Archive for charlotte bronte

Jane Eyre’s beginnings

Posted in BRONTE BITES with tags , , , on July 30, 2010 by echostains



Anyone who has read Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte will know that Charlotte accompanied her father Patrick Bronte to Manchester when he underwent a successful cataract operation.  Mr Wilson a famous oculist recommended comfortable lodgings which were ran by a former servant of his.

The Salutation

The lodging house has long gone, but the street remains.  The Salutation pub stands facing where the Charlotte and her father stayed.  A blue plaque stares out blankly onto where according to the information Charlotte began her most famous novel Jane Eyre.  This is an excerpt from a letter Charlotte wrote describing her Manchester lodging;-

August 21st, 1846: –

“I just scribble a line to you to let you know where I am, in order that you may write to me here, for it seems to me that a letter from you would relieve me from the feeling of strangeness I have in this big town. Papa and I came here on Wednesday; we saw Mr. Wilson, the oculist, the same day; he pronounced papa’s eyes quite ready for an operation, and has fixed next Monday for the performance of it. Think of us on that day! We got into our lodgings yesterday. I think we shall be comfortable; at least our rooms are very good, but there is no mistress of the house (she is very ill, and gone out into the country), and I am somewhat puzzled in managing about provisions; we board ourselves. I find myself excessively ignorant. I can’t tell what to order in the way of meat. For ourselves I could contrive, papa’s diet is so very simple; but there will be a nurse coming in a day or two, and I am afraid of not having things good enough for her. Papa requires nothing, you know, but plain beef and mutton, tea and bread and butter; but a nurse will probably expect to live much better; give me some hints if you can. Mr. Wilson says we shall have to stay here for a month at least. I wonder how Emily and Anne will get on at home with Branwell. They, too, will have their troubles. What would I not give to have you here! One is forced, step by step, to get experience in the world; but the learning is so disagreeable. One cheerful feature in the business is, that Mr. Wilson thinks most favourably of the case.”


What must that street have looked like then?  Oh to go back in time to August 21st 1846 and see Charlotte coming and going from 83 Mount Pleasant Boundary Street!  I, like most people perhaps, always assumed that Jane Eyre was written at the Parsonage in Haworth, but this appears not to be the case.  According to this information, the novel was started at the above address.  Where once stood Mount Pleasant 73 – 93 the back part of the Municipal School of Art stands.


title page of Jane Eyre

A few days later, she writes thus: “Papa is still lying in bed, in a dark room, with his eyes bandaged. No inflammation ensued, but still it appears the greatest care, perfect quiet, and utter privation of light are necessary to ensure a good result from the operation. He is very patient, but, of course, depressed and weary. He was allowed to try his sight for the first time yesterday. He could see dimly. Mr. Wilson seemed perfectly satisfied, and said all was right. I have had bad nights from the toothache since I came to Manchester.”

Excerpts of Elizabeth Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte from this site Thanks!

Currer Bell image here





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Fairytale books of many colours: A Phase that has Lasted

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by echostains

The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, just one I read earlier - a lot earlier

I am the sort of person that if I read something and I like it, and the way that it’s been written, I shall then proceed to read as much as possible by the same author.  So consequently, when I first discovered libraries I read one of the Andrew Lang Fairytale books (can’t remember which colour) which contained many fairytales and carried on until I had exhausted them all.

Sam Pig Alison Uttley

From there I progressed to Folk tales from different countries and this kept me going for a bit.  Other series that I liked reading as a child were the Sam Pig books by Alison Utterly.  I just like the way that these were written and the illustrations.  I read one Sherlock Holmes book and this lead to just having to read them  all.

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

When I discovered Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (which we had to read in school), I began to realise what ‘literature’ was really about.  Dickens also had the same effect on me, I devoured nearly his books, with varying degrees of enjoyment (though I still haven’t read ‘Edwin Drood’).  This habit  has stayed with me as an adult.  When I saw ‘Tipping the Velvet’ on TV, I decided to read the book, from there I have now read all Sarah Waters books: some are better than others, but I just love they way in which they are written – I like the style.  Having said that, Patrick Hamilton’s books, of which I have enjoyed an extensive one after the other phase, tend to be erratic (the author showing through sometimes too much), enjoyable though

Great-expectations one of my favorites

An author I could not get enough of about 25 years ago was Stephen King.  His works translates fabulously to the screen,  My hubby doesn’t like him, says he has a tendency to waffle on.  I disagree.  When for example, you read something like ‘The Shining’ it’s true that half the book is taken up with describing the hotel – but that’s the genius of King, he builds atmosphere so skillfully.  Then when the ‘hotel’ or scene of the horror is set and is then  so vivid in your imagination  – he just steps right  in and frightens the hell out of you, lol!

Stephen King the shining

Lot’s of writers I could write about: lot of books and writers I am going to write about, lots of books I have read, lots of books I have read and forgotten about. Yet so many books to read – I look forward to that.

Watched: ‘The Antiques Roadshow’ Charlotte’s Bronte’s Bible Speaks!

Posted in BRONTE BITES, WATCHED with tags , , on September 29, 2009 by echostains

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Was watching The Antiques Roadshow, which, this week came from Blackpool Tower.  I watch it from time to time, but I especially wanted to watch it yesterday because it featured Charlotte Bronte’s Sunday school bible.  Bought from a dealer in the 1920s or 30s for 50.00, the bible is crammed packed with tiny notes by Charlotte.  The expert authenicated the writing as Charlottes, dating the bible from about 1845.    It’s estimated value? between £15,000 and £20,000!

Haworth Revisited

Posted in BRONTE BITES, PAST PLACES with tags , , on September 11, 2009 by echostains

haworth in the rain

haworth in the rain

It’s been yet another sunny day!  I can’t quite believe it.  Now why couldn’t it have been like this when we went to Haworth last week?  Here’s another couple of pics we took in that wuthering place:-

 disconcerting Bronte bronzes
disconcerting Bronte bronzes

 More posts about Haworth

Staying at Wuthering Heights (as one does)

Did the REAL Charlotte Bronte just Stand up?

Black Sheep Branwell – It wasn’t All Rock and Roll

Haworth STIL Wuthering and Very Much So!

Did the REAL Charlotte Bronte Just Stand up?

Posted in ART HISTORY, BRONTE BITES with tags , , , , on September 4, 2009 by echostains

The Bronte sisters by Branwell

The Bronte sisters by Branwell

This is a follow up to my post called ‘Will the Real Charlotte Bronte Please Stand up?  This was written a while ago.  I tried to establish what Charlotte Bronte really looked like (and didn’t get anywhere lol!)  This subject still fascinates me though, so I was intrigued to read recently that James Gorin Von Grosny from Devon had bought a painting whom he believes are the Bronte sisters, painted by Edwin Lanseer.  The connection with Lanseer and the Bronte’s comes about through Ellen Nussey’s brother being a friend of his.
could this be a fresh portrait of the Bronte sisters?

could this be a fresh portrait of the Bronte sisters?


Now, before you dismiss this claim as outlandish and unlikely, Mr Von Grosny puts up a formidable arguement  defending his claim and a lively debate is going  on the Bronte blog HERE.  It makes fascinating reading and  Mr Von Grosny addresses many issues regarding the work.  It is obvious that he has done a lot of research into the Bronte’s and has a genuine interest in them.


closer up

closer up


Even the way that the owner aquired this portrait is unusual in itself (read it HERE).  The whole story is intriguing and I am keeping a very open mind.  After all, we have so many portraits, each differing of Charlotte: so many conflicting descriptions of her appearence.  For example, even the samples of her hair differ.  I was at the Bronte Parsonage yesterday and saw three different examples, purported to be Charlottes hair.  There was a necklace made of fair hair, a mourning card with red blonde hair and a very dark lock of hair which is confusing. So why SHOULDN’T this portrait be of the Bronte’s? We don’t know for a fact it isn’t so far.


the knee sketch

the knee sketch



The reverse of the painting contains a sketch of a knee.  Mr Von Grosny asserts that this ties in with a painting that Charlotte did of a shepherdess with the same scar below the knee.  It is thought to be a self portrait.  There is so much to the story of this painting – the suspense is killing me lol!  But just because I WANT it to be the Bronte’s, won’t make it so, but evidence will.  I can assure you that Mr Von Grosny is busy collecting it!  This portrait has a tale to tell I feel, and I want to hear it!

Constructive comments are invited

Please note:  this debate has been transferred onto Bookstains where hopefully it will continue and get more views

Looking back, Over my Shoulder….

Posted in ART, BRONTE BITES, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , on July 15, 2009 by echostains

Last night I found myself looking back over my old posts….and wondering what I was thinking of!  Quite a lot, so it seems.  Some of these posts have such a lot in them.  Seems a shame that they’re now confined to the archives.  So;


Garden of delights

Garden of delights

A Cornish Garden (Barbera Hepworth)

page 23 detail

page 23 detail

Altered Art Book page 23 The muffled voice

am I addressing the real charlotte Bronte or not?

am I addressing the real charlotte Bronte or not?

Will the real Charlotte Bronte PLEASE stand up





Just a quick one.

The Bride’s Mother: A Fascinating Creature

Posted in BRONTE BITES with tags , , , , , , , on January 15, 2009 by echostains
how fascinating can you get

Well it’s going to have to happen soon, I am going to have to buy Mother of the Bride clothes.  I’ve already had a look at some of em, and I can’t say I’m impressed.  I wouldn’t wear these in real life, I REFUSE to wear them in Vegas.  I shall not be wearing a hat.  I love hats, with my flat head, but no,I will be wearing a ‘fascinater’ apparently.  Now, come ON, I’m fascinating enough surely?  (I flatter myself because no one else will).

1840-early-victorian wedding dress

  At least the Wedding dress is sorted, and it’s gorgeous!  My own wedding dress was a white lace number with big puffy sleeves.  I’ve still got it,  I’ll never get into it again, (I had a job getting into it in the first place!).  Wedding dresses have certainly changed down the years.  I remember a seeing this Charlotte Bronte dress in the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Yorkshire.  It was tiny, but then so was she.  I don’t think it was a wedding dress  as such.


 This interesting web site shows how Wedding dresses have changed through the years.