Alleged Brontë sisters photo stirs interest

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by wfgodot, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    The story and picture(s) at Daily Mail:

    Is this the only photo of the three Brontë sisters? Collector who
    bought picture for $25 on eBay believes it shows sibling novelists

     
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  3. bluesneakers

    bluesneakers Not today, Satan, not today.

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    I'm no expert, but the woman on the left looks older than 30.

    And guessing by how old they look in relation to each other they appear more like mother and daughters than three siblings.
     
  4. jslk

    jslk Member

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    Wow - I was a huuuuuuuge bronte fan back in my teen years! I would love it to be them but it doesn't exactly resemble the paintings...
     
  5. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The one on the left looks much older than the other two. It could be mother and her daughters (no connection to Bronte sisters).
     
  6. Ellmau

    Ellmau Well-Known Member

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    It's not as if Bell was an unusual name, is it, either?
     
  7. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    I dug some old photo's up of my mom and her sisters, when they were teenagers. This is pretty durn close. Add in the factor that young women didn't wear make-up, or The Old Regular Baptists didn't, they appears to be as close in age.
     
  8. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    as much as I want it to be them, I don't think it is
     
  9. tamora1

    tamora1 Member

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  10. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    Seen this story in our local press (I only live 10 miles away from Haworth) but I'm not sure either - that said I don't think we can count the brother's painting as an accurate depiction of the three.

    We'll never know for definite, sadly, unless someone comes forward proving it's their family and not the Brontes.
     
  11. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  12. jslk

    jslk Member

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    Now that one looks more credible @wfgodot! I always thought the two portraits of Charlotte were very different from each other but put it down to Branwell's - ahem - uneven artistic skills [emoji6]
     
  13. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    I think I recollect Charlotte said in Elizabeth Gaskell's book that Emily always wore mutton sleeve dresses and point blank refused to adapt to newer styles? It fits, as Emily was the one who refused to ever give up on Branwell, refused to see a doctor until the day or day before her death and refused to have anything to do with the publishing world after Wuthering Heights had a poor reception.

    Anyway, none of these women are in mutton sleeves so whoever they are, I don't believe any of them are Emily Bronte. Also, the undertaker who made Emily's coffin sad it was the narrowest adult coffin he ever made, she was so tiny. She was wasting away from consumption for a long time, so if the photo was taken anytime near 1848, they all look far too healthy to be Emily.

    I can't be certain though as my first edition Mrs Gaskell book is yet another one I left behind on my travels. I bought it for less than a dollar in an English thrift shop too and I was so pleased at the time.

    Also, none of them look the type to walk 10 miles on a windy moor and bite their fierce dog when it bites someone else, which Emily was also known for.

    I have a few very old family photos and unless a family member has written on the back, invariably the only text there is the name/stamp of the photo studio. I personally suspect that photo was originally taken in Yorkshire at a studio run by the Bell family and never travelled far, until a distant, senior relative died recently and their house was cleared.

    Only way to even partly prove it might be true is maybe to check through the dozens of Yorkshire trade directories archived by the University of Leicester, page by page, to see if a Bell photo studio was listed around the area, at that right time. I vote WFgodot gets the honor, for starting the thread. :)

    Here's the link: http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/.../field/place/mode/exact/conn/and/order/nosort

    Photo link:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...nding-word-Bells-pseudonyms-hidden-image.html
     

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  14. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Here's the kind of back stamp I mean. I know it's German, but oddly enough I also have a few very early photos from Yorkshire, around this period. Unfortunately, I've left them at the opposite end of the country from where I am, so I can't post the backstamps. :(
     

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  15. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    snip

    I think a Go Fund Me-like attempt should be made by all and sundry to raise funds for wfg to fly to Britain, traipse over the moors (in a Land Rover with all mod cons), and generally suss out the case here. Need research assistant also for that page-by-page thing. Meanwhile, I'll ask around in area pubs, get to the bottom of this thing.

    Ready....steady....go! fund me
     
  16. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    I'll be the research assistant if I get to do the pubs and you get to do the traipsing across the moors. :)
     
  17. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    I had a small collection with all sorts of interesting backstamps (mainly in Spanish as the studios were in Mexico), sold then for a goodly amount on eBay. (Add this accomplishment to my vitae as another qualification for funding me, see above).

    All set then! (Rubs hands gleefully, attempts to contact Acton Bell via Ouija board.)
     
  18. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  19. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  20. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    Erm, I think I definitely should be wfgdot's assistant due the the fact I speak the lingo (Yorkshire) and we can easily pop back to mine for a cuppa ;)
     
  21. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ Is that you, Zwiebs? ;)
     

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