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

zaterdag 13 mei 2017

April advanced to May: a bright serene May it was.

Wild primrose -  Wild-Foodies

April advanced to May: a bright serene May it was; days of blue sky, placid sunshine, and soft western or southern gales filled up its duration. And now vegetation matured with vigour; Lowood shook loose its tresses; it became all green, all flowery; its great elm, ash, and oak skeletons were restored to majestic life; woodland plants sprang up profusely in its recesses; unnumbered varieties of
moss filled its hollows, and it made a strange ground-sunshine out of the wealth of its wild primrose plants: I have seen their pale gold gleam in overshadowed spots like scatterings of the sweetest
lustre. All this I enjoyed often and fully, free, unwatched, and almost alone: for this unwonted liberty and pleasure there was a cause, to which it now becomes my task to advert. Have I not described a pleasant site for a dwelling, when I speak of it as bosomed in hill and wood, and rising from the verge of a stream? Assuredly, pleasant enough: but whether healthy or not is another question. 

From Jane Eyre

Mansions in the Sky, Celebrating Branwell Bronte’s Bicentenary.

Leigh from the blog "Love Leigh"
visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum
And made beautiful photographes

From the blog"Love Leigh":

While the Parsonage have planned events throughout the year for all the family, it’s fair to say their crowning glory is the re-creation of Branwell’s bedroom. What was once simply a room to feature portraits painted by Branwell, has been transformed into a cave of chaos and creativity, with stacks of books stashed away in corners of the room, scrunched up pieces of paper with half-baked ideas, ink bottles on the floor, staining the carpet. Paints, brushes, and sketches you can hardly see because the room is so dimly lit. You really get a stark impression of Branwell’s mentality, desperate to succeed in some creative outlet, growing increasingly desperate and despondent as time goes on.
Read and see all: ashleylianne./mansions-in-the-sky-celebrating

donderdag 4 mei 2017

Will the Day Be Bright or Cloudy?

Will the day be bright or cloudy?
Sweetly has its dawn begun
But the heaven may shake with thunder
Ere the setting of the sun

Lady watch Apollo’s journey
Thus thy first born’s course shall be –
If his beams through summer vapours
Warm the earth all placidly
Her days shall pass like a pleasant dream in sweet tranquillity

If it darken if a shadow
Quench his rays and summon rain
Flowers may open buds may blossom
Bud and flower alike are vain
Her days shall pass like a mournful story in care and tears and pain.

If the wind be fresh and free
The wide skies clear and cloudless blue
The woods and fields and golden flowers
Sparkling in sunshine and in dew
Her days shall pass in Glory’s light the world’s drear desert through

Note: There seem to be a number of slightly different versions of this and many of Emily Brontë’s poems, with different line breaks, for example. I’m working from the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets edition, in which the punctuation seems more minimal than in other editions. I did conduct some research but can’t ascertain which is truest to Brontë’s originals.

‘We've got a house...it certainly is a beauty...Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.

‘We've got a house...it certainly is a beauty...I must try and make the house give as much pleasure to others as I can.’ Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.

Welcome to 84 PLymouth Grove, Manchester.  For over 150 years, this house has been associated with its most famous resident: the novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, who lived here from 1850 to 1865.
The House, now a Grade II listed property, was built between 1835-1841 on the outer edge of the growing city.  It was built as part of a new suburban development planned by Richard Lane and is a rare example of the elegant Regency-style villas once popular in Manchester. Thanks to a major £2.5m project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and others, the restored House is fully open to the public for the first time.

During the time Elizabeth lived here she wrote nearly all of her famous novels, including Cranford, Ruth, North and South and Wives and Daughters. She also wrote the biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë, plus many lively letters.

Notable visitors to the House included fellow writers Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, the American abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and musician Charles Hallé.
William and his two unmarried daughters, Meta and Julia, continued to live in the house after Elizabeth’s death in 1865.  When Meta died in 1913 the house and its contents were sold.

This is Jess writes/take-a-walk-on-the-writers-side

donderdag 27 april 2017

The genesis of genius. The tiny books.

The tiny, hand-lettered, hand-bound books Charlotte and Branwell Brontë made as children surely qualify. Measuring about 2.5 by 5 centimeters, page after mini-page brims with poems, stories, songs, illustrations, maps, building plans, and dialogue. The books, lettered in minuscule, even script, tell of the “Glass Town Confederacy,” a fictional world the siblings created for and around Branwell’s toy soldiers, which were both the protagonists of and audience for the little books.

In 1829 and 1830, Charlotte and Branwell cobbled the pages together from printed waste and scrap paper, perhaps cut from margins of discarded pamphlets. They wrote with steel-nibbed pens, which tend to blot, yet the even script demonstrates their practiced hand.

Children can be rough on their playthings — miniature books created by the younger Brontë siblings Emily and Anne did not survive — but Charlotte kept and stored the “Glass Town” adventures carefully. “They must have been very precious to them, as they are to us today,” said Priscilla Anderson of Harvard’s Weissman Preservation Center, who restored the volumes.

Only about 20 volumes of Brontë juvenilia are known to remain. Harvard holds nine, the Brontë Museum at the family home in England owns a few, and the remaining are scattered among museums and private collectors.

To repair tears, Anderson used fine surgical instruments, teasing out and pasting down individual fibers of kozo paper about the width of a human hair. (Kozo is a fine paper made from the inner bark of an Asian plant, and is regularly used to mend books.) All through the painstaking work, she knew even a small mistake would be magnified. “I held my breath, literally,” said Anderson, “to keep fragments of paper from blowing away.”

New binding exposed text in the gutters of Branwell’s volumes for the first time in 170 years, and the digital technology deployed provides clarity beyond that of the human eye. Technicians moved the camera very slightly on multiple takes and combined them into one image. Every millimeter is sharply focused.

Charlotte’s husband sold the volumes after her death to a collector, who gave them to poet and fellow collector Amy Lowell; she donated the set to Houghton Library in 1925.

The nine Brontë volumes held by Harvard referenced in this story are available in full, free, online:
By Charlotte Brontë: Scenes on the great bridge, November 1829
The silver cup: a tale, October 1829
Blackwoods young mens magazine, August 1829
An interesting passage in the lives of some eminent personages of the present age, June 1830
The poetaster: a drama in two volumes, July 1830
The adventures of Mon. Edouard de Crack, February 1830
By Patrick Branwell Brontë:
Branwells Blackwoods magazine, June 1829
Magazine, January 1829
Branwells Blackwoods magazine, July 1829

Read all: news.harvard.edu/the-genesis-of-genius

maandag 17 april 2017

Easter and my Bronte watercolor cards.


Did you have a nice day on first easter day?
I was busy making pictures of the Bronte cards I painted
with some easter fun stuff

I work with watercolors and make greeting cards
But also large watercolor paintings
For a long time I wanted to make some Bronte related greeting cards
And now..... I did it......

Bracelet of Charlotte Bronte

Patrick Bronte's watch
Here pictured with my granddad' s watch and photograph

I wish you a happy second easter day

Do you want to know more about my watercolors?

I keep a blog: kleurrijkaquarellen

zaterdag 15 april 2017

Ellen Nussey bicentenary, April 20

Yorkshire Evening Post reminds their readers of the upcoming Ellen Nussey bicentenary:
The name of Ellen Nussey may not be too familiar to many readers but she was a lifelong friend of the author Charlotte Brontë whom she met at Roe Head School, Mirfield in 1831. Ellen was the 12th child of John Nussey a clothing merchant of Birstall Smithies, near Gomersal in West Yorkshire.
In the 1840s Ellen and Charlotte were regular visitors to Oakwell Hall, a young ladies boarding school. Ellen Nussey’s early home was the Rydings at Birstall which partly inspired ‘Thornfield Hall’ in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. The Rydings property is still partly visible on the Leeds road(A62), near the crossroads with A652 Bradford road.
The Nusseys last rented home, where she died aged 80 years old in 1897 was Moor Lane House, which is now the Gomersal Park Hotel.
After Charlotte Brontë’s death in 1855 Ellen defended her memory and reputation in a number of letters, some of which can still be seen in the University of Leeds. April 20 is the 200th anniversary of Ellen’s birth, she is buried in the graveyard at St Peter’s Church in Birstall.

Jane Eyre and fashion.

vrijdag 7 april 2017

What an amazing launch day for Clare Twomey's Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript

What an amazing launch day for Clare Twomey's Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript. Here is chapter one complete, with thanks to 115 visitors aged from 6 to 80.

donderdag 6 april 2017

Clare Twomey: Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript

Creating handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights
April 06th 2017 10:00am - January 01st 2018 05:00pm

Artist Clare Twomey invites visitors to the Museum to create a handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights. The original manuscript for Emily’s famous novel no longer survives, but in this new commission for the Brontë Parsonage Museum, over ten thousand visitors will each be invited to copy one sentence of the novel into a handmade book to be exhibited during 2018, Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year. Each participant will be gifted a pencil, commissioned by the artist, as a tool for further writing. Clare Twomey hopes that the act of sitting at a table in the house where Emily wrote her novel, and to hold a pen and write, will build understanding of Emily and her determination to create the one published work of her lifetime.

woensdag 5 april 2017

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters 2013 A Documentary about The Bronte Sisters from ITV & Hosted By Sheila Hancock.

vrijdag 31 maart 2017

31 March 1855 "Our dear Charlotte is no more..... "

31 March 1855, Arthur Bell Nicholls writes to Ellen, 'Our dear Charlotte is no more - She died last night of Exhaustion ... We intend to bury her on Wednesday morn[in]g'. Ellen later recollected her subsequent visit to Haworth in a letter to George Smith the following year. She reported:
'her death chamber is in vivid remembrance ... Her maid Martha brought me a tray full of evergreens & such flowers as she could procure to place on the lifeless form ... what made the [task] impossible at first was the rushing recollection of the flowers I spread in her honour at her wedding breakfast & how she admired the disposal of the gathering brought by Martha from the village gardens - '

Read more: Brontesisters/Death of Charlotte Bronte

woensdag 8 maart 2017

International Women's Day: an apt passage form Anne's 'The Tenant of the Wildfell Hall'

“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.”

dinsdag 7 maart 2017

Brontë children were born in Yorkshire, and most of their unfortunate short lives spent in Haworth – a small village near the Yorkshire dales. No wonder, that this area is associated first of all with these three extraordinary writers, whose books bare definite traces of this magnificent environment. For those, who love literature, being in Haworth is a true magic. It’s a place where every second inn is called “Brontë”, “Wuthering Heights”, every pub, café or even a real estate agencies must attach on themselves a distinguishing sign of their belonging to this great family.independentpeople/visiting-bronte-world-haworth

House (with Brontë connection) for sale !

Some of you may remember that two years ago (in 2015) I reported on our detective work during our annual holidays in Ireland, more in particular regarding a Brontë-related house, i.e. Kill House near Clifden, in the Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. This is the house where Arthur Bell Nicholls’ cousin, Harriette Bell, lived with her husband, John Evans Adamson, and their children. Harriette was the cousin Arthur proposed to in 1851 and who declined his proposal.

In 2015, we found the house while driving around in  the Connemara with only vague information on its exact location. As the house was in private ownership, we could not view the inside. We only saw the house from the gate (as shown below).
Read all: brusselsbronte/house-with-bronte-connection-for-sale.

The milestone anniversary of Mary Taylor, a close friend of Charlotte Bronte

February marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the renowned feminist and businesswoman Mary Taylor. Highly intelligent and ambitious, Mary Taylor is defined as a woman who broke new ground at a time when a woman's place was deemed to be very much in the home. While other women were content to keep a lovely home and look after their men folk, Mary had other ideas. Far from her wings being clipped, she yearned to travel - and did - to countries as part of her educational journey and sharing her experiences with one of her dearest friends - the famous literary sibling, Charlotte Bronte.

The pair would often meet at Mary's home - Red House. The imposing red-brick abode in Oxford Road, Gomersal, was latterly a museum, closed to the public in December - a victim of budget cuts.
While travelling they still kept in touch through written correspondence - a legacy many historians have no doubt poured over during painstaking research to find out more about these famous friends.
Born on February 26 1817, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Taylor's birth. Last year a range of events were planned and celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth.

Read all: thetelegraphandargus

dinsdag 7 februari 2017

Branwell Brontë's desk

Beautiful pictures from Tim who visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum

Thank you Tim for letting me use your pictures

the Hat
I wondered about the hat
is this really the hat of Branwell?
I asked the Bronte Parsonage Museum
I received this answer

Hi Geri - The pictures are of elements of our new exhibitions, Mansions in the Sky and To Walk Invisible: From Parsonage to Production. The hat and dresses were designed for Sally Wainwright's Brontë drama, To Walk Invisible, and are on display in the Museum throughout 2017.

Pictures from the Mansions in the Sky exhibition.

Beautiful pictures Edwin J.M.Marr made when he visited the Bronte Parsonage

From the exhibition

Thank you Edwin for letting me use your pictures


I wondered about the dresses
Are they really from the Bronte Sisters?
I asked the Bronte Parsonage Museum
This answer I received

Hi Geri - The pictures are of elements of our new exhibitions, Mansions in the Sky and To Walk Invisible: From Parsonage to Production. The hat and dresses were designed for Sally Wainwright's Brontë drama, To Walk Invisible, and are on display in the Museum throughout 2017.

Brontë 200 - Mansions in the Sky

Who was Branwell Brontë? This new exhibition, curated by poet Simon Armitage, invites us inside the mind and world of the notorious Brontë brother in a search for answers to this question. Inspired by an early poem sent to William Wordsworth by the optimistic and precocious twenty-year old, Armitage explores Branwell’s colourful personal history through his writings, drawings and possessions, displayed at the Parsonage alongside newly created installations.  
Highlights include a series of new poems by Armitage in response to Branwell’s belongings in the Museum collection, a dramatic recreation of Branwell’s studio designed in collaboration with the production team of the BBC’s To Walk Invisible, and the actual letter and poem posted to Wordsworth, loaned by the Wordsworth Trust especially for the bicentenary. In delving into the life and times of the infamous Branwell, Mansions in the Sky will provoke
new insights into the charismatic and complicated brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

vrijdag 3 februari 2017

New exhibition celebrates life of Branwell Brontë.

A new exhibition about Branwell Brontë has opened at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth to celebrate his bicentenary. It is curated by the poet Simon Armitage and explores Branwell's history through a series of writings, drawings and possessions. At the heart of the exhibition is a letter which Branwell wrote to the poet William Wordsworth. The letter was written in January 1837 when he was 19-years-old. He enclosed one of his own poems with the letter, expressing the hopes and dreams of a young romantic, intent on building 'mansions in the sky'. Wordsworth did not reply. itv/new-exhibition-celebrates-life-of-branwell-bronte

donderdag 26 januari 2017

I received a nice reaction.

I received this nice reaction from Anushka Nair
I always love to meet people who are as much interested
in the Bronte Sisters as I am
Anushka, I wish you a lot of succes and pleasure with your weblog
I know how much knowledge and fun it will give to you
And I am certainly going to follow it!

This is amazing. I have been keeping myself updated on this blog for years - I learned a lot about the Bronte sisters here. I haven't had the chance to say how fascinating all of this is. And it's really, really hard to find any fanbase or community dedicated to the Bronte sisters, especially one that focuses on the minute details of their life!

I've started a web-blog on the Bronte sisters, too. My blog also focuses on the Bronte fan community, in addition to the the Bronte family's lives. It is at whatsupwithbrontemania.wordpress.com. I would love if you could check it out, as I'm just starting! My guiding question for this blog is - what drives the strange obsession with these Victorian-era-Yorkshire-countryside trio of authors?

This is a wonderful blog. Keep writing!! :)

zondag 22 januari 2017

‘Take courage, Charlotte, take courage’.

Anne Brontë’s final words to her sister Charlotte were ‘Take courage, Charlotte, take courage’, and they have proved to be inspirational not only to her sister, but to people across the world over a century and a half later. Read all on this beautiful article of Nick Holland: annebronte/take-courage-the-final-words-of-anne-bronte/

dinsdag 17 januari 2017

Flowers for Anne's birthday.

Flowers for Anne's birthday
Thank you very much to the person who sends them every year -
they are much loved

zondag 15 januari 2017

Branwell called and chaired a meeting of the inhabitants of the township in the school room to petition Parliament to repeal the Poor Law Amendment Acts of 1834

Kimberly Eve is 
a writer and Independent scholar of Victorian studies
In this article she is writing about Branwell Bronte

With his father’s support, on 22 February, 1837, Branwell called and chaired a meeting of the inhabitants of the township in the school room to petition Parliament to repeal the Poor Law Amendment Acts of 1834 whose measures were just beginning to be put into practice in Yorkshire. Charles Dickens Oliver Twist comes to mind. The Act ended outdoor relief, which had been administered locally by the parish vestry and had supplemented the incomes of the poor during periods of unemployment for need. Poor Law unions, administered centrally by commissioners in London, were formed by parishes and those who through old age, infirmity or unemployment were no longer able to support themselves could only obtain assistance by residing in the workhouse. Sadly, this also meant separation of the sexes: separating husbands and wives, parents and children which angered everyone. Patrick and Branwell addressed the assembled crowds, ‘upon that occasion neither speakers nor hearers had met to promote the interest of party, but to plead the cause of the poor.’ Branwell read and moved the petition, which was carried unanimously and sent to one of the local members of Parliament and the Archbishop of Canterbury for presentation to the Houses of Commons and Lords respectively. News coverage included The Times making Patrick Bronte a bit more popular than he liked.

 It is fair to say that the life of Branwell Bronte was a turbulent one; known for his drinking and career failings in the railway and somewhat as an author. He was never as successful as his famous sisters. In childhood, Branwell shined as the golden boy for his poetry and writing but in adulthood he was overshadowed and surpassed by his sisters. He struggled to publish his own works as an adult, even with the help of his sisters; it just never came to fruition. He mainly translated others works for publication or had the odd poem published in a yearly magazine. The only way Branwell’s poems would be published was amongst the poems of his sisters. However, Branwell longed to have editions and volumes of his poetry and writing published as his sisters would soon enjoy.

maandag 9 januari 2017

Ever wondered what happens #behindthescenes while we're closed?

Brontë Parsonage     
day 4. Mr 's silk neckerchief is inspected for any signs of change in condition.

Brontë Parsonage     
Day 3 : the Bronte family clock has gone to visit the horologist

Brontë Parsonage     
Charlotte's dress being carefully removed from display

Brontë Parsonage     
Ever wondered what happens while we're closed? We put the house to bed. Here's the dining room - shrouded in tissue.

Author and broadcaster Peggy Hewitt said she could not recognise the real Brontë family members from their fictional versions in To Walk Invisible.

A BRONTËLAND icon has blasted the BBC’s Christmas movie about the Brontës. Author and broadcaster Peggy Hewitt said she could not recognise the real Brontë family members from their fictional versions in To Walk Invisible.

She blasted screenwriter Sally Wainwright’s efforts – much praised by Brontë enthusiasts and local councillors – to portray the Brontë story as gritty reality rather than chocolate box nostalgia.
Peggy Hewitt wrote These Lonely Mountains, widely regarded as the definitive book about the Haworth moors and their links to the Brontës, in the 1980s.

She went on to become a successful TV, radio and children’s book writer, and These Lonely Mountains was republished in 2004 and last year as Brontë Country: Lives and Landscape.
A life member of the Brontë Society, Peggy currently lives close to her family in Scotland but says her “heart and soul” belong to the Brontë moors.  Like millions of viewers Peggy sat down to watch To Walk Invisible, filmed last summer at Haworth locations, during the Christmas break.

She said “When Sally Wainwright described the Brontës as the 'ultimate dysfunctional family' it was clear what we were in for, but even so To Walk Invisible was a shock.”
Peggy was also displeased with Charlotte’s portrayal in the film as a woman with a “constant pinched mean look”. She said: “I wondered how Ellen Nussey, a welcome streak of life in this film, could have formed a close relationship with this apparently dried-old woman. “Emily was a free spirit, but why did she have to look like a corpse? The true genius of the family, her rapport with Branwell came a bit late in the film. “And what about that moment on the moors when Emily was reading her sublime points to Anne? It could have been very moving, but background mood music was far too loud.” Peggy accepted the Brontë family did suffer, with no mother and coping with their brother’s problems, but added: “Branwell was vastly overplayed.

“No doubt they had their ups and downs, as families do, but this bound them together, not sundered them, as appeared in the film. “The Brontës were, against all odds, a brave family, a functional family, and the real story is as fascinating as any of their books.” Peggy also blasted the “mild and ineffectual” screen version of the writers’ father, the Rev Patrick Brontë, who she claimed was a fiery Irishman, Cambridge graduate, forward-looking social reformer and keen supporter of his children.

donderdag 5 januari 2017

Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life.

If you’ve read Samantha Ellis’s charming bibliomemoir How to be a Heroine – a heartwarming trip down memory lane as she looks back over the literary ladies that have shaped her life – you might be surprised to discover it’s Anne Brontë, the oft-overlooked 'third Beatle' of England’s most famous literary siblings, who’s the subject of her second book, Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life.

Better known Charlotte and Emily were both integral to the journey recounted in How to be a Heroine, Ellis’s entire enterprise inspired by an argument with her best friend regarding the respective allure of passionate headstrong Cathy Earnshaw versus dependable independent Jane Eyre. The stories told in both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are held aloft as grand romances, inspiring a host of adaptations, sequels and prequels from fan fiction through to Jean Rhys’s revisionist masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea. Similar approbation for Anne’s novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), would be tricky since it lays bare the underbelly of the romance fantasy, taking a leading lady “who starts out like other Brontë heroines, charmed by a sexy dangerous man,” Ellis explains, “but she sees the light and leaves him.” As Ellis points out, this depiction of female agency was radical for its time. While readers today will no doubt find the story hugely "refreshing," it wasn’t exactly what people either expected or wanted in the mid 1800s.

This novel (Anne’s second and final work) is central to Ellis’s project though, her modus operandi being to “see Anne through the stories she told, not the stories told about her,” especially since when it comes to the latter, there are two significant stumbling blocks. Firstly, nowhere near as much is known about the baby Brontë as compared to her more famous sisters; and secondly, what is available has been filtered through Charlotte, who suppressed the publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after Anne’s death (by then she was the only surviving sibling). Hence the image of the “virginal Victorian spinster, sweet and stoic, selfless and sexless, achieving very little before wasting away at twenty-nine” has held sway. Not least over Ellis herself. Until, that is, the day she was shown Anne’s last letter, written only five weeks before her death. Despite the writer’s failing health, Ellis is captivated by the “hope and spirit” she sees on the page.

As such, Take Courage is as much an account of Ellis’s own discovery of Anne's work as it is that of her subject’s life, and herein lies the book's unique appeal. Ellis – who is, it should be noted, as intelligent and perceptive a reader as she is an evocative storyteller – truly writes from the heart, which isn’t to say she hasn’t done her research. She has. But if you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill scholarly biography heavy with footnotes, this isn’t what Take Courage is. Instead it’s a deeply sympathetic and interesting re-evaluation of a woman ahead of her time who has much to teach us all about living courageously. independent/books/reviews/take-courage-anne-bronte

zondag 1 januari 2017

Two new biographies of Anne Bronte.

New 2017 books are presented in The Irish Independent:
This month also sees the publication of a long-overdue appraisal of the third Brontë sister, Anne. Take Courage (Chatto), by How To be a Heroine author Samantha Ellis, is being released on January 12, ahead of Anne's birthday on January 17. (Hilary A. White)
Lucasta Miller reviews the biography in The Sunday Times:
Anne is the Cinderella of the Brontë sisters, the youngest, least recognised and, by all accounts, the prettiest. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights subsequently became Hollywood classics. After Anne died, her novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was publicly dismissed by Charlotte as an “entire mistake”.
Anne’s book was, however, far more radical than anything her more famous sisters ever wrote. In its coruscating portrait of an abusive marriage it bypassed the romanticism of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to “get” feminism in a way that Charlotte and Emily never did. Although generally considered as the quiet and docile one, Anne was, in fact, the secret firebrand of the family.
The effort to reclaim her has been going on for some time. Winifred Gérin’s biography of Anne was published in 1959. However, the dominance of the two elder sisters means that there remains a need to bring her out of the shadows. In Take Courage, Samantha Ellis has risen to the challenge. (...)
Take Courage is almost as much about Ellis’s vicarious relationship with her subject as it is about Anne Brontë. If scholarly footnotes are your thing, it isn’t for you. But if you want to share in a biographer’s emotional journey, you will find insights aplenty here. The account of Anne’s death from TB at the age of 29 is truly moving. bronteblog

Don't forget there is another Anne Bronte's biography released in 2016 by Nick Holland.

Anne Brontë, the youngest and most enigmatic of the Brontë sisters, remains a bestselling author nearly two centuries after her death. The brilliance of her two novels – Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – and her poetry belies the quiet, yet courageous girl who often lived in the shadows of her more celebrated sisters. Yet her writing was the most revolutionary of all the Brontës, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable.

This revealing new biography opens Anne’s most private life to a new audience and shows the true nature of her relationship with her sister Charlotte.

'Holland has enormous affection for Anne Brontë, and his excellent book is filled with passion and pathos. Its triumph is that Anne is given voice and is no longer swamped by her siblings.' - Roger Lewis, The Mail On Sunday

'Holland's way of telling about Anne Brontë's final illness and last days is particularly touching while avoiding the easy slide into parable territory. This new biography proves that Anne Brontë's afterlife is just like her life: not about quantity but about quality.' - Brontë Blog Book Review 

Nick Holland also has an interesting weblog about Anne. annebronte



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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