Notes and Sources - Biography
N.B: The notes/sources below can be accessed individually by clicking on the small, superscripted numbers found with the relevant text throughout the biography. The 'return' link at the end of each individual note/source will take you back whence you came. Some of the superscripted numbers are followed by a small letter 'n'; this denotes a 'note' as opposed to a mere 'source'. (Internet Explorer users beware: you may not always be 'taken to' or 'returned to' precisely the designated location on the page: for accurate results every time - use Netscape.)

Giving sources relating to Elizabeth Gaskell's 'The Life of Charlotte Brontë' presents a problem: there are so many different editions of this book, it is pointless giving page numbers. In this case I have tried to indicate where the information is located by giving the approximate distance through the relevant chapter (i.e. a quarter way through CH.5). In some cases I have stated the information's proximity to a dated letter - as all letters in the book are presented in date order, and are easy to locate.

BPM = Brontë Parsonage Museum (library).


1) Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.100/101. (return)

2) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.487. (return)

3) This building is situated about 2/3 the way down the current Castle Road - on the northern side (directly opposite the Aughborough Street junction). A stone engraving on the building front indicates that it houses the "Wilson's Mariner's Homes" - and was built in "AD 1836" - in Anne's time it was the 'Wilson's Mariner's Asylum'. (return)

4) Charlotte Brontë, 'Biographical Notice', also Barker, 'The Brontës', p.487. (return)

5) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.544 & p.937 note5. (return)

6) Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Anne Brontë (1820 - 1849) (an Internet biography of Anne - accessed at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/People/mmbt/women/bronte/bronte-anne.html) Chapter titled 'Mirth and Mourning'. To actually quote the section: 'At the time, a married woman had no independent legal existence, apart from her husband (c.f. Caroline Norton's English Laws for Women). She could not own her own property, sue for divorce, or control custody of her children. If she attempted to live apart from him, her husband had the right to reclaim her. If she took their child with her, she was liable for kidnapping. In living off her own earnings, she was held to be stealing her husband's property, since any income she made was legally his.' (return)

7) Clement Shorter, 'The Brontës and Their Circle'. The prize was a book - Watt's On The Improvement of the Mind. Winifred Gerin suggests that this choice of book for a 16 year old girl indicates 'that Miss Wooler saw in Anne a very serious-minded young person' and 'she seems never to have penetrated the extreme reserve behind which the shy girl hid.' - Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.86.; also see Chitham 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.51.(return - biography - R. Head)

7b) There is no concrete proof that Anne visited Scarborough in 1840. Each week throughout the summer, lists of visitors were recorded in The Scarborough Herald, and, as Juliet Barker points out, there are no existing copies of the Scarborough Herald prior to 13 August in 1840, hence, no proof that Anne and the Robinsons were there that year. However, Barker goes on to suggest that as they were not listed in this edition (13 August), or later ones (for 1840), it could indicate that they did not visit Scarborough at all this year as '. . they were usually resident at this period in later years.' However, this is not strictly true: in 1841 and 1843, the Robinsons were back at Thorp Green by early August (see appropriate Scarborough Heralds): so their 1840 visit could well have taken place at an earlier date. While refering the the year 1840, Barker also states that 'there is actually no evidence that the Robinons began to take their annual holidays there [Scarborough] until the following year.', once again, citing that there are no extant Scarborough Heralds prior to 13 August, 1840 (Barker, 'The Brontës', p.343; & p.901, note 84). However, again, this is not true: The Scarborough Library hold several copies of The Scarborough Herald and General Advertiser papers covering a period in the latter half of 1839, and these indicate that, while the Robinsons were not at Scarborough on Sept 26; 'Rev. E. Robinson and Mrs. and family' were at 'No. 12, The Cliff' on Oct 3rd., Oct 10th. and Oct 17th. (there are no 1839 editions after this date). This seems an unusually late period to take such a holiday; however, with this evidence, it seems unlikely that the Robinsons (and Anne) would not have visited Scarborough in 1840. RE-WRITE THIS BALDERDASH - SEE LATER NOTE!

Shortly before Anne's dying visit to Scarborough, Charlotte sent a letter to Miss Wooler, their former school mistress at Roe Head; and among other things, stated that 'I am not myself acquainted with Scarbro', but Anne knows it well having been there three or four times' (Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.308.) (if Anne had visited in 1840 - she would have totalled 5 visits with the Robinsons): however, Charlotte's accuracy on detail has often proved unreliable. The Robinsons were known to be regular annual visitors to Scarborough (as shown in the previous paragraph), and there is no known reason why they would not have been there in the summer of 1840. As Anne joined them in April of that year it seems almost certain that she would have accompanied them. I believe, weighing up all the available information, that Anne did make her first visit to Scarborough that year. (return).[no return path yet - go to Falsgrave.htm? or somewhere in bio.?]

9)

10)

26) It seems logical that this would be the case. It is also partially supported by the fact that this very incident occurs in Ages Grey. Barker, 'The Brontës', p.901 note 84. (return - thorp green & s)

27) For many years, it was believed that Anne did not make her first visit to Scarborough until the summer of 1841; however, this conclusion had reputedly been formed largely due to a wrongly dated poem - 'The Bluebell' (supposedly dated by Winifrd Gerin to 1841 - see Barker, 'The Brontës', p.901 note 84 - although this is not borne out in Gerin's biography of Anne!). It now seems highly probable that her first visit did occurr during the summer of 1840, though it has not been fully confirmed. Each week, the Scarborough Herald contained lists of the visitors to the resort, and it is these contempory papers that give us a reasonably accurate idea of the periods Anne spent at Scarborough. However, the earliest extant Scarborough Herald for the year 1840 is that of 13 August, and the Robinsons are not listed in this, or any subsequent one during this year: so, if she did visit in 1840, it must have occured prior to this date - which is not difficult to accept as she had usually returned to Thorp Green by this date in subsequent years. This is confirmed by the relevant Scarborough Heralds, and contradicts Juliet Barker's remark in 'The Brontës', p.901 note 84: 'The Robinsons do not feature in the list of visitors published in the Scarborough Herald, 13 Aug 1840, p.3 though they were usually resident at this period in later years.' (see also my note 7b - the same?) (return - thorp green & s?)

28) Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.71; and Barker, 'The Brontës', p.355 & p.359. (return)

29) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.358/359 & p.903 note 32. Also Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.165 (return)

30) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.397/398 & p.911 note 56. Also Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.93. (return - biog note 30)

31) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.94. (return - biog note 31)

32) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.434 & p.919 note 84. Also Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.104. (return)

33) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.104. (return)

34) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.108/109.

35) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.438 & p.921 note 101.

36) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.921 note 101. Also Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.114.

37) On 7 June, Charlotte wrote to Patrick to inform him of her new address at Filey ( Barker, 'The Brontës', p.596): it is therefore reasonable to assume that she travelled to Filey around the sixth. She was certainly still at Scarborough on 4 June - writing a letter from there to William Smith Williams on that day - Barker 'The Brontës - A Life In Letters', p.236. (return)


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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