, and she and her sisters published their first book, Poems, in 1846 under the male pen names of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In the following year Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey all appeared. Read more (interesting information) peterharrington

donderdag 12 maart 2015

New Contemporary Arts Programme

New Contemporary Arts Programme announced
The Bronte Society is delighted to announce its new contemporary arts programme for March to September 2015. Featuring readings from high profile writers, exhibitions, festivals, events and more, the programme showcases and celebrates the ways in which contemporary writers and artists are inspired by the Brontes and their home. The programme is generously supported by Arts Council England.
We hope we might see you at one of our events!
From all at the Bronte Parsonage Museum
William Atkins: The Moor: Life, Landscape, Literature
Friday 17 April, 7.30pm
West Lane Centre, Haworth
The Moor: Lives, Landscape, Literature follows a journey on foot through Britain's moorlands. The account is both travelogue and natural history, and an exploration of moorland’s uniquely captivating position in our literature, history and psyche. In this event, William Atkins brings in literary works such as Wuthering Heights, Hound of the Baskervilles and Lorna Doone. The Moor was described by The Guardian as ‘an ambitious mix of history, topography, literary criticism and nature writing, in the tradition of WG Sebald, Robert MacFarlane and Olivia Laing.’
Tickets £6 and should be booked in advance by clicking here or phoning 01535 640188.
Caryl Phillips: The Lost Child
Friday 1 May, 7pm
West Lane Centre, Haworth
Novelist Caryl Phillips visits Haworth to discuss his new novel The Lost Child. Phillips boldly re-imagines Wuthering Heights in 1960s Leeds in a haunting novel about migration, social exclusion and the difficulties of family.
In association with the University of Central Lancashire.
Tickets £6 and should be booked in advance by clicking here or phoning 01535 640188.
The Brontes and War
Friday 5 June, 3pm
West Lane Centre, Haworth
Ferocious battles and violent, military men dominate the landscape of Charlotte and Branwell’s juvenilia. To complement the current exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, The Brontës, War and Waterloo, co-curator Emma Butcher looks more closely at the military material the Brontës read, revealing how their interest in war extended far beyond the realms of the recent Napoleonic conflicts, and reached as far back as classical times.
Tickets £6 and are bookable by clicking here or emailing summerfestival@bronte.org.uk.
An Evening with Simon Armitage
Saturday 6 June, 8pm
West Lane Centre, Haworth
The popular poet returns to Haworth as part of the Brontë Society’s annual festival weekend, to present his new memoir Walking Away, the sequel to his hugely successful book Walking Home, and readings from his poetry.
Simon Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. He has published over a dozen collections of poetry including Paper Aeroplane (2014): a selection marking the 25th anniversary of the appearance of his ground-breaking debut collection Zoom! Armitage is also a playwright, novelist, song lyricist and broadcaster. The recipient of numerous awards, Armitage was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.
Tickets are £12. Please note there is priority booking for Bronte Society members and booking to the public will open online on Tuesday 5 May 2015.
The Silent Wild: Diane Howse
Friday 19 June to Friday 25 September
Brontë Parsonage Museum
We read and write in silence. Lines on a page soundlessly evoke whole worlds of meaning, and these silent words have an extraordinary power to conjure sound, noise and commotion. This exhibition by Diane Howse uses text, performance, film and sound to explore the sonic landscapes within the Brontës’ texts.
Diane Howse is based in Yorkshire and works as both an artist and curator. She is interested in creating new possibilities for presenting work in alternative locations and has shown work at many different and sometimes unexpected sites. The project is delivered in association with a team of creatives: filmmaker Adam Baroukh, choreographer Carolyn Choa, poet Thomas A. Clark, calligrapher Gigi Leung and musician and sound artist Lemma Redda.
Exhibition free with admission to the Museum.
The Silent Wild: A Symposium on Art and Sound
Friday 18 September, 10am-4pm
University of Leeds
Taking the exhibition The Silent Wild as a starting point, this conference considers the use of sound in contemporary art and heritage sites: Why has sound become a powerful means of uncovering a hidden past for many visual artists?  How does its use in a heritage context affect the artist, site and viewer? How does sound fit into the wider arts sector, and what are the implications for both contemporary art practice and curating?
In association with the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, University of Leeds.
Tickets £25 (£15 concessions) and can be booked using the link here. For further information please contact the Arts Officer: events@bronte.org.uk / 01535 640188.
Bronte Festival of Womens Writing
Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September 2015
Brontë Parsonage Museum and other venues in Haworth
The Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing returns for its fifth year, with a focus on supporting and showcasing contemporary women’s writing. The programme will include creative writing workshops, family events as well as high profile and emerging writers discussing their work. The full programme will be released in July, to receive details as soon as they are released join our mailing list here, or contact the Arts Officer: events@bronte.org.uk/ 01535 640188.

dinsdag 10 maart 2015

'the tricky job of showing writers on TV'.

The Brontë sisters have rivaled Austen in inviting work-love-life speculation. A 1973 ITV five-parter The Brontës of Haworth – written by the verse dramatist Christopher Fry, although these scripts were in prose – was decorous about making connections. So it will be fascinating to see what Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) does with the material in the ​biopic about Charlotte, Emily and Anne​ she is currently writing for the BBC.

Knitting Emily

From Women's Wear Daily: Leave it to Véronique Branquinho to incorporate lines of Emily Brontë into a Fair Isle sweater. That item captured the brooding, yet romantic spirit of her fall collection, where sweet and demure shapes collided with acres of paper-thin black leather and nubby, thrift-shop tweeds. (Miles Socha)


Brussels Brontë weekend, 25-26 April, 2015

The time has come for our annual Brontë spring weekend, which will take place on 25-26 April.
Please find here the program.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Room P61, Université Saint-Louis, Rue du Marais 119, 1000 Brussels
Entrance charge: €10 (members €5)

14.00: We have two guest speakers this year.

Claire Harman will be talking about her new biography of Charlotte Brontë to be published in 2016, the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth. Claire is the author of various literary biographies and of the highly-acclaimed Jane’s Fame on the legacy of Jane Austen.

We will also be joined by Bonnie Greer, President of the Brontë Society, writer and well-known TV personality, who will talk to the group.

Do join us for what promises to be a very interesting event.

Sunday 26 April 2015

10.00: Guided walk around Brontë places (Place Royale area). Duration: about 2 hours. Charge: €7.

Please register by sending an e-mail to Helen MacEwen (helen.macewan@ec.europa.eu).

zondag 8 maart 2015

A thought for International Women's Day:

 "I am satisfied that if a book is a good one, it is so whatever the sex of the author may be. All novels are or should be written for both men and women to read, and I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be really disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man.”
Anne Brontë


“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Shirley



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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