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

zondag 28 september 2014

Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell's home to re-open to the public

From Independent: She is best known for the gentle, humorous exploits of the gossiping women of Cranford, which Dame Judi Dench and co popularly brought to life on the small screen.

Yet so controversial was another of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels to her Victorian readers that it was banned in many households, including her own, being, as she described it, “not a book for young people”. The hostile reaction to Ruth, her 1853 story that has as its heroine a working-class teenage girl who is seduced and abandoned as an unmarried mother, made the writer ill. “I think I must be an improper woman without knowing it, I do so manage to shock people,” she wrote to her friend, Eliza Fox. “Now should you have burnt the 1st vol. [sic] of Ruth as so very bad? Even if you had been a very anxious father of a family? Yet two men have; and a third has forbidden his wife to read it; they sit next to us in chapel and you can’t think how ‘improper’ I feel under their eyes.”

She was not afraid, however, of raising important social issues through her work. While in Ruth she confronts Victorian attitudes to illegitimacy and the “fallen woman”, her first book, the 1848 industrial novel Mary Barton, had tackled topics including drugs, poverty, the relationship between employer and employee, and the Chartist movement. “Writing was Gaskell’s most effective form of philanthropy”, says Jenny Uglow in her biography of the novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories.

While in the past, “Mrs Gaskell”, as she was known, was often, misleadingly, presented as the perfect housewife, it now appears that there was much more to the author than domesticity. The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust will highlight her status as one of the 19th century’s most important women writers when it opens the doors to her newly restored former Manchester home next week. With displays of artefacts and manuscripts, and a programme of events, the house will become a centre for the understanding of the Gaskell family’s literary and cultural heritage.

Thanks to a £2.5m renovation, part-financed by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, visitors to 84 Plymouth Grove will be able to experience for the first time the suburban villa and its re-established Victorian gardens as they might have appeared during Gaskell’s lifetime. They will follow in some rather famous footsteps: the sociable author was a “networker par excellence”, according to Janet Allan, chair of the trust set up in 1998 with the aim of saving Gaskell’s Grade II*-listed house.
The restored drawing room houses a piano similar to that on which Charles Hallé, the conductor and founder of Manchester’s Hallé orchestra, gave music lessons to Gaskell’s daughters. It is in the same room that a shy Charlotte Brontë hid behind the curtains to avoid seeing guests. Other esteemed visitors over the years included Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the art critic John Ruskin, not to mention Gaskell’s editor, a certain Charles Dickens.

Born in London in 1810, Gaskell moved the following year, after the death of her mother, to live with her aunt, Hannah Lumb, in the Cheshire town of Knutsford, which would later provide the inspiration for Cranford. Marriage took her to Manchester in 1832.
She lived in Plymouth Grove between 1850 and her death in 1865, a period during which she wrote the popular novels Cranford, Ruth and North and South, the lesser-known Sylvia’s Lovers, and the unfinished Wives and Daughters. She and her husband, William, a Unitarian minister at the city’s Cross Street Chapel, wanted space and fresh air for their four daughters and, when they moved in, the house lay near open fields. Brontë remarked in a letter, in 1951, to her publisher, George Smith, that it was “a large, cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke”.

While William worked in his study – in which visitors to the house will see the original bookcases filled with period titles researchers think the family might have read – his wife fitted her writing around the running of the household and, no doubt, disruptions from the morning room used as the girls’ nursery. Without a room of her own, she used to pen wonderfully gossipy letters, and parts of her novels, sitting at a small table in the dining-room window overlooking the garden she so loved.


Elizabeth Gaskell's dining room and table from which she wrote her novels (Photo Joel Chester Fildes. Press image from Catharine Braithwaite)

There were times, however, when Lily, as she was known to her family, sought out places to write away from her domestic responsibilities and Manchester. As the passport on display testifies, she was a keen traveller, often with a daughter in tow but usually without her husband, who liked being in the city. “He [William] must have been quite an indulgent husband because she spent an enormous amount of time not at home at all,” says Ms Allan. “There was one year when for almost half the year she wasn’t here. She was whizzing around doing all sorts of other things.” As soon as she had finished writing the biography of her friend, Brontë, in 1857, for instance, she escaped to Rome and so it was William who had to pick up the pieces and deal with the ensuing libel case. The couple were on “parallel tracks” that didn’t always merge, says Ms Allan. While William used to spend holidays with Beatrix Potter’s family, Elizabeth and the girls would go elsewhere. “But it didn’t mean they were at odds with each other,” she adds. “I think it was a very supportive relationship.”

Ms Allan says that, for a long time, the writer was pigeon-holed as “Mrs Gaskell”, the author of Cranford, a work which she claims has a “much more profound emotional element to it” than some people might appreciate, dealing as it does with the position of single women and how they make a life for themselves and manage to circumvent tragedies in their lives.
“It’s only in the past 25 years that her reputation has grown and she’s recognised as a very professional, courageous novelist, who was prepared to write about really difficult issues,” she adds. “I think Cranford, although it is a wonderful book, has in a way done her a great disservice because people just think it’s about silly old ladies in bonnets and I’m afraid that’s been confirmed by the [BBC] television version. There’s a lot more to it than that, and a lot more to her.”
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House re-opens to the public on Sunday, 5 October. Visit www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk

woensdag 24 september 2014

(Dutch) Passion for Emily Bronte.

The Dutch writer Mensje van Keulen talks about her passion for Emily Brontë in NOS

Bronte Society council looks to stop vote on election of new leaders

The Brontë Society dissenters and the Council are not looking for common ground and understanding according to The Yorkshire Post: A bid to oust members of the ruling council of the Brontë Society in an on-going row over the literary society’s future direction looks set to fail. A group of the society’s members have forced an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which will be held in Haworth on Saturday October 18. Members Janice Lee, a retired deputy headteacher, and John Thirlwell, a TV producer, gathered 53 signatures to force the meeting to take place. Around 1,700 members are receiving details this week of the EGM.

The agenda includes a resolution “to elect a new Council, comprising, if possible, some existing members (to provide continuity) but also new members to bring further levels of professionalism and experience to the society.” The resolution will not be voted on, according to the society letter, although it may be subject of a discussion. According to letter, the resolution is “ineffective in law since it does not comply with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 relating to the retirement and appointment of specific directors.” The letter goes on to say that the ruling council had previously identified “skills gaps” within its ranks which it “has taken and is taking steps to fill”.
It is understood that the group which forced the emergency general meeting is now seeking legal advice on the attempt to block voting on the resolution. Last night Christine Went, chairman of the Brontë Society, said the EGM was requested “by a small number of members, most of whom have joined the society relatively recently.” She added: “We welcome the interest and support of these members and the fact that they are keen to be more involved with the running of the society.” (Andrew Robinson) yorkshirepost

maandag 22 september 2014

Bradford Literature Festival 2014

Bradford Literature Festival 2014
26th – 28th September

Welcome to the Bradford Literature Festival, celebrating the written and spoken word and showcasing the intimate relationship between words and art forms such as film, theatre and music, set against the city’s distinctive backdrop. With over 25 events featuring 60 speakers, artists and authors, Bradford is the place to be during the weekend of 26th to 28th September.

The Bradford District is home to Bronte Parsonage, where the country’s most eminent literary siblings used masculine pen names to write their famous classics of English literature: Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1818-1855), Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte, 1818-1848) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Bronte, 1820-1849). The sisters’ former home, set amid the breath taking moorland immortalised in Wuthering Heights, is beautifully preserved by the Bronte Society, one of the oldest literary societies in the world.

Bronte - Charlotte's diary

Mark Davis in Conversation
11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Saturday 27 September
Christa Ackroyd
10:00 am – 5:00 pm | Sunday 28 September

zondag 21 september 2014

Read-along Jane Eyre

What do you know about this novel and its author?

Have you ever read it before, or
 is this your first reading?
Have you seen any of the TV 
or movie versions?
There will be six discussion questions each week of the read-along, to be alternately posted by each of the hosting blogs. You can select three of these questions, or answer all six of them.

donderdag 11 september 2014

'Remembering Branwell'

'Remembering Branwell' event takes place on Sunday 14th September 2014 at 11.30am, South Square Gallery, Thornton BD13 3LD. The event will preview the film 'A Humble Station' written and narrated by Simon Zonenblick with a discussion and a buffet (£5) For further details call 01274-830788South Square is a visual arts and heritage resource centre based within a Grade II listed building in Thornton, Bradford, West Yorkshire. The square also incorporates artists' studios, community space, fine art framer, craft shop and a cafe. It is home to South Square Gallery, a grassroots exhibition space committed to providing a professional and supportive resource for artists and emerging curators. Thornton Antiquarian Society's archive of local history material will shortly be relocated to the centre as part of the Stone Heritage Project/ southsquarecentre

'Remembering Branwell' event takes place on Sunday 14th September 2014 at 11.30am, South Square Gallery, Thornton BD13 3LD. The event will preview the film 'A Humble Station' written and narrated by Simon Zonenblick with a discussion and a buffet (£5) For further details call 01274-830788

woensdag 10 september 2014

Nine years of BrontëBlog

Bronteblog celebrates its 9 year anniversary.

From the Bronteblog: In September 2005 we decided to take a look at what and how the Brontës were doing in popular culture. Nine years later we can confidently say that they turned out to be doing fantastically well. We have said this before but we never cease to be amazed by the projects, inspiration and commentary they generate constantly. This blog publishes an average of two posts a day--not every day is filled with news of a new discovery, a new exhibition, a new book or a new adaptation, but at the very least each and every day the Brontës are mentioned by someone somewhere in the world, perhaps miles away from the world the Brontës knew and certainly decades after they died. Which, if you really stop to think about it, is amazing.

This nine years have been a labour of love but we can't boast of really having done it on our own: at some point or another we have had the help of individual readers and writers, authors, publishing houses, the Brontë Society itself. And there's always of course the readers and subscribers of this blog: here on Blogger and elsewhere in unexpected places back in 2005 such as Facebook or Twitter. We would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to anyone who has ever stopped and read one of our posts with interest.

vrijdag 5 september 2014

Bronte Society embroiled in row over future of Haworth museum

ThE Brontë Society is in turmoil following calls from members to save the Parsonage Museum from “underachievement”. A group of members has called for the Haworth museum to be split from the society to help secure its financial future. Campaigners also want the society’s current leadership to step down to make way for members willing to modernise the group. The campaigners, led by TV producer John Thirlwell and retired deputy headteacher Janice Lee, this week secured the 50 members’ signatures they need to force an extraordinary meeting to discuss the issue. Mr Thirlwell and Mrs Lee last week sent a letter to fellow members detailing a number of allegations about the conduct of the council and calling to elect a new council of trustees. They also called for a rapid appointment to the vacant post of executive director. Ann Sumner stepped down in June, with the Brontë Society praising her “enthusiastic contribution” during her 16 months in the role.
Mr Thirlwell is concerned about the dramatic drop in Brontë Society membership in recent years, and falling attendances at the museum. He added: “We’re aware the museum is underachieving. I don’t have a lot of faith in the council. I don’t think it is keeping the membership informed.
“We must immediately put into action steps to get the structure of the Brontë Society built properly, so the museum is run by a separate trust.” Mr Thirlwell said such a separation would give the Brontë Parsonage Museum a better chance of attracting grants because it could prove it worked for the ‘public good’ rather than simply being a members’ society. A spokesman for the Brontë Society Council said: “Trustees welcome feedback from members and take their concerns very seriously. “The council is working hard with an experienced and accomplished leadership team to ensure the business planning of the Brontë Parsonage Museum is on a secure footing, and the work of the society, including preparations for forthcoming bicentenaries, which include plans for an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Pierpont Morgan Library in New York and a service at Westminster Abbey, goes forward.” keighleynews

donderdag 4 september 2014

woensdag 3 september 2014

It was three stories high

 From:  nortonconyers
“It was three stories high, of proportions not vast, though considerable: a gentleman’s manor-house, not a nobleman’s seat: battlements round the top gave it a picturesque look. Its grey front stood out well from the background of a rookery, whose cawing tenants were now on the wing: they flew over the lawn and grounds to alight in a great meadow, from which these were separated by a sunk fence, and where an array of mighty old thorn trees, strong, knotty, and broad as oaks, at once explained the etymology of the mansion’s designation.”1
In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the title character, a plain yet quietly passionate governess arrives at Thornfield Hall expecting to educate a young naive mind. It is soon clear, however, that her simple expectations are no match for the arrogance and immorality of her employer, Mr. Rochester. Jane is immediately engulfed in the mysteries and temptations that collide in the vast gloomy manor. Screaming winds plague her windows, strange happenings occur in the middle of the night, and up a dreary staircase, Jane discovers the secret of her employer and object of his passion. A profound secret which ultimately consumes Thornfield Hall.
Norton Conyers House in North Yorkshire is widely thought to be the inspiration for the infamous Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Brontë was working as a governess when she visited Norton Conyers and heard the story of a madwomen who was hidden away from society. In 2004, a hidden staircase was discovered in the house, which seemed to have inspired Bronte in her description of the secret madwomen kept by Mr. Rochester in a dark room up a hidden staircase. Although not as large as Thornfield Hall, Norton Conyers bares many similarities such as its grey exterior and secret hideaways.
See also: nortonconyers

The Brontës in Brussels - A Review

The Brontës in Brussels is the perfect Brussels companion. Ideal as a guide or handbook for a trip to Brussels, but also a very interesting read from the sofa in your living room miles away from the actual places described in the book. Helen MacEwans's knowledge not only of the Brontës' stay in Brussels as well as the works derived from it (only devoirs in Emily's case but also novels, references in letters, etc in Charlotte's case) but also of the history of the quartier Isabelle, which is quite intricate, encyclopedic and always to-the-point. She meets three different points in her book: conveying a sense of the Brontës' stay in and opinions of Brussels, telling about the historical, social and geographical contexts that surrounded them when there and helping the modern Brontëite find his/her bearings in Belgium as it is today. And she manages to combine it all into an enjoyable read.
Read more; bronteblog/the-brontes-in-brussels

Bronte Society president defends leadership of literary group

THE president of the Bronte Society has rejected claims the literary group has “lost its way”.

Bonnie Greer yesterday hit back at members who have raised 50 signatures in a bid to oust the literary society’s ruling council. Ms Greer said the Society and Bronte Parsonage Museum were well run. She said: “The Society is run in a professional manner by a diverse team of skilled individuals. Business strategies are in place and outcomes are continuously monitored. “Additionally, the staff at the Museum are to be congratulated on their ongoing work and they have excellent fund raising record in a very challenging economic climate.” She said members were “understandably concerned” at the departure in June of the Society’s executive director, Ann Sumner. “I would like to reassure members that Council has not been idle since Professor Sumner left. Council has used the last couple of months to review the role of the executive director and a skilled leadership team is in place and doing a fine job at the museum.” Ms Greer rejected claims that council members were “enthusiastic amateurs”, saying they had extensive professional experience. “As a former deputy chair of the British Museum...I can assure members that the Council is in very good shape,” she said. It was “surprising” none of those criticising the Society had stood for election at the annual meeting in June, she added. yorkshirepost

dinsdag 2 september 2014

Conference theme was 'The Condition of England'

Juliet Barker was our superb opening speaker, initiating proceedings at the 2014 Brontë Society
conference, which was held this year at the luxurious Scarman Conference Centre, at the University of Warwick. Our conference theme was 'The Condition of England', and Juliet addressed the Brontë children's precocious absorption with the politics of their day, considering whether that passion really carried through into their adult lives. As ever, Juliet's argument was supported with minute and exhaustive research, on this occasion culled mainly from the juvenilia. It was a bold, thought-provoking and slightly provocative stance, ideal to lead off what was widely agreed to be our 'best ever conference', packed with stimulating, original and exciting research, and introducing some new faces likely to be key Brontë scholars of the future.Novelist and critic

Bonnie Greer, the Society's President, gave a rousing and emotional speech at Saturday's dinner, urging us to remember that 'We're Brontë, and no-one else is!' And Society Chair Sally McDonald was also on hand, as ever, to greet members, presiding over proceedings with customary calm and good humour to set the tone for the whole weekend.

Also attending were, among others: bestselling Belgian novelist Jolien Janzing, whose novel De Meester (The Master), about Charlotte's relationship with M. Heger, comes out in English in 2016, and is set to become an exciting film; influential biographer and TV presenter Rebecca Fraser, who delivered a paper on 'The Woman Question and Charlotte Brontë'; internationally acclaimed Brontë scholar Professor Marianne Thormälen, from the University of Lund, Sweden, who discussed the Brontë novels as historical fiction; and rising young academics Molly Ryder, Erin Johnson, Emma Butcher, and Sara Pearson, whose erudite and carefully judged work proved there to be an exciting, creative new generation of Brontë scholars on their way up.

Most appreciated of all, though, was surely Brontë Society Publications Officer, our conference organiser Sarah Fermi, whose hard work throughout the last three years ensured the conference worked as a crucible for great ideas, a meeting place for great minds, and a platform for the very latest in great Brontë scholarship. This was Sarah's last conference as organiser, and applause from delegates at Saturday night's dinner reflected not only professional appreciation for a job most excellently done, but abiding affection for a much-loved friend and lifelong passionate Brontëphile.

The path leading from over Penistone hill and towards Top Withens

The path leading from the Bronte Parsonage Museum over Penistone hill and towards Top Withens (Wuthering heights) i know this album has been posted before but i'll be adding a few more pics soon
More stunning photo's here: Facebook

zondag 31 augustus 2014

The Brontes in Brussels.

Sunday, one week ago, I celebrated my birthday
Here you see some of the presents I received
The book of Helen MacEwan is great
 Itg gives so much information about Charlotte and Emily in Brussels
It makes me understand better geografic situation of the  Pensionnat Heger
Helen MacEwan has worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language and as a translator, and has lived in Brussels since 2004. She is highly active in the Brussels Brontë Group, which she founded in 2006 to bring together a group of enthusiasts, researchers, writers, and artists united by their interest in the Brontës in Brussels.
The photographe under shows a map about the place
  where later Rue d' Isabella would arise
This is a map of c 1750
Extrait d'un plan manuscrit du XVIIIe siècle - Archives de la Ville de BXL
On peut y découvrir, le Petit Béguinage, l'Hôtel Salazar, les Hospices Terarken 
et des Douze Apôtres, et puis surtout le Jardin des Arbalétriers et la Domus Isabellae 
le long de la rue d'Isabelle

Rue Isabelle is nestled behind Place Royale and can be reached through BELvue museum. The street was built in 1625 on the demand of the Infanta Isabelle to connect St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral with her palace, the Aula Magna. Rue Isabelle and the ruins of the old palace are now visible after renovation.

Cadastral plan of the early 1800's
This photo under  is from 1850 (Charlotte is leaving Brussels in 1844)
So this is pretty much as the sisters experienced it.

The Pensionnat and the Rue d'Isabelle, late 19th century. The façade had been rebuilt in a more uniform style. In the Brontes time most of the school buildings were hidden out of sight from the street behind a row of small houses. These were subsequently  aquired by the Hegers and incorperated into the school building and the façade was remodelled.
-------The Brontes never saw the school in this style-----------

 This photo was taken after the Brontes time. The galerie with arched windows was added in 1857

-----The Bronte sisters didn't see the Pensionnat like this------

This photo I never saw before, what a great photo

A Brussels view, with on the far right, the Pensionnat

Rue d'Isabelle, 1894. Watercolour by J. Carabain. Is this the entrance to the garden?
The Brussels street in which the Pensionnat Heger was situated, named after the popular Infanta Isabella, daughter of Philip II of Spain, and governor of the Spanish Low Counties. An imposing staircase led up from the street to the statue of General Belliard in the splendid Rue Royale, and from the top of this staircase one looked down on the chimneys of the Rue d’Isabelle houses.

Even though the school building itself was no more extraordinary than the other schools in the neighbourhood, there was an unexpected treasure, tucked away behind the house; a delightful big garden with a line of ancient fruit trees.
This photograph shows you the three remaining 17th century houses of the then important guild of crossbowmen, who laid the foundation of the Pensionnat‘s large garden.
This photograph shows us the corner of Rue Terarken and Rue d’Isabelle. If you go just around the corner you will be in the Rue d’Isabelle. Unfortunately this will never happen. This picture I have always found fascinating. Perhaps most for what is not in it, i.e. what is just around the corner. In what remains of the Rue Terarken you are not far away from that corner.
The Pensionnat was demolished in 1910, one year after the historic Isabella quarter was torn down. Thanks to new findings in the Brussels City Archives (for instance an 1857 plan) a faithful reconstruction of the building in 1843 could be made, with thanks also to Selina Busch. Her drawings are an important contribution to that reconstruction, and could if you should wish so also be a part of the answer to your questions?dutcharchives
 'In the garden there was a large berceau,' wrote Charlotte Bronte the author of Villette, 'above which spread the shade of an acacia; there was a smaller, more sequestered bower, nestled in the vines which ran along a high and grey wall and gathered their tendrils in a knot of beauty; and hung their clusters in loving profusion about the favoured spot, where jasmine and ivy met and married them ... this alley, which ran parallel with the very high wall on that side of the garden, was forbidden to be entered by the pupils; it was called indeed l'Allée défendue.'

Le grand berceaux in the Pensionnat garden, where lessons were held
Hotel Ravenstein, beside the Pensionnat Heger 
The Former de Cleves-Ravenstein Mansion also commonly known as Hotel Ravenstein is the last standing example of the aristocratic mansions built between the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI century. This brick and sandstone building of late Brabant Gothic style was originally part of a vast building complex, divided and partially demolished over the centuries. This mansion, restored and transformed several times, is articulated around a main courtyard. The interior still holds pieces of furniture from the XVI and the XVIII century.

In a letter to Emily (2 Sep 1843) Charlotte depicts herself in the long vacation taking walks beyond the city walls of Brussels, but also “threading the streets in the neighbourhood of the Rue D’Isabelle,” reluctant to return to the loneliness of the Pensionnat. These streets were destroyed by the manic rebuilding fever of Leopold II in the early years of the twentieth century.

This is what remains of the Rue Terarken nowadays

From Google Earth

Look between the two blue doors......

Between those two delivery doors is the blue and white plaque dedicated to the Brontë sisters

St. Gudule
Confessional in St. Gudule, Brussels
Louis Haghe

Did it look like this when Charlotte made her confession in the St. Gudule?

See more photo''s secret mission


vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

Anne Brontë made this pencil sketch at the age of eight.

Anne Brontë made this pencil sketch of a church surrounded by trees on this day in 1828, at the age of eight.

Wuthering fights as Brontë Society accused of losing its way

IT IS one of Britain’s oldest societies of its kind, dedicated to the memory of Yorkshire’s most famous literary family.

But the Brontë Society has been plunged into turmoil amid claims it has “lost its way” after dozens of members raised serious questions about the way it is being governed. About 40 members of the literary society, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, have expressed concerns and how its governance is having an impact on the world-famous Brontë Parsonage Museum, which it owns. Critics are close to getting 50 signatures to force an extraordinary general meeting in a bid to oust the ruling 
council. In a letter, members John Thirlwell and Janice Lee claimed there was an urgent need to “modernise” the society.

They want a new council to be elected with new members “to bring higher levels of professionalism and experience to the society”. The letter calls for work to be carried out to “raise the profile and reputation of the museum’s collections, programmes, and research”. It concludes: “The remaining task is to identify members with board-level experience of 
charity and company work who will stand at the EGM for election as members of the new 
council. “Without such leadership, the society will wither away, and the legacy of the Brontës will have been squandered.”

Mrs Lee told The Yorkshire Post that, in her opinion, the current council appeared to be “enthusiastic amateurs”.Mr Thirlwell claimed the running of the Parsonage Museum should be left in the hands of museum staff, putting an end to what he called the “micro-managing” by the society’s council.
He added: “The big picture is that the Brontë Society has lost its way. The museum should be run by a Trust and in a more professional way.” Mr Thirlwell claimed a 
recent consultants’ report concluded the Brontë Society was not best placed to be a fund-raiser because it was members’ club.
Members including Mr Thirlwell and Mrs Lee are still angry at the sudden departure in June of Ann Sumner, the society’s executive director, after just 16 months in the role. Questions have been asked about the circumstances of her leaving, but details have not been disclosed. Mr Thirlwell, a TV producer, said: “I, for one, would want Ann Sumner to come back.

“She had improved the relations between the village of Haworth and the Brontë Society, which has not always seen eye to eye with the village. She was very well respected in the museums field.”
Mrs Lee, who is a volunteer at the museum, added: “Ann Sumner came with a remarkable CV – she was amazing and had already started making inroads into taking the Parsonage forward.”
The Brontë Society Council confirmed it was aware a letter had been sent “expressing concerns” over the way it was governed. It said: “The letter was sent by two current members, to other members of the society, but not directly to the council. Trustees welcome feedback from members and take the concerns of members very seriously and will therefore be responding formally to all members without delay. “The council is working hard with an experienced and accomplished leadership team to ensure that the business planning of the Brontë Parsonage Museum is on a secure footing.” yorkshirepost

donderdag 21 augustus 2014

Emily' s christening mug

Bronte Parsonage Museum
Emily Jane Brontë was baptised on 20-08-1818. She was the only member of the family to have a middle name, and her christening mug can be seen below.


woensdag 20 augustus 2014

Carne & Carne bank

The Batten, Carne & Carne bank was the result of the amalgamation of two major Penzance family interests. The Carne part owed its existence to local grocer and merchant, William Carne, who opened the Penzance Bank in 1797, with associates Batten and Oxnam at 15, Chapel Street.
The Battens were an old and well respected Penzance trading family that had given several mayors to the borough from its ranks. In 1823 William's famous son, Joseph Carne, joined the partners of the bank to give it the name it was to have for the next 73 years.

For two score years he was one of the chief movers and shakers in Penzance society, being involved in both the formation of the Penzance library and geological society, as well as writing several learned papers on mineralogy, mining and natural history. He lived with two of his four daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth, in the large end house on the east side of Chapel Street opposite St Mary's Church.

When his father, William, died in 1836 there was an enormous turn-out of people for the funeral service. Upon Joseph's death in 1858 his daughter, Elizabeth Carne, a highly respected woman in her own right, became a partner in the running of the bank, his four sons having followed different callings. It was during Elizabeth's time on the Board that an impressive new building was constructed in Market Place and the bank moved there in 1864 (today's William Rogers Insurance). But it was a move overshadowed by the death of 20-year-old Archibald Ross-Carne who joined the partners of the bank two years before and lived with his aunts Caroline and Elizabeth Carne before succumbing to scarlet fever.

When the esteemed Elizabeth Carne died in 1873, the bank was still seen as a rock solid business in which to save and invest, and secure loans.

Read more: Fall-house-Carne/story


CARNE, ELIZABETH. Cousin of the Bronte Sisters (from Mothers side)

CARNE, ELIZABETH CATHERINE THOMAS (1817–1873), author, fifth daughter of Joseph Carne, F.R.S. [q. v.], was born at Rivière House, in the parish of Phillack, Cornwall, on 16 Dec. 1817, and baptised in Phillack church on 15 May 1820. On her father's death in 1858, having come into an ample fortune, she spent considerable sums in charitable purposes, gave the site for the Elizabeth or St. Paul's schools which were opened at Penzance on 2 Feb. 1876, founded schools at Wesley Rock, Carfury, and Bosullow, three thinly populated districts in the neighbourhood of Penzance, and built a museum in which to exhibit to the public a fine collection of minerals which she had inherited from her parent. She was the head of the Penzance bank from 1858 to her decease. She inherited her father's love of geology, and wrote four papers in the ‘Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall:’ ‘Cliff Boulders and the Former Condition of the Land and Sea in the Land's End district,’ ‘The Age of the Maritime Alps surrounding Mentone,’ ‘On the Transition and Metamorphosis of Rocks,’ and ‘On the Nature of the Forces that have acted on the Formation of the Land's End Granite.’ Many articles were contributed by her to the ‘London Quarterly Review,’ and she was the author of several books. She died at Penzance on 7 Sept. 1873, and was buried at Phillack on 12 Sept. Her funeral sermon was preached in St. Mary's Church, Penzance, by the Rev. Prebendary Hedgeland on 14 Sept. She was the author of: 1. ‘Three Months' Rest at Pau in the Winter and Spring of 1859,’ brought out with the pseudonym of John Altrayd Wittitterly in 1860. 2. ‘Country Towns and the place they fill in Modern Civilisation,’ 1868. 3. ‘England's Three Wants,’ an anonymous book, 1871. 4. ‘The Realm of Truth,’ 1873.Carne,_Elizabeth




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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