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) Charlotte's letter to Ellen Nussey, dated 10 December 1848, see: Barker, 'The Brontës', p.574; Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.135; and Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.294. (return)

2) Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.14. (Ultimately from Clement Shorter, 'Charlotte Brontë and her Circle', p.182.) (return)

3) Anne's description of Edward Weston and Agnes Grey's walk to 'the edge of the precipice', with the 'glorious view' out to sea, and 'the restless world of waters at our feet', perfectly matches a walk into the castle, and across the grounds to the edge of the cliff, and is too accurate to have been written from anything other than personal experience. Despite this, considering the amount of time Anne spent at Scarborough it is inconceivable to think that she would not have visited the castle: there is no doubt that the castle was open to the public in the 1840s: for Thursday 31 May 1849, the day after Anne's funeral, Ellen Nussey's diary records: 'Visited Scarbro castle with C.B.': this visit may well have been made on Anne's recommendation. (return)

4) Several contemporary paintings confirm that holidaymakers did take walks along the pathways that weave along the uneven slopes of the South Cliff, just as they do today (see 'Anne Brontë Was Here' - 'Gallery 2' - accessible from 'Main Page'): considering Anne's love for walking, and the time she spent at the resort, there can be little doubt that she also, would have taken walks along these pathways. A note in Ellen Nussey's diary for 1 June (Fri) 1849 - two days after Anne had been interred - states 'At the South Cliff 1849.' - indicating that she and Charlotte had spent some time in this area of the resort - probably on Anne's recommendation. (return)

5) The suggestion that Anne went bathing at the 'indoor sea-water baths' near St. Nicholas Cliff while at Scarborough with the Robinsons, is based, firstly, on the fact that Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' actually contain entries for "Sea Baths", proving that the Robinsons certainly visited these premises (see Gerin, 'Branwell Brontë - A Biography', p.232); and secondly, on the fact that the morning after her arrival - on her dying visit in 1849, Anne insisted on attending one of these baths, and being allowed to bathe there alone, which seems to indicate that it was an activity in which she had engaged before.

There were three sets of 'Indoor Sea-water Baths' close to Wood's Lodgings - slightly in the direction of the town centre; and one on the sea front - just below the lodgings - see details (and illustrations) on 'Scarborough Map - 1845', accessible from 'Main Page'. (return)

6) As Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' prove the Robinsons went bathing in the 'Sea Baths', they also contain entries for 'Sea Bathing', which presumably refer to the hire of the 'bathing huts' that were lined along the beach, and, incidentally, that Anne mentions in Agnes Grey. The morning after her arrival - on her dying visit in 1849, Anne insisted on attending one of the nearby 'Indoor Sea-baths', and being allowed to bathe there alone, which appears to indicate that she had joined the Robinsons in this activity on their visits a number of years earlier. It therefore seems highly likely that she would also have accompanied them in 'sea bathing'. For details of Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts': see Gerin, 'Branwell Brontë - A Biography', p.232. (return)

7) Given Anne's love of Scarborough, and the fact that Charlotte had suggested Bridlington, it is certain that Anne would have dreamed of locating the school at Scarborough; indeed, this is strongly implied in Agnes Grey, where Agnes and her mother run their own boarding school for girls located on the main road that enters the resort (CH.24) - see Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.22 & p.86 & p.189 - note 25: Winifred Gerin states, as a fact, that Anne did actually suggest Scarborough - but offers no source for this information - Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.201. (return)

8) Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.224: also see Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.125. (return)

9) There is a detailed account on this in Elizabeth Langland's 'Anne Brontë - The Other One': see Chapter 2; in particular p.30 & p.60: also in other sections of the book. (return)

10) This was the Irish novelist, George Moore, who, around the turn of the century, wrote a glowing report about Anne and Agnes Grey, and seemed to prefer this to her second novel, though he did declare that The Tenant of Wildfell Hall had the rare literary quality of 'heat'. He concluded that Anne 'had all the qualities of Jane Austen and other qualities', and 'If Anne Brontë had lived ten years longer she would have taken a place beside Jane Austen, perhaps even a higher place.': see Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.227. (return)

11) Charlotte's letter to Ellen Nussey dated 29 October 1848: see Barker, 'The Brontës', p.571. (return)

12) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.576. (return)

13) Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.151: also see Barker, 'The Brontës' p.590: also see Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.310. (return)

14) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.184: also see Barker, 'The Brontës', p.592. (return)

15) In her notes section, Winifred Gerin states: 'The Baths: doubtless Harland's Baths, situated at the corner of Falconer's Road and Vernon Place, the nearest to the Cliff lodgings of any of the Baths in town . . .' (Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.350 - note 315): however, they were not the nearest to the lodgings - Champley's Baths - directly opposite Harland's were slightly closer (both were around 350 yards from Wood's), possibly being accessed via a back street leading directly to the top of St. Nicholas Cliff; but Travis's Baths were even closer, being little over a hundred yards from Anne's residence - situated just at the 'entrance' to St. Nicholas Cliff (see 'Scarborough Map 1845' - accessible from 'Main Page' - this web-site [full, original map can be viewed in the Scarborough Library]; also see details and illustration of 'Travis's Baths', accessible by clicking on relevant section of this map). Given Anne's poor state of health and great physical weakness (she had been escorted around in a wheel-chair much of the time throughout this York/Scarborough venture), it was very probably Travis's Baths - the nearest ones to the lodgings - that she attended the morning after her arrival at Scarborough. (return)

16) From Ellen Nussey's Reminiscences, 1871. BPM. See Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.157; and Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.185: also see Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.315; and Barker, 'The Brontës', p.592. (return)

17) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.593. (return)

18) Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.160. (return)

19) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.186; also Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.318: Also see Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.159; and Barker, 'The Brontës', p.595. (return)

20) This line was actually written by an unidentified reviewer in The Spectator, 8 July 1848: see Barker, 'The Brontës', p.563 & p.939 - note 69. (return)

21) Elizabeth Langland, 'Anne Brontë - The Other One', p.152/153. (return)


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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