Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Brontë Story

'On this day in 1846, the Brontë sisters wrote to the publishers Aylott & Jones, offering a book of poetry by the three "Bells" — "Currer" (Charlotte Brontë), "Ellis" (Emily Brontë) and "Acton" (Anne Bronte). The pseudonyms were chosen, saidCharlotte later, for their “positively masculine” ring. When the poetry book was published the following May, at the sisters' own expense, it sold just two copies. In her biography of Charlotte, Elizabeth Gaskell tells of interviewing various residents of Haworth to see what they knew of the sisters at this time, as “Bells” or Brontës. One such was the local stationer, who portrays the three as firm but friendly, and devoted to their craft:

"…I had not much acquaintance with the family till about 1843, when I began to do a little in the stationery line. Nothing of that kind could be had nearer than Keighley before I began. They used to buy a great deal of writing paper, and I used to wonder whatever they did with so much. I sometimes thought they contributed to the Magazines. When I was out of stock, I was always afraid of their coming; they seemed so distressed about it, if I had none. I have walked to Halifax (a distance of 10 miles) many a time, for half a ream of paper, for fear of being without it when they came…. I did so like them to come when I had anything for them; they were so much different to anybody else; so gentle and kind, and so very quiet."'

 — at Haworth Parsonage.

AnneEmily, and Charlotte Brontë, by their brother Branwell (c. 1834). He painted himself among his sisters, but later removed the image so as not to clutter the picture.

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