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

vrijdag 6 september 2013

Thackeray' s mother, Anne Becher (part III)

Thackeray's father, Richmond Thackeray, was born at South Mimms and went to India in 1798 at age sixteen as a writer (civil servant) with the East India Company. Richmond fathered a daughter, Sarah Redfield, in 1804 with Charlotte Sophia Rudd, his possibly Eurasian mistress, and both mother and daughter were named in his will. Such liaisons were common among gentlemen of the East India Company, and it formed no bar to his later courting and marrying William's mother.[6]

Anne Becher, born 1792, was "one of the reigning beauties of the day," and a daughter of John Harmon Becher (Collector of the South 24 Parganas district d. Calcutta, 1800), of an old Bengal civilian family "noted for the tenderness of its women." Anne Becher, her sister Harriet, and widowed mother Harriet, had been sent back to India by her authoritarian guardian grandmother, widow Ann Becher, in 1809 on the Earl Howe. Anne's grandmother had told her that the man she loved, Henry Carmichael-Smyth, an ensign of the Bengal Engineers whom she met at an Assembly Ball in Bath, Somerset in 1807, had died, and he was told that Anne was no longer interested in him; neither of these were true. Though Carmichael-Smyth was from a distinguished Scottish military family, Anne's grandmother went to extreme lengths to prevent their marriage; surviving family letters state that she wanted a better match for her granddaughter.[7] Anne Becher and Richmond Thackeray were married in Calcutta on 13 October 1810. Their only child, William, was born on 18 July 1811.[8]

Anne's family's deception was unexpectedly revealed in 1812, when Richmond Thackeray unwittingly invited the supposedly dead Carmichael-Smyth to dinner. After Richmond died of a fever on 13 September 1815, Anne married Henry Carmichael-Smyth on 13 March 1817. The couple moved to England in 1820, after sending William off to school there more than three years before. The separation from his mother had a traumatic effect on the young Thackeray which he discussed in his essay "On Letts's Diary" in The Roundabout Papers.
 

donderdag 5 september 2013

Edinburgh Auction results

Edinburgh Auction results

Thackeray (Part II)

 
F. Holl, after Samuel Lawrence: William Makepeace Thackeray
Steel engraving, published by Smith, Elder & Co., 1853.

Thackeray primarily worked for Fraser's Magazine, a sharp-witted and sharp-tongued conservative publication, for which he produced art criticism, short fictional sketches, and two longer fictional works, Catherine and The Luck of Barry Lyndon. From 1837 to 1840 he also reviewed books for The Times.[4] He was also a regular contributor to The Morning Chronicle and The Foreign Quarterly Review. Later, through his connection to the illustrator John Leech, he began writing for the newly created Punch magazine , where he published The Snob Papers, later collected as The Book of Snobs. This work popularised the modern meaning of the word "snob."
Tragedy struck in his personal life as his wife succumbed to depression after the birth of their third child in 1840. Finding he could get no work done at home, he spent more and more time away, until September of that year, when he realised how grave her condition was. Struck by guilt, he took his ailing wife to Ireland. During the crossing she threw herself from a water-closet into the sea, but she was pulled from the waters. They fled back home after a four-week domestic battle with her mother. From November 1840 to February 1842 she was in and out of professional care, her condition waxing and waning. She eventually deteriorated into a permanent state of detachment from reality, unaware of the world around her. Thackeray desperately sought cures for her, but nothing worked, and she ended up confined in a home near Paris. She remained there until 1893, outliving her husband by thirty years.

The coincidence between the story of Jane Eyre and Thackeray real life.
The coincidence between the story of Jane Eyre and Thackeray real life caused Bronte a great deal of pain. She dedicated the second edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ to Thackeray in a preface of warm eulogy. It was already rumored that the portrait of Rochester’s wife in Jane Eyre was drawn from Thackeray’s mad wife. Indeed she was totally ignorant of Thackeray’s domestic troubles but since she published the first edition of Jane Eyre under the pen name of Currer Bell, every one thinks that the novel has been written by Thackeray’s own governess. thinkingthediscovery

After his wife's illness, Thackeray became a de facto widower, never establishing another permanent relationship. He did pursue other women, in particular Mrs. Jane Brookfield, (Thackeray incorporated some of her characteristics in to two of his characters: Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair (1848), and Laura Bell in Pendennis (1850).[1] and Sally Baxter. In 1851 Mr Brookfield barred Thackeray from further visits to or correspondence with Jane. Baxter, an American twenty years his junior whom he met during a lecture tour in New York City in 1852, married another man in 1855.
In the early 1840s, Thackeray had some success with two travel books, The Paris Sketch Book and The Irish Sketch Book. He achieved more recognition with his Snob Papers (serialised 1846/7, published in book form in 1848), but the work that really established his fame was the novel Vanity Fair, which first appeared in serialised installments beginning in January 1847. Even before Vanity Fair completed its serial run, Thackeray had become a celebrity, sought after by the very lords and ladies whom he satirised; they hailed him as the equal of Dickens.
He remained "at the top of the tree," as he put it, for the remaining decade and a half of his life, producing several large novels, notably Pendennis, The Newcomes, and The History of Henry Esmond, despite various illnesses, including a near fatal one that struck him in 1849 in the middle of writing Pendennis. He twice visited the United States on lecture tours during this period.
Thackeray also gave lectures in London on the English humorists of the eighteenth century, and on the first four Hanoverian monarchs. The latter series was published in book form as The Four Georges. In Oxford, he stood unsuccessfully as an independent for Parliament. He was narrowly beaten by Cardwell (1070 votes, against 1005 for Thackeray).


In 1860 Thackeray became editor of the newly established Cornhill Magazine, but was never comfortable as an editor, preferring to contribute to the magazine as a columnist, producing his Roundabout Papers for it.
His health worsened during the 1850s and he was plagued by a recurring stricture of the urethra that laid him up for days at a time. He also felt he had lost much of his creative impetus. He worsened matters by over-eating and drinking and avoiding exercise, though he enjoyed horseback riding (he kept a horse). He could not break his addiction to spicy peppers, further ruining his digestion. On 23 December 1863, after returning from dining out and before dressing for bed, Thackeray suffered a stroke and was found dead in his bed in the morning. His death at the age of fifty-two was entirely unexpected, and shocked his family, friends, and reading public. An estimated 7000 people attended his funeral at Kensington Gardens. He was buried on 29 December at Kensal Green Cemetery, and a memorial bust sculpted by Marochetti can be found in Westminster Abbey. /wiki/William_Makepeace_Thackeray

Thackeray in the USA.

Those who did not know his books were charmed in the lecturer by what is charming in the author—the unaffected humanity, the tenderness, the sweetness, the genial play of fancy, and the sad touch of truth, with that glancing stroke of satire which, lightning-like, illumines while it withers. The lectures were even more delightful than the books, because the tone of the voice and the appearance of the man, the general personal magnetism, explained and alleviated so much that would otherwise have seemed doubtful or unfair. Read more:  bartleby

books/ Anne Thackeray

Honeymoon dress from Charlotte


From the Treasure Trove: Charlotte’s honeymoon dress. This dress was worn by Charlotte when she set out on her honeymoon in 1854. The dress is made from silk and is actually a separate skirt and top. Originally it was patterned with stripes of lavender and silver, which have gradually faded to a uniform silvery brown colour.
facebook/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum

 The last part (Stripes and so on....) is new to me.

woensdag 4 september 2013

Charlotte Bronte admired Thackerey. She met him several times. But who is Thackerey? Part I

Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta,[1] India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray (1 September 1781 – 13 September 1815), was secretary to the board of revenue in the British East India Company. His mother, Anne Becher (1792–1864) was the second daughter of Harriet Becher and John Harman Becher, who was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company.

William's father, Richmond, died in 1815, which caused his mother to send him to England in 1816 (whilst she remained in India). The ship on which he travelled made a short stopover at St. Helena where the imprisoned Napoleon was pointed out to him.


Once in England he was educated at schools in Southampton and Chiswick and then at Charterhouse School, where he was a close friend of John Leech.

John Leech (29 August 1817 – 29 October 1864 in London) was an English caricaturist and illustrator.




 He disliked Charterhouse,[2] parodying it in his later fiction as Slaughterhouse." (Nevertheless Thackeray was honoured in the Charterhouse Chapel with a monument after his death.)
 
"[T]hat first night at school," writes Thackeray, who entered Charterhouse at the height of its reputation in 1822, "hard bed, hard words, strange boys bullying, and laughing, and jarring you with their hateful merriment — as for the first night at a strange school, we most of us remember what that is. And the first is not the worst, my boys, there's the rub" ("On Two Children in Black" (text outside VW). Homesick, forced to endure spartan conditions and undergo punishments and other impositions without showing his feelings, striving to make his mark among his peers whilst in awe of, often in thrall to, his seniors, a public schoolboy of this period had more to occupy him than his struggle with the Eton Grammar. Read more: victorianweb/publicschool
Website of: Charterhouse
/biographyCharterhouse

Illness in his last year there (during which he reportedly grew to his full height of 6' 3") postponed his matriculation at Trinity College, Cambridge, until February 1829. Never too keen on academic studies, he left the University in 1830, though some of his earliest writing appeared in university publications The Snob and The Gownsman.[3] 

He travelled for some time on the continent, visiting Paris and Weimar, where he met Goethe.

 He returned to England and began to study law at the Middle Temple, but soon gave that up. On reaching the age of 21, he came into his inheritance but he squandered much of it on gambling and by funding two unsuccessful newspapers, The National Standard and The Constitutional for which he had hoped to write. He also lost a good part of his fortune in the collapse of two Indian banks. Forced to consider a profession  
to support himself, he turned first to art, which he studied in Paris, but did not pursue it except in later years as the illustrator of some of his own novels and other writings.
Thackeray's years of semi-idleness ended after he married (20 August 1836) Isabella Gethin Shawe (1816–1893), second daughter of Isabella Creagh Shawe and Matthew Shawe, a colonel, who had died after extraordinary service, primarily in India. They had three children, all girls:

Anne Isabella (1837–1919), Jane (died at 8 months) and Harriet Marian (1840–1875). He now began "writing for his life," as he put it, turning to journalism in an effort to support his young family.

 Their first child, Anne Isabella, was born in June of 1837. Her birth was rapidly followed by the collapse of the Constitution. The sketch market had pretty much dried up, so William began writing as many articles as humanly possible and sending them to any newspaper that would print them. This was a precarious sort of existence which would continue for most of the rest of his life. He was fortunate enough to get two popular series going in two different publications. His personal life, however, wasn't going so well. His second daughter Jane (1837) died at 8 months. They had a third daughter, Harriet Marian (1840-1875). He now began "writing for his life," as he put it, turning to journalism in an effort to support his young family.

Photo: Anne Ritchie in May 1870
More information Anne Thackerey

wiki/Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie
oxford/ Anne Thackeray

trin.cam.ac  (Byron, Thackeray, and Tennyson were Trinity undergraduates in the early part of the 19th century)

/wiki/Johann_Wolfgang_von_Goethe
 
Above: Thackeray portrayed by Eyre Crowe, 1845


 

dinsdag 3 september 2013

Auction in Edinburgh

Autographed letter signed, from Charlotte Brontë to David Waldie, [L.R.C.S.] (1813-1889), thanking him for his appreciative comments regarding Jane Eyre and the gift of some "...little books", addressed from Gloucester Terrace, London, dated January 19th, no year given but a photocopy of the original envelope appears to read 1853, two hand-written pages of 175x112mm., each on one folded sheet, some very slight foxing and dust-soiling, letter is folded into three, with a few small closed tears to folds
Estimate £10,000-12,000
Note: Brontë's letter is adressed to a David Waldie Esq., a well-respected pharmacist who, it is commonly accepted, first suggested the use of chloroform in midwifery. Indeed, Professor James Y. Simpson of the Department of Midwifery at Edinburgh University, acknowleged Waldie's suggestion in a footnote in his account of discovery. Although the letter was adressed to Waldie in Liverpool, where he first encountered chloroform, he is still remembered in his home town of Linlithgow, where the Annet House Museum currently has an exhibition relating to his life and work.

The letter tells us that Waldie was impressed by Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under the pseudonym 'Currer Bell', and was inspired to write to Brontë of his appreciation of the book. Brontë replies:

The sincere affection of a reader's gratification is - I scarcely need to say - one of the much acceptable favours in which an author can be repaid for his labours. I shall be glad if any future work of mine gives you equal pleasure to that you speak of having found in "Jane Eyre".
The date of the letter can be ascertained from a photocopy of the original franked envelope (not present), with a postmark reading 1853. Indeed, it should be noted that Charlotte has signed the letter, 'C. Brontë', signifying that she was now using her own name, and therefore admitting her gender (although in the letter she does refer to the generic author as male). This fits in with what we know about the later years of Charlotte Brontë's life. In 1848, following the publication of Jane Eyre, Charlotte and Ann Brontë had revealed their true identities to their publishers. In a bibliographical note of her sisters in an edition of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Charlotte explains the reasons for the rather masculine-sounding pseudonyms used by the three siblings:

Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names, positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because without at the time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called 'feminine,' we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice.

Charlotte's rejection of, "personal publicity" seems to have extended beyond the gradual outing of her sex. Even in 1849, when Charlotte, "...paid her first visit to London in her own proper person as a woman of distinction and literary fame," (in the words of Auguste Birrell), she did not rush to be the centre of attention amongst her fellow writers. She declined to meet with Charles Dickens, for example, although she did visit William Makepeace Thackeray, of whom she was a great admirer.

However, it was between this point and Charlotte Brontë's untimely death in 1855, whilst pregnant with her first child, that the author writes this very appreciative and gracious note to Waldie. Despite what seems to be Charlotte's slight resistance to fame, it does suggest an author who has found, and is comfortable with, her own popularity.
Auction in Edinburgh

maandag 2 september 2013

Pebbles Anne collected.


From the Treasure Trove: Anne’s Collection of Pebbles. Anne visited Scarborough whilst working as a governess to the Robinson family at Thorp Green Hall. These pebbles were collected during summer vacations. facebook/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum

Here you can read moore:
kleurrijkbrontesisters/Anne Bronte and Scarlborough

Parsonage

Parsonage

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).

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.

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