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 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

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
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.
bronte-society-conference

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)
michel-staes.e-monsite
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
charlottemathieson/charlotte-brontes-brussels

St. Gudule
 
 
 
 
Confessional in St. Gudule, Brussels
Louis Haghe
darvillsrareprints/Belgium

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


See more photo''s secret mission

brontesisters/rue-disabelle

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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