This is a blog about the Bronte Sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. And their father Patrick, their mother Maria and their brother Branwell. About their pets, their friends, the parsonage (their house), Haworth the town in which they lived, the moors they loved so much, the Victorian era in which they lived.
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
In 1849 we know that Emily Dickinson read the first American edition of ‘Jane Eyre‘. It made such an impact on her that she later named her new puppy ‘Carlo’, after St. John’s dog in Charlotte Brontë’s great novel. At Emily Dickinson’s funeral a solitary poem was read; it had been specifically requested by her: it was ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ by Emily Brontë!
English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin
Extremely beautiful, with distinctive, strongly fragrant blooms
An exceptionally beautiful rose; the distinctive blooms are very neat and rather flat. Each bloom is a lovely soft pink, with a subtle apricot hue, the smaller central petals deepening to rich apricot and surrounding a button eye, which unfurls to reveal deep-set stamens. The strong Tea fragrance becomes more Old Rose, with delicious hints of lemon and grapefruit. It forms a bushy shrub with strong, healthy, upright growth.
The Brontë Society asked us to name this rose to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the novelist, Emily Brontë. Her much-loved novel, Wuthering Heights, was published in 1847, a year before her untimely death at the age of 30. It is a dark tale of passion and revenge, centred around the relationship between Cathy Earnshaw and Heathcliff.
Maria and Elizabeth are remembered on Haworth’s Bronte memorial
The sixth of May and fifteenth of June are difficult days for lovers of the Brontë family, as it was on these dates 193 years ago that the eldest siblings Maria Brontë and Elizabeth Brontë died of consumption, what we now know as tuberculosis. Their loss was dreadful to their family, and can still be felt by us today.
Interesting for me is this part. Because I didn't know it. In 1857, Wilson appointed a new head at Casterton, Dorothea Beale. She was a very different person to Wilson, and later became known as a suffragist and social reformer. Beale was horrified at what she found at the school, and resigned a year later. She complained about ‘the low moral tone of the school’, and ‘the want of sympathy and love’, as ‘nothing can flourish if love be not the ruling incentive.’
wiki/Dorothea_Beale: At the end of 1856, she left Queen's College owing to dissatisfaction with its administration, and in January 1857 became head teacher of the Clergy Daughters' School, Casterton, Westmorland (founded in 1823 by Carus Wilson at Cowan Bridge). At Casterton, Miss Beale's insistence on the need of reforms led to her resignation in December following; many changes in the management of the school were made next year. In 1858, Miss Beale established a scholarship from Casterton School to Cheltenham
I have been posting about Haworth quite a lot in recent times and I cannot apologise. For there is no such other place that draws me back to it, whether it be in person or in mind. There is no other place that inspires me in so many ways and for so many reasons.
A while ago when I had no new photographs to process and no time to take any I looked in my archives and thought it was a perfect time to gather some of the odd photos of Haworth taken over the past few years and post them together. Incidentally, most of them were taken around this time of year.
We are delighted to welcome our 2018 writer in residence, Patience Agbabi, to begin her residency at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Patience will read from and perform her work at this launch event which will set the scene for what she plans to explore during 2018.
The evening is the first in a series of events co-produced with guest curator Melanie Abrahams, Creative Director of literature organisation Renaissance One. The series will see a range of writers engage with contemporary themes within Wuthering Heights, including independence, alienation and emancipation, through a programme of walks, talks, salons and events. .bronte.org.uk
A NEW website has been launched which enables people to explore the district’s rich film history – and even take a tour of locations. The Bradford Film Heritage site acts as a guide to the area’s historic associations with top movies. It also spotlights leading TV productions which have used buildings and sites across the district. The Keighley area has figured strongly for years on the radar of film and TV producers and location scouts. Haworth of course has provided the setting for many Bronte-related productions.
The new heritage website includes a map showing where scores of productions were filmed, facts about the films and TV shows and the history of the locations. There is also a section carrying a timeline of filming in Bradford district dating back to the 1890s. An original version of the website was developed in 2013 by Bradford City of Film, in partnership with Titus Salt School and the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme. The project was supported by Bradford Industrial Museum, Bradford Libraries, the National Science and Media Museum, Keighley News sister paper the Telegraph & Argus, the University of Bradford Working Academy and the Yorkshire Film Archive.
Early on Saturday morning, 31 March 1855, Charlotte Bronte dies. Arthur Bell Nicholls writes to Ellen Nussey: '...Our dear Charlotte is no more - She died last night of Exhaustion. For the last two or three weeks we had become very uneasy about her, but it was not until Sunday Evening that it became apparent that her sojourn with us was likely to be short - We intend to bury her on Wednesday morn[in]g'.
An intriguing letter of 9 September 1841 has survived, written by Martha Taylor, in Koekelberg, to Ellen Nussey. It is also a somewhat confusing letter, as it seems to show that Mary Dixon was already in Brussels in September 1841: “You must write to me sometimes. George Dixon is coming here the last week in September, and you must send a letter for me to Mary to be forwarded by him.” Earlier in the letter she wrote that she was “going to begin working again very hard, now that John and Mary [Taylor] are going away” (obviously back to England). Post
Sending letters by official post was expensive, and finding alternative ways was a recurring theme in the letters of these years. Read all the article: brusselsbronte
Due to the severe weather conditions, and to ensure the safety of our staff, visitors and collection, theMuseum will not open today, Sunday 18 March. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.
“There was Easter proper, which always required new clothing of some kind, for fear of certain consequences from little birds, who were supposed to resent the impiety of those who do not wear some new article of dress on Easter-day…So piety demanded a new bonnet, or a new gown”
Emily Brontë’s bicentenary will feature in the district’s contribution to the Great Exhibition of the North. The Brontë Parsonage Museum is planning four days of linked activities in July to tie in with Emily Brontë’s birthday weekend. Brontë Society staff are currently working on the weekend as part of the July-December part of this year’s programme of events marking Emily’s 200th anniversary year. The Great Exhibition of the North – which will run in several regions of Northern England – will also draw in Bradford Literature Festival, Bradford Festival, Bradford Science Festival and the city’s Big Party weekend. Bradford Council was shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition but lost out to Newcastle-Gateshead.
Bradford went on to work with Newcastle-Gateshead to plan a programme of complementary and connected activity is due to run between June 22 and September 8. The Bradford programme is supported by £50,000 of Leeds City Region pool funding, which is raised through the business rates. Buildings and other spaces around Bradford will be transformed into venues for activities showcasing the district’s cultural creativity. Art, design, innovation and playfulness are the central themes of the Great Exhibition and the aim is to support creative/cultural industries, celebrate creativity, raise the district’s confidence and aspiration. Organisers also hope to inspire future generations and encourage Bradfordians to get involved with the Great Exhibition
The business rates pool enables councils in the Leeds City Region to retain and invest the proceeds of growth in business rates. It has supported investments with a value of more than £11 million since it was created in 2014. Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said that joining forces in such a way with other councils in the Leeds City Region meant it could re-invest in cultural activities such as the Great Exhibition of the North. (Jim Seton)
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.
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).
Parents 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.