On Sun May 28 17:27:47 BST 2000, Marrianne Somersby (Scotland) from 126.96.36.199 said:
Great site! I've never been here before, but I have recently read Juliet Barker's biography and thought I'd have a look at the presence on the web. This is the best site I've ever seen. One tiny thing - Anne never loved William Weightman.
Ah! I can see you've been reading too much Juliet Barker, Marrianne! Actually, Barker has created a superb account of the Brontes' lives, and also shattered/dis-proved many long-held beliefs about the family. However, there are one or two points on which I think she has gone too far. There is a considerable amount of strong evidence to show that Anne WAS in love with Weightman; and, in my opinion (and that of many other Brontë scholars), the reasons Barker gives that supposedly indicate this was not the case, just don't add up.
However, thanks for your message and lovely compliment,
To Anna Steed - You've been reading 'The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte' haven't you? Don't believe it. Arthur Bell Nicholls was a nice guy.
Your message puzzled me at first, Katherine; but I see you're responding to the earlier message of Mon Feb 21 (Page 2). I think 'The Crimes . . ' is O/K if you accept it as the fiction that it is, but to try and view it as fact is a bit silly; though the guy who wrote the book, initially tried to sell it as such. I'll quote our Queen Victoria here . . . 'We are not amused!'
;-) , Mick.
This is a wonderful site. Anne has always been my favorite of the Bronte sisters, and it is so nice to see such a flattering and comprehensive tribute to her. Thank you!
A wonderful site. Enough said.
Actually - I agree with Marrianne, and the arguments do add up. Juliet Barker was right in what she said and her biography is the best one ever (better than Mrs Gaskell's any day of the week) I had wanted to say something about this too, but Marrianne beat me to it! Oops! Nearly forgot what I opened the guest book to say - wonderful site! Much better than the one I was just on that was telling the Brontes were all vampires and that they were killed by Arthur B. N. who was head vampire.
Thankyou Marrianne! I've been dying to say that for ages - but the I thought the site so good that I didn't want it to look like I didn't ike it.
William Weightman was a good friend to all of the Brontes but if anyone was in love with him - it was Charlotte. Who painted his picture? Who took a spontaneous interest in all of the church affairs when he became curate? Charlotte.
Firstly I would like to say thankyou for taking the pain out of my grandson's Bronte project which has to this point been punctuated by moans that "Nobody reads their books anyhow - why couldn't I have got something interesting to do?". He was very impressed by your site as was I - but my one qualm is that William Weightman thing.
He was supposedly a charming person but the arguments about Anne being in love with him simply don't add up. She had several oppurtunities to get to see him without raising suspicion. She stayed on at Thorp Green.
The letter to Ellen is Charlotte's sarcasm. It's in most of her letters.
Love from Pat and with thanks from Ivan.
Hello again - I quite agree Mike, but also agree with Marrianne. The arguments add up and make more sense than the original arguments.
I thought the monologue was very good.
Thanks for your comments Lucy, Susie, Pat, and Katherine,
Firstly, I would just like to say that I don't doubt for one moment that Charlotte was in love with Weightman - and who knows, maybe even Emily was too! Regarding Anne being in love with him, I can see that Barker's arguments have made a strong impression on you - which doesn't surprise me: but I can't help wondering how much other biographical material you have studied. There are many aspects to this subject - not all covered by Barker: certainly far too many for me to go into here; but I would just like to highlight one point. One of Barker's main contentions is that if Anne was in love with Weightman, she would have chosen to remain in Haworth - to be near him - rather than readily accept the position as governess at Thorp Green. Sounds logical; however, Barker, at this point, appears to be totally oblivious to the fact that the family were aware that Weightman was due, around this period, to leave Haworth for some considerable time (which he actually did) - some of this time would be spent in Ripon (it actually was) - which is situated a mere 15 miles from Thorp Green. So if Anne wanted to be near Weightman, contrary to what Barker says, the thing to do was go to Thorp Green - which is exactly what she did!
For me, the most convincing items are the series of love poems that Anne wrote in his memory over the five years following his death. I have presented four of these in the 'Poems' section of this site (I'll have to put the others in) - please have a careful read through them (all three are highlighted in the 'Poems List' as 'Weightman Related'), and the accompanying notes - which are based on points made by Edward Chitham in his biography of Anne. The last one - written five years after Weightman's death, actually contains the words 'the form I loved . . . '. Barker dismisses these poems as suggesting nothing more than a fondness for him, which, in my opinion, is a gross underestimation.
Nice try, Mike - nearly convinced me! Last paragraph made me ring up my brother and have a Bronte chat. I have not read, am not reading and have no intention in the near future of reading Juliet Barker, my brother is much more reliable I am certain - but I don't think that Anne was in love with William Weightman. Your poetry argument doesn't add up either. The stuff she wrote just doesnt seem to me to be that of someone bereft of the love of their life - it's like someone losing a close friend - which he was!!! And another thing, like my brother says - the books she wrote don't seem to know much about love and she would have been much less ignorant of that emotion if she had been in love with William Weightman. After Luke (My brother) went online to check out the site - he said that the site was very good despite the William Weightman stuff.
Of course, no one knows for certain one way or the other; and in the end, we can all only form our own opinions from the poems and other available biographical material: I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for writing,
It's a very useful and helpful site. You saved me for my next exam!!
Excellent site, really interesting and absorbing. Will visit again. Would love to hear from anyone who is totally obsessed by the Brontes. Please write to me at Hayfield Drive, Frecheville Sheffield S12 4XG
I was looking for Charlotte's portraits of Anne; congrats: your site is absolutely the most complete on the entire web.
I am working on a new page of my website: a photographic reportage from Top Withens (Emily's Wuthering Heights). There will be around 14 wide B/W pictures of the place, taken in december 2000. The page will be uploaded within 4-5 days; I would be very happy if you'd be so kind to take a look at it. The URL will be:
Thank you, and congrats again.
I am a great admirer of Anne Bronte and her works, so much so that I consider her my favourite Bronte sister. It's for this reason that I think your webpages about her are really useful, interesting and necessary.
This is a fascinating and beautifully designed site. I feel like I've been on holiday to Scarborough myself (and I needed a holiday, too).
I could spend hours navigating about this website. What a rich resource!
Congratulation to these wonderful descriptions. I always search the web for more and detailed information about the Brontè sisters and their enviroment. Stefano Infante, Germany
I visited Scarborough in 1991. Though it was rainy and generally miserable I would like to have stayed and done more exploring. Your web page shows more of what I missed ! Thanks !
Brilliant site, gets better everytime I come. I would like to hear from any other Bronte lovers, particularly of Anne. e-mail me, I shall reply to all!!!!!!
Love Ann from Sheffield, (as oppossed to Anne in Scarborough!)
Hello and thank you for continuing to add such interesting facts to this wonderful site on the "Least Talented Bronte Sister". I find Anne's two novels to be far superior in depth and focus then Charlotte's highly romantic and self absorbed works. Charlotte is one of the greatest novelists of all time, however i find her LIFE to be far more interesting than her books. Emily and especially Anne ( I feel ) were completely fearless in their approach to writing and brought out the hidden darkness to the human psyche. This invited such unneeded critisism. So many critics and people alike would have rather kept their dirty secrets of depravity hidden under a nice red velvet carpet than come face to face with themselves and their actions. And somehow, Anne exposed people's faults and shortcomings without ever being truly mean or vindictive. THAT is an amazing acheivement! To have to look in the mirror with your "true" face showing, was far to terrifying, so these critics chose to attack the Brontes. When it came to Charlotte's works, I am amazed at how cruel G.H. Lewes critisized her books. He by far was in no position to say anything granted he was living ( unmarried ) with George Eliot! The truth will set you free and the Bible will give you the knowledge to do so. Anne was well aware of that and led a brief and somber life. Yet not without joy. Many people should take a closer look at her words within her novels and poetry and discover that what she has to say is more relevant then either of her sisters. Emily was the genius of imagination, unserpassed by any writier EVER. Charlotte, the genius of characterization and plot. Yet Anne was the genius of Truth and what lies within the human soul. What truly lies within. And the Truth will always set you free.
P.S. I have read many a biography on this wonderful family and Juliet Barker's biographies are highly overblown and are based greatly on HER thoughts of what the Bronte's were like and NOT the tiny facts of what they were honestly like. I find her work to be overblown and without much merit. Winifred Gerin is a much beter example of a biographer who knows her Bronte subject. As well as the wonderful Lyndall Gordon who's biography on Charlotte is amazing in it's clarity and it's freshness of studies on Charlotte's works and life. Let's hope that an Anne Bronte biography comes around soon that will really grasp what this magnificent woman was all about.
I need some information on Anne Bronte and her book Agnes Grey. So if anyone has any information can you please email me it. Please help me for my report in high school. 12-16-00
Very good work, extremely accurate and useful. Thanks.
THIS IS A VERY USEFUL WEBSITE, IT 'LL BE VERY USEFUL FOR MY THESIS. WHO WANTS TO GIVE ME SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THIS AUTHOR PLEASE WRITE TO MY E-MAIL ADDRESS.
Very detailed information.Please insert more pictures.
So that's one of my site's weaknesses? - not enough pictures? Wow, that't the first time I've been told that! What, in particular, would you like to see more pictures of? . . . Mick.
It's so interesting. I should like to find a site like this one. Thanks.
I must congratulate you on a wonderful and well researched site!
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