Pax Victoriana

'THE GENERAL': A PORTRAIT OF EMILY BRONTE (30 Jul.1818 - 19 Dec. 1848)

Portrait: Emily Brontë by Branwell Brontë (1833; oil on canvas) [x] 

Though few images survive of the Brontë siblings, this individual portrait of Emily by her brother Branwell, done when she was only 15, shows some of the reserved grace of the fifth Brontë child.
Emily — “Nicknamed ‘The General’ […] for her vigilant protection of her sisters from [men’s] flirtatious advances” (Mellor)— stood the tallest of the siblings and had “a lithesome graceful figure" (according to family friend Ellen Nussey):

[Emily]  had very beautiful eyes, kind<ly>, kindling, liquid eyes, sometimes they looked grey, sometimes dark blue but she did not often look at you, she was too reserved. She talked very little, she and Anne were like twins, inseparable companions, and in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption. (Letters of Charlotte Brontë, 1.598)

Nussey also remembered how Emily — deeply fond of animals, though not at all gentle with her dog (Keeper, a large mastiff) — “boldly roamed the moors in all weathers, mischievously ‘leading Charlotte where she would not dare of her own free-will’” (Mellor). Besides Keeper, Emily came to include ‘a pet hawk, a cat, three tame geese, and a wild one’ [DNB].
She was an “proficient pianist”, teaching at the school in Brussels where Charlotte instructed French, as well as an accomplished poet.
One revealing incident from Emily’s childhood occurred when their father, Revd. Patrick Brontë, asked his four youngest children to put on ‘masks of anonymity' and answer his decidedly un-childish questions. According to Revd. Brontë:

I asked the next (Emily, afterwards Ellis Bell), what I had best to do with her brother Branwell, who was sometimes a naughty boy; she answered, “Reason with him, and when he won’t listen to reason, whip him.” [x]

For more biographical information about Emily, see: her DNB entry by Juliet Barker; the Cambridge Companion to the Brontës by Helen Glen; A Life of Emily Brontë by Edward Chitham; and The Brontës: Wild Genius On the Moors by Juliet Barker (1994; revised 2013).

'THE GENERAL': A PORTRAIT OF EMILY BRONTE (30 Jul.1818 - 19 Dec. 1848)

Portrait: Emily Brontë by Branwell Brontë (1833; oil on canvas) [x

Though few images survive of the Brontë siblings, this individual portrait of Emily by her brother Branwell, done when she was only 15, shows some of the reserved grace of the fifth Brontë child.

Emily — “Nicknamed ‘The General’ […] for her vigilant protection of her sisters from [men’s] flirtatious advances” (Mellor)— stood the tallest of the siblings and had “a lithesome graceful figure" (according to family friend Ellen Nussey):

[Emily]  had very beautiful eyes, kind<ly>, kindling, liquid eyes, sometimes they looked grey, sometimes dark blue but she did not often look at you, she was too reserved. She talked very little, she and Anne were like twins, inseparable companions, and in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption. (Letters of Charlotte Brontë, 1.598)

Nussey also remembered how Emily — deeply fond of animals, though not at all gentle with her dog (Keeper, a large mastiff) — “boldly roamed the moors in all weathers, mischievously ‘leading Charlotte where she would not dare of her own free-will’” (Mellor). Besides Keeper, Emily came to include ‘a pet hawk, a cat, three tame geese, and a wild one’ [DNB].

She was an “proficient pianist”, teaching at the school in Brussels where Charlotte instructed French, as well as an accomplished poet.

One revealing incident from Emily’s childhood occurred when their father, Revd. Patrick Brontë, asked his four youngest children to put on ‘masks of anonymity' and answer his decidedly un-childish questions. According to Revd. Brontë:

I asked the next (Emily, afterwards Ellis Bell), what I had best to do with her brother Branwell, who was sometimes a naughty boy; she answered, “Reason with him, and when he won’t listen to reason, whip him.” [x]

For more biographical information about Emily, see: her DNB entry by Juliet Barker; the Cambridge Companion to the Brontës by Helen Glen; A Life of Emily Brontë by Edward Chitham; and The Brontës: Wild Genius On the Moors by Juliet Barker (1994; revised 2013).

posted 10 hours ago with 26 notes

BRONTE STAMPS OF THE 80S: EMILY BRONTE (BORN ON THIS DAY, 1818)!
silentambassadors:

Emily Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Ellis Bell (younger sister of Charlotte Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Currer Bell) (and older sister of Anne Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Acton Bell), was born on this date in 1818.  Wuthering Heights, that sterling exemplar of a gothic novel, was her only work—it was published in 1847 and she died the following year, at age 30.  Thanks for giving us Heathcliff on the moors, Ms. Bell!
Stamp details:Issued on: July 9, 1980From: London, EnglandSG #1127

BRONTE STAMPS OF THE 80S: EMILY BRONTE (BORN ON THIS DAY, 1818)!

silentambassadors:

Emily Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Ellis Bell (younger sister of Charlotte Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Currer Bell) (and older sister of Anne Brontë, also known by her nom de plume Acton Bell), was born on this date in 1818.  Wuthering Heights, that sterling exemplar of a gothic novel, was her only work—it was published in 1847 and she died the following year, at age 30.  Thanks for giving us Heathcliff on the moors, Ms. Bell!

Stamp details:
Issued on: July 9, 1980
From: London, England
SG #1127


ALWAYS RELEVANT: NOT-VICTORIAN WOMEN OF ALL ERAS, COLORS

alcottgrimsley:

medievalpoc:

beggars-opera:

I’ve seen a few fashion posts trying to expand the “Marie Antoinette is not Victorian” rant, but this stuff can get complicated, so here is a semi-comprehensive list so everyone knows exactly when all of these eras were.

Please note that this is very basic and that there are sometimes subcategories (especially in the 17th century, Jacobean, Restoration, etc)

And people wonder WHY I complain about History/Art History periodization. Note how much overlap there is to the above “eras”, and how many exceptions and extensions there are to these categories.

Oh, and by the way…

Tudor:

image

Elizabethan:

image

Stuart:

image

Georgian:

image

Regency:

image

Victorian:

image

Edwardian:

image

Because you wouldn’t want to be historically inaccurate.

I reblogged this post before but OHHHH extra reference that’s so hard to get anywhere on Google or books


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEATRIX POTTER (born on this day in 1866)!

The above image is, as recounted by Letters of Note, the original 1893 tale of Peter Rabbit, later to become Potter’s most famous children’s character:

In September of 1893, at 26 years of age, Beatrix Potter sent the following illustrated letter to Noel, the five-year-old son of her friend and former governess, Annie Moore. The letter contained a tale of four rabbits, and in fact featured the first ever appearance of Peter Rabbit; however it wasn’t until 1901, eight years later, that Potter decided to revisit her letter to Noel and develop the idea.

The resulting story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published in 1902 by Frederick Warne & Co, and has since become one of the most popular children’s books of all time.

Transcript follows[:]

Eastwood
Dunkeld
Sep 4th 93

My dear Noel, 

I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits whose names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. 

They lived with their mother in a sand bank under the root of a big fir tree. 

"Now my dears," said old Mrs Bunny "you may go into the field or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr McGregor’s garden."

Flopsy, Mopsy & Cottontail, who were good little rabbits went down the lane to gather blackberries, but Peter, who was very naughty ran straight away to Mr McGregor’s garden and squeezed underneath the gate. 

First he ate some lettuce, and some broad beans, then some radishes, and then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley; but round the end of a cucumber frame whom should he meet but Mr McGregor!

Mr McGregor was planting out young cabbages but he jumped up & ran after Peter waving a rake & calling out “Stop thief”!

Peter was most dreadfully frightened & rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate. He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages and the other shoe amongst the potatoes. After losing them he ran on four legs & went faster, so that I think he would have got away altogether, if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net and got caught fast by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new. 

Mr McGregor came up with a basket which he intended to pop on the top of Peter, but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind, and this time he found the gate, slipped underneath and ran home safely. 

Mr McGregor hung up the little jacket & shoes for a scarecrow, to frighten the blackbirds. 

Peter was ill during the evening, in consequence of overeating himself. His mother put him to bed and gave him a dose of camomile tea, but Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper. 

I am coming back to London next Thursday, so I hope I shall see you soon, and the new baby. 

I remain, dear Noel, yours affectionately

Beatrix Potter

Full info at Letters of Note.

More of Beatrix Potter’s illustrated ‘Pictures Letters’ via the Morgan Library.

posted 2 days ago with 12 notes


IN PRAISE OF: EMMA APPROVED ‘BOXX HILL’

emmaapproved:

New Video - “Boxx Hill”
Link to video - http://pbly.co/EAep64

After the most recent installment of pemberleydigital web series Emma ApprovedI felt — as equal parts literature student/young academic, Austen lover, and EA/LBD fangirl — the series deserved full credit where credit is due. This week’s second, stellar episode — the perfectly titled, ‘Boxx Hill' — not only brought out some of the important and great elements of Emma's original (1815) plot, but also adapted it in a few poignant, dramatically powerful ways:

  1. The Box(x) Hill SNAFU: EA’s adaptation of Emma’s unthinking harm to Mrs. (Maddy) Bates exceeded my expectations for how to make a Regency-era blunder of manners into a 21st-century act of social and personal pain. My money had been on the idea that Emma would pull Maddy’s wacky-flavored jams just before the opening, and thus offend her and Jane Fairfax; instead, the act of Emma’s selfish, showy dismissal of Maddy’s work in front of a VIP crowd, tied in with Frank’s callous misjudgment of basically the entire situation, was PERFECT.
  2. Jane Fairfax: actress Tyra Colar has nailed the balance between Austen’s stick-in-the-mud, cautious-but-sensitive heroine Jane Fairfax, and a modern-day go-getter with big dreams on her mind and real facts on her desk. I loved that, in this episode in particular, Jane/the writers made the bold move of calling Emma out for being, more than anything, a people person who happens to be working for ‘good’, not a do-gooder who happens to love working with people. It’s a tension worthy of Austen herself, because it cuts to the heart of why we love yet are frustrated by Emma Woodhouse: she really does want to help people, but in a complicated, somewhat suspect way. Her personality tends to the ostentatious and gregarious rather than the sensible and ambitious. The awkward explosion of Jane’s anger that Emma ‘doesn’t know her’ or what she wants from her life was SPOT-ON, and made Jane more alive and interesting than many older adaptations. (Also, the subtle foreshadowing of Jane’s ‘tired’ distress over her career and Frank Churchill, and how closely those two are connected, is beautifully cast here.)
  3. Emma/Joanna Sotomura: this woman can act. The much-repeated Austen line about Emma Woodhouse being ‘a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like’ is terrifically played, more so than ever this week. Emma is so powerful and engaging and fun and fashionable and confident, but for a long time she has been happy to focus foremost on herself and her own brilliance. Episode 64, though, showed Emma not only feeling more confused, conflicted, and unsettled than ever, but most importantly — once the Knightley condemnation sank in — showed an Emma Woodhouse who is fundamentally lonely. She loves people and gets her energy from engaging with others (the epitome of the extrovert), but here, when the people she loves and cares for and who love and care for her withdraw, she is totally at sea. ‘Just please, don’t leave me,’ she begs Harriet here, because — just as in the novel — as much as Emma wants to be in a class all to herself, she is terrified of being left alone. A+ to Sotomura for showing how the bright and resilient Emma Woodhouse spirit shields and breaks in the face of active criticism from the most important corners.
  4. Knightley/Brent Bailey — damn boy. Putting aside whatever shallow praise I have to sing of Mr Bailey, I also wanted to highlight how wonderfully he/the writers mixed Knightley’s disappointment with Emma’s behavior toward Maddy with his confusion about his own feelings. Knightley (Bailey)’s fierce disgust with Emma’s conduct from the Box(x) Hill event clearly stems from a brutal disappointment with Emma, Frank, and Knightley himself — she is better than this, he thinks, but she gets carried away… by everyone and everything but me. The direct quote of ‘Badly done, Emma!' was music to my ears, and so rightly used in this context, followed by Knightley storming off to make Emma/Sotomura's breakdown a shocking and powerful scene. (Sidenote: my friend and I disagreed about whether the line 'Maybe never,' in answer to Emma's heartbroken demand, 'When are you coming back?' was juvenile or appropriately dismissive; either way, the delivery was right, and my own reading of the line as 'I don't know that I can come back, ever,’ also comes across in this performance.)
  5. Where do we go from here?: maybe the best part about this episode is how exactly it sets everything up which, with our 199-year-old spoilers, we know comes next. In the novel — as one of my friends wrote in her dissertation on Romanticism in Austen — Emma needs the sublime perspective of Box Hill to see her life and her place in society to-scale. Pemberley Digital’s Emma also needs this catastrophic, not-at-all light and lively failure to determine what (and, of course, whom) she really wants. It will be very interesting to see if, this time, Frank and Jane do get together at the end, or whether his rubbish conduct has been too much to forgive so quickly; if Emma vows to give up matchmaking, world-bettering, and all sorts of improvements, in light of her proclivity to indulge herself (I hope not); if Knightley (DEAR GOD I HOPE SO) utters the pivotal sentence, ‘If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more’; if we’ll ever meet the hypochondriacal magnate Mr. Woodhouse???

All in all, I am a very happy fangirl waiting on tenterhooks for next week’s update. The cast has grown, as has the writing, all out of of a story we all love that will (next year) celebrate its bicentennial. 10/10 to everyone involved.


NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD & SURVEY (c. 1900) — A *SECOND* SELECTION

A second batch of images, all again by Edgar Scamell (one of the chief photographers of the National Photographic Record and Survey): 

  1. Photograph of ‘a street hawker selling china’ by Edgar Scamell (1892);
  2. 'Nevill's Court / Turning Off Fetter Lane / Holborn' by Edgar Scamell (1900);
  3. Photograph of newspaper boy — carrying Telegraph (?) with headline ‘DEEMING INQUEST SCENES VERDICT’, possibly referring to the 1892 murder in Windsor St. in Melbourne by Francis Bailey Deeming, taken in the media as minor Jack the Ripper; photo by Edgar Scamell (1890? or 1892?);
  4. '47 Leicester Sq. London / Sir Joshua Reynold's House' by Edgar Scamell (August 1899).

Coming off my discovery yesterday of the National Photographic Record and Survey, whose images range from 1855-1909 in the Victoria & Albert Museum collections, I’ve picked a handful of particularly captivating or illustrative shots. As I said, the entire group’s photographs can be seen if you visit the V&A’s collections.

First round of photographs here [x]!

posted 1 week ago with 10 notes

NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD & SURVEY (c. 1900) — A SELECTION

Coming off my discovery yesterday of the National Photographic Record and Survey, whose images range from 1855-1909 in the Victoria & Albert Museum collections, I’ve picked a handful of particularly captivating or illustrative shots. As I said, the entire group’s photographs can be seen if you visit the V&A’s collections.

  1.  'House Fleet St / Entrance to the Temple' by Edgar Scamell (August 1899);
  2. 'Newgate Prison' by Edgar Scamell (1901);
  3. 'Blackfriars Bridge' by Edgar Scamell (1894);
  4. Photograph of ‘a street hawker selling baked potatoes’ by Edgar Scamell (1892)

Another round of images here!

posted 1 week ago with 9 notes

My next blog?: MY VICTORIAN/EDWARDIAN BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND
Sometimes, in the course of my research wanderings, I come across a collection of images that makes me go a bit wobbly. Today, I discovered the V&amp;A's collection of the National Photographic Record and Survey images, some 1000+ photographs taken of Britain and its people between 1855 and 1909.
Then, in looking up the background for these amazing documents, I found the portrait (shown above): 'Lunch party at the House of Commons on the occasion of the presentation of photographs to the &#8220;House&#8221;' at the National Portrait Gallery.
And thus we come to my new blog. Not only are the men pictured above dapper as anything, they also sport &#8212; as do some of the men and women (alas, not pictured visiting Parliament) &#8212; some of the best Victorian/Edwardian names I&#8217;ve ever read:

James Blyth, 1st Baron Blyth (1841-1925), Agriculturalist and businessman; Patron of numerous public bodies; Advocate of cheap postage. 
William James Downer (1851-1939), Civil servant. 
Mr Emory, Journalist for The Times. 
Sir Francis Alexander Newdigate Newdegate (1862-1936), Politician. 
Alfred Young Nutt (1847-1924), Architect. 
Sir Alfred Farthing Robbins (1856-1931), Journalist and author. 
Francis Owen (&#8216;Frank&#8217;) Salisbury (1874-1962), Painter. 
George Scamell. [National Photographic Record and Survey photographer]
Edward John Long Scott (1840-1918), Keeper of Muniments at Westminster Abbey. 
Sir James Dods Shaw (1848-1916), Parliamentary reporter, newspaper editor and writer. 
Sir Arthur Herbert Drummond Ramsay Steel-Maitland, 1st Bt (1876-1935), Politician and economist. 
(Frederick) Primrose Stevenson (1867-1935), Political press correspondent. 
Sir (John) Benjamin Stone (1838-1914), Politician; Birmingham East and photographer. [x]

Not pictured, but involved (according to the V&amp;A) are:

George Scamell&#8217;s brother (?), Edgar (93 images);
Godfrey Bingley (513 images);
Basil E. Lawrence (47 images);
Henry Walter Fincham (170 images);
Mrs Weed Ward (100 images);
Miss Lucy E Beedham (12 images);
Miss I. Niblett
Revd. CI Moncrieff Smyth
Revd. E. Travers Clark
B Diveri (122 images, mostly of the North of England);
Mrs FH Gandy
Mrs FM Muriel
R Welch (70 images, mostly of Ireland)
GH Woodfall
and numerous others&#8230;

So: any takers for a c. 1900 boyfriend, ladies and gents?
For more of the Survey&#8217;s images, visit the V&amp;A&#8217;s collections.

My next blog?: MY VICTORIAN/EDWARDIAN BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND

Sometimes, in the course of my research wanderings, I come across a collection of images that makes me go a bit wobbly. Today, I discovered the V&A's collection of the National Photographic Record and Survey images, some 1000+ photographs taken of Britain and its people between 1855 and 1909.

Then, in looking up the background for these amazing documents, I found the portrait (shown above): 'Lunch party at the House of Commons on the occasion of the presentation of photographs to the “House”' at the National Portrait Gallery.

And thus we come to my new blog. Not only are the men pictured above dapper as anything, they also sport — as do some of the men and women (alas, not pictured visiting Parliament) — some of the best Victorian/Edwardian names I’ve ever read:

Not pictured, but involved (according to the V&A) are:

  • George Scamell’s brother (?), Edgar (93 images);
  • Godfrey Bingley (513 images);
  • Basil E. Lawrence (47 images);
  • Henry Walter Fincham (170 images);
  • Mrs Weed Ward (100 images);
  • Miss Lucy E Beedham (12 images);
  • Miss I. Niblett
  • Revd. CI Moncrieff Smyth
  • Revd. E. Travers Clark
  • B Diveri (122 images, mostly of the North of England);
  • Mrs FH Gandy
  • Mrs FM Muriel
  • R Welch (70 images, mostly of Ireland)
  • GH Woodfall
  • and numerous others…

So: any takers for a c. 1900 boyfriend, ladies and gents?

For more of the Survey’s images, visit the V&A’s collections.

posted 1 week ago with 7 notes