I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

dinsdag 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

vrijdag 6 maart 2015

Charlotte Brontë Quotes for Independent Readers

March 5, 1839 is the date atop a letter penned by Charlotte Brontë that would prove a defining moment in the life of the Jane Eyre author. In the letter, Charlotte, eldest of the famous poet sisters, refuses a promising offer of marriage from the Reverend Henry Nussey. Clergyman and brother of her good friend Ellen Nussey, Reverend Nussey embodied many of the traits of a practical marriage -- namely stability and accessibility to friends and family -- something of which the twenty-three-year-old Charlotte would have been all too aware. But with a rather impressive amount of self-awareness, Brontë turned him down with a gentle hand, assuring him that her temperament and his role in the church would be a poor fit. The letter itself harkens back to all of the best aspects of Brontë's writing: her passion, sagacity, honesty, and above all her free spirit. This week in history, Biographile pays tribute to one woman's refusal to let social standards dictate her life choices by featuring some of her most independent and self-reliant words.

1. "I will never for the sake of attaining the distinction of matrimony and escaping the stigma of an old maid take a worthy man whom I am conscious I cannot render happy." (Letter to Reverend Henry Nussey, 1839)

2. "I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

3. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you."(Jane Eyre, 1847)

4. "No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure." (Villette, 1853)

5. "God did not give me my life to throw away." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

6. "Conventionality is not morality." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

7. "Liberty lends us her wings and Hope guides us by her star." (Villette, 1853)

8. "School-rules, school-duties, school-habits and notions, and voices, and faces, and phrases, and costumes, and preferences, and antipathies — such was what I knew of existence. And now I felt that it was not enough; I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

9. "I don't think, sir, that you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

10. "I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward." (Qtd Elizabeth Gaskill, The Life of Charlotte Brontë,1870)

11. "If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends." (Jane Eyre, 1847)

Brontë Society Gazette. Issue 65

Letter from the Editor by Belinda Hakes and Helen Krispien
Brontë Society Conference 2014 by Julie Akhurst
Report from the Leadership Team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum
Brontë Society Literary Lunch. Saturday 11 October 2014 by Kathleen Shortt
Bernard Herrmann returns to Haworth by Charissa E. Hutchins
"The Death of Keeldar" by Kathleen Shortt, Representative of the Brontë Society Scottish Branch
Secrets and spies at Brussels Brontë talk on Villette by Emily Waterfield, Brussels Brontë Group
Membership News: New developments; Improving communication.
Emily Brontë writes a Critical Thinking Exercise from When Critical Thinking Met English Literature by Belinda Hakes.Brontë Society Gazette. Issue 65

donderdag 5 maart 2015

William Gaskell's study

Today is World Book Day - this is a peek inside William Gaskell's study which is full of books for visitors to browse. Why not share with us your favourite book by Elizabeth Gaskell and why

woensdag 4 maart 2015

Andrew James Galloway 's photographes of Haworth

Andrew James Galloway putted some of the photographes he made on the Facebookpage Haworth & Top Withens 2007.
His comment: ""some from eight years ago ... how time flies!!""
Thank you that I can share them on this weblog, Andrew
I love the photo's special the ones with the horse and with the sheep!!!

maandag 2 maart 2015

Nice reaction om my blog

I received a nice email from Tony. I always love it when someone who is reading my blog gives a reaction. I love it too when it is someone who is living in the neigbourhood of Haworth or one of the other places known by the Brontes. Tony is living in Scarborough, so the place Anne Bronte loved and also the place she died in and it is the place she is buried in. Tony sent me some of the  pictures he made. I am showing them here. Thank you so much Tony.
Hallo There,
I have just come across your webpage about the Bronte's and I find it very interesting. I have had a great interest after watching the DVD (about 8 times so far) and reading the Book (I am now on my 2nd. reading)  Images of both attached I have visited the Parsonage and Anne Bronte's grave at Scarborough (Image attached ) and I shall be visiting it again in May, (the month she died) as I live just 32 miles north of Scarborough.
Hi Geri,
I have a full set of the books dated 1895 including Mr's Gaskells biography of Charlotte. Unfortunate The Grand Hotel is now on the spot where they lodged in Scarborough.
and the church where Ann's funeral was held is now gone replaced by a Supermarket. The notice about Ann' death is in St. Marys Church which is next to the graveyard this was being renovated at the time of her death and could not be used for the funeral. Did you see the pictures I sent of the DVD and Book ? if you do not have them I really recommend you and any of your readers get them as they are excellent the DVD was filmed in the 1970's and stays very close to the real facts of the Bronte story
The book I have it myself, Tony
I use it almost as a Bronte ""bible"", the book is full of marvelous information
(Once in Christmas time I participated in a contest of the Bronte Blog
The price I could win this book
and...... I won
It happened several years ago, but I am happy with the book till now)
The DVD I saw it on the site of the Bronte Parsonage. I was doubting, do I buy it or not
Till now I didn't buy it
but you are making me excited again

vrijdag 27 februari 2015

Beautiful picture from the Bronte E-newsletter

With Bewick on my knee, I was happy’

The manuscript of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, who wrote the novel under the pseudonym Currer Bell – now believed to be after local patron Frances Currer. Photograph: Hulton Archive
A rare first edition of Thomas Bewick’s History of British Birds belonging to Frances Currer, the woman believed to have inspired Charlotte Brontë’s pseudonym of Currer Bell, has come to light.
Dubbed “England’s earliest female bibliophile” in Seymour de Ricci’s history of collectors, Frances Mary Richardson Currer’s library in her family home of Eshton Hall, Yorkshire, ran to 15,000 to 20,000 volumes. Among them lay Bewick’s classic of British ornithology - the work Jane Eyre is reading as Charlotte Brontë’s novel opens, and whose “enchanted page[s]” the author also celebrated in poetry.

With Bewick on my knee, I was happy’ … Charlotte Brontë and pages from British Birds. Photograph: Getty/Bernard Quaritch

Currer herself would have been known to the Brontës, said the antiquarian bookseller Bernard Quaritch in its catalogue for the edition: she was the patron of the Cowan Bridge School, attended by Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily, and was known locally as a generous patron.
“It is thought that she was the ‘benevolent individual, a wealthy lady, in the West Riding of Yorkshire’ who gave £50 in 1821 to a fund to aid the impoverished and recently widowed curate of Howarth – Patrick Brontë,” said the bookseller.

Read all: theguardian/book-inspired-charlotte-bronte-bewick-history-british-bird

The Bronte Society

The Bronte Society would like to say a very big thank you for the wonderful response to our appeal for second-hand Bronte novels to send to pupils at Khemisti Middle School in Algeria. Such was the generosity of our members that we were able to send several copies of each of the seven novels, together with an edition of Emily's poetry and a copy of Gaskell's biography of Charlotte.

Brontë Country . Bradford.

The Telegraph and Argus reports that Brontë Country is one of the destinations selected as part of a new national tourism campaign. Brontë Country is among destinations across the district being promoted as part of a new initiative. Visit Bradford is taking part in a national campaign showcasing the region’s heritage. The venture is part of a VisitEngland project, which will include a series of national radio adverts. Several itineraries in the district will be spotlighted, including a visit to Haworth and the chance to experience life as a Bronte sister. Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “We are delighted to be working with VisitEngland on this campaign to promote our heritage to visitors from near and far.
“Bradford has a rich and fascinating history and this is highlighted by the variety of experiences people can enjoy across the district this spring. "There’s something for everyone, from the great Victorian grandeur to the beauty of the moors. “People who wouldn’t normally consider visiting the Bradford district are going to find out about all the wonderful experiences we have to offer.”
If you'd like to see how much tourism has changed in the area, do take a walk down memory lane with Keighley News and reminisce about the local Brontë bus firm.

woensdag 25 februari 2015

Samantha Ellis, doing research for her forthcoming book about Anne Bronte.

Samantha Ellis, author of 'How to be a Heroine', has been in our Library this week, doing research for her forthcoming book about Anne Bronte.


maandag 23 februari 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.

vrijdag 20 februari 2015

The Brontës, War and Waterloo.

THE TITLE of the new exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum is The Brontës, War and Waterloo.

At first the connection between these may not be immediately apparent, however with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo upon us this exhibition intends to bring to light the importance of war and the Battle of Waterloo on the Brontë family.

The eldest Brontë children, Maria and Elizabeth, had been born in 1814 and 1815 which was during the Napoleonic Wars. Though Haworth may seem now to be a quiet place, certainly far away from these battles on the European continent, it was not completely isolated as it was near the industrial Bradford. Despite the end of the Napoleonic wars, conflict and warfare were a part of society and Wellington was a family hero for the Brontës.

It is with this information that the new exhibition has been shaped, recognising the role of their heroes in their Juvenilia and later writings, and the role of war in life of the Brontës.

Usually this is a job that would be completed by the Collections team at the museum but this exhibition had a unique opportunity to work in conjunction with an academic studying the Brontës and their writing.

Once the panel copy has been collated, the text has to be edited and transferred to the text panels. These panels will have images and currently we are investigating options for these. At the same time objects are being picked, making sure each one fits in with the case and text panel theme. It is from there that the object labels will be written and printed, the Brontës and Animals exhibition will be removed and The Brontës, War and Waterloo will take its place on March 16. Read all: keighleynews

zaterdag 14 februari 2015

'Fair Ellen, Fair Ellen', 'Away fond Love' and 'Soul divine'

In Feb 1840, about six months after his arrival, Ellen Nussey came to the Parsonage for a three weeks stay. Neither she, nor the Brontë girls had ever received a Valentine card; so it caused quite a stir on the morning of February 14th. when they each received one. Of course, the culprit was the scheming Weightman. In his usual mode of conduct, he had made a bold attempt to add a little sparkle to the girls' lives, and in a vain attempt to disguise his handiwork, had walked the ten miles to Bradford to post them. He had written verses in each of the Valentines; however, only the titles of three of them are known, but these give a general idea of their content: 'Fair Ellen, Fair Ellen', 'Away fond Love' and 'Soul divine'. The girls were not to be fooled by the Bradford post-mark, and soon realised that the chirpy curate was the guilty party. However, being so delighted with that morning's events, the four conspired to write a poem which they promptly returned to Weightman

A Rowland for your Oliver
We think you've justly earned;
You sent us each a valentine,
Your gift is now returned.
We cannot write or talk like you;
We're plain folks every one;
You've played a clever trick on us,
We thank you for the fun.
Believe us when we frankly say
(Our words, though blunt are true),
At home, abroad, by night or day,
We all wish well to you.
And never may a cloud come o'er
The sunshine of your mind;
Kind friends, warm hearts, and happy hours,
Through life we trust you'll find.
Where'er you go, however far
In future years you stray,
There shall not want our earnest prayer
To speed you on your way. .

vrijdag 13 februari 2015

From Henry Rider Haggard to Anne Rice

Brontë-related theses and essays recently published:

Domestic imperialism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Henry Rider Haggard’s She, a history of adventure Ataya, Nabila Adel, American University of Beirut, Department of English, 2013

Influence and Legacy: The Brontë Sisters and Anne Rice Alexandru-Ionuţ Micu, PhD Student, ”Al. Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi

Read more on:

From Henry Rider Haggard to Anne Rice

maandag 2 februari 2015

Absolutely stunning

The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the original Brontë table being on show now that the Brontë Parsonage Museum has reopened as well as looking at what the new season holds.
A mahogany drop-leaf table where the Bronte sisters sat to write some of their greatest works is back home in Haworth.   Visitors to the Bronte Parsonage were able to see it back in its original setting today when the museum re-opened to the public after a short winter break with its collections refreshed. The artefact, where classics such as Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights were written, returned to the parsonage on Thursday after leaving the Bronte's home in a sale that took place when Patrick Bronte died in 1861. It did return to the Parsonage on loan in 1997 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre, but thanks to a £580,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) - secured by the Bronte Society - the table has finally been returned permanently. Rebecca Yorke at the Bronte Parsonage Museum said: "It's return is really significant. it's one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century. "We know from diary papers the sisters would walk round the table when their father had gone to bed to read each other what they had written every day. When Emily died Ann and Charlotte continued the tradition and then when Anne died, Charlotte did it by herself. It was a very particular part of their routine.
"When it arrived last week it was a beautiful table but now it has been dressed with the sisters' writing things and cups and saucers in the dining room where it would have originally been, it looks absolutely stunning."

Today's first visitor through the doors was greeted with a free guide to the Museum in celebration of the table's homecoming.        As well as the simple wooden table, visitors will also be able to explore other permanent collections - a current exhibition The Brontes and Animals and a new one called Heathcliff Adrift, which was specially commissioned and is part of the Museum's Contemporary Arts Programme this year. It is a collection of poetry by award-winning writer Benjamin Myers and follows the missing three years of Emily Bronte’s hero from Wuthering Heights, accompanied by a series of landscape photographs by Yorkshire photographer Nick Small. It looks at what could have happened to Heathcliff at that time when the industrial revolution was in its earliest days and the ragged landscape was under threat from the arrival of mechanisation. The exhibition opens on Saturday, February 7 and will run until June. The Brontes and Animals exhibition in the Bonnell Room will stay until March when it makes way for a brand new one giving a nod to the Bronte family's fascination with war and acknowledging the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Its curator will be Bronte scholar Emma Butcher. (Kathie Griffiths)



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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