Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

It Happened at Sotheby''s

Holding Emily's poems

In June of this year, my husband and I traveled to New York to see a manuscript of Emily Brontë 's poems on display at  the Auction house, Southby's. This manuscript is part of the Honresfield Library collection,  a legendary treasure trove, not seen for almost 100 years.  

Now it was to be put up for auction. But first part of it would be on display. I was alerted to this event by my friend, Geri Meftah front the " "The Bronte Sisters" . She kindly allowed me to post  there about my adventure shortly thereafter. 

Thank you, Geri! 

Here is a link to that post

It Happened At Sotheby''s

What I don't say in that post was when I was granted permission to hold Emily's poems, I squealed like a 5 year old.

 " REALLY?! "

oh yeah, I was pumped.

And I'm still stunned. It was much later I realized we were there just as one of the world's biggest book buyers and sellers happen to be there too . I got in on his appointment as it were,  because he and we were chatting with the curator,  who came out of her office expressly to show him the items . It was timing from the Gods.

Even in my state of shock, from seeing the case suddenly being opened and the  items passed about , I knew if I allowed those poems to float by me , on their way back to the case ,without speaking up, I would always regret it.

 This compelled me to ask if I may hold Emily's poems too?  

The pages  Emily wrote upon,  which Charlotte found, held and read  with growing excitement, the beginning of their publishing life...Wow.  Words fail one. I'm glad there are photos.  

Shortly after our trip , the items of the Honresfield Library were pulled off the market, sent back to England, and an attempt is being made to have the UK buy it for the nation. It's a dazzling archive. I wish them success!

Close up

Brontë Novel Update

My Brontë  novel  goes on and I continue to greatly enjoy it. However it's also rather " lowering " as CB would say , to think Tolstoy took a mere 6 years for " War and Peace" and this Dec will be 9 years  for my novel !

But  he was a genius and Mrs Tolstoy make the fair copies nightly as he wrote. I tried dictating to my husband as he typed , as a means of getting typing done faster. But he's a writer too and invariably he would put other words in place of what I said lol! It didn't work out. But I greatly appreciated the offer and effort. 

Thanks, Hon!

My method of writing has been  to write the novel in long hand using  note books and then type it  into the computer as best as I can. A few years ago I had one laundry basket of note books. Currently I have five...Hmmmm. 

So now the focus is to work with what has been typed, and it's a good deal  Shape the typed text, rather than keep filling note books and slog on with one finger typing. The note books are galloping ahead!

Still the ponderings and ideas flow in. I've long said CB's decision, when she thought over marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls, ( among many things) was a choice  between  Haworth or London. She choose Haworth. But it was more than that. Arthur was firmly placed in the clannish, Anglo-Irish socity. When Charlotte married him, she would be deemed Irish and no mistake.

When Charlotte  marries Arthur , she intends ABN to have the living after Papa ( in my mind ) and if she had lived, it's likely he would have. So they were not going to live in Ireland. But it wouldn't matter if they were in Haworth or Timbuktu, as Mrs Nicholls, she would be deemed ; Irish. 

It would not be looked over as it may have been as a single woman whose mother was from Cornwall . I believe this aspect added to her relief when on her Honeymoon, Charlotte found she liked her new relations. Because they were indeed her new relations .

This adds another wrinkle as to why Papa was furious over the idea of CB marrying Arthur Bell Nicholls, Haworth's Irish curate.  It wasn't just Arthur's poverty. It was also that Patrick had spent 50 years improving ( in his eyes ) on the family's social status, his son is dead ( so no advance there ) ,  however Charlotte  had  an amazing, world wide success. The English Quality compete for her company ... Yet she puts all that aside to marry a penniless, Irish curate. Thus placing Brontë  family at square one after a half century of  labor and success in England.

Well not quite. Arthur's social position in Ireland was higher that the Brontë's and certainly far higher than Pat Pundy's when he came to England long before. However this was not a consolation to Patrick!

But it  was not simply this that caused trouble. Patrick and Arthur were far apart religiously . Patrick had left his first love over religion. To him it mattered and I have it as why he could not give CB away to a High church Tractarian in the House of God,  the Church, Patrick  had  served for 40 years.

Patrick thinks on the Evangelical ministers who helped him as a youth and all he owes them. They put him where he was and  when being asked,  " Who giveth this woman?" as he would be, Patrick cannot imagine uttering the words " I do ", when the groom he's giving his daughter to is a Tractarian, those long ago minister's religious rival. Patrick will greet the married couple gladly afterwards . I have Arthur understand and besides he says:

 " The Brontë I wanted was there."  

People don't often recall that just at the time when Arthur proposed to Charlotte,  Ellen Nussey was thinking over if she would become the ill paid companion of  an elderly clergyman 's wife; hardly a thrilling prospect. Indeed when CB writes to Ellen about Arthur's proposal in December of '52, she first talks about that very different proposal Ellen was considering. Yikes.

Ellen was fine with it all and listened to every word as a good friend would, up to the time Arthur left Haworth, having been refused. It was later when she learned that after he left, Arthur had written letters to Charlotte and worse, she had answered him and indeed far worse than all that; there were meetings! Ellen knew it was serious if CB had gone that far.  Then Ellen, like ,Papa, flew into a rage. The row was such, the friendship was ruptured for months afterward.

While they had different reasons, Papa and Ellen locked shoulder to shoulder and proceeded to do all they could to stop this alliance.  All they could do was to counter the idea with deeply hurt feelings. A potent force indeed. It was a long battle, but ultimately they were no match for Charlotte once she made up her mind. It's not even close, lol

So over the furious objections from her best friend and her father, Charlotte Brontë  had to fight tooth and nail for her marriage. She did so. It's quite a story.

Romanov videos

I've been dropping Romanov videos since posting, here are some links


The Romanovs. Tatiana 

The Romanovs. OTMA up close.

The Romanoves. I cannot spare you.

The Romanovs. The Big Pair up close

I love this photo of Alix and Anastasia from May of 1916. A glimpse  of what might have been. Anastasia looks quite grown up there. And while it is often said Alix adored her husband and her son, one can see she adored her daughters as well.

Empress Alexandra and Anastasia 
May 1916

 I'm hoping to start painting Romanovs again. I've plenty of ideas, it's been over 6 years!

 Okay! Back to work!