Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 336

The Bronte Sisters

 

Hello Everyone

 

 

Have you ever noticed how you might take after some of the members of your family?

 

You might look like your mum or your dad or even a combination of the both.

 

But you might be good at doing things like other people in your family too.

 

You might be good at drawing like your uncle, or good at knitting like your aunt, or good at cooking like your grandma, or good at looking after animals like your grandpa.

 

You might have noticed on the television or in films that there are brothers and sisters who have become actors – and their parents were actors too.  Their mum and dad might have first met each other when they were working together on a film or in a theatre.

 

lt is not unusual for people in families to like the same things or become good at the same things either.

 

lt is not so usual though, for four people in the same family to all become famous writers.

 

This is true of the Bronte family.  Six children were born to the family in Thornton, in Yorkshire.  The two eldest girls were to die in childhood.

 

Three of the sisters became published authors and are still very famous writers today. 

 

They also had a brother called Branwell.  He was a very good student as a child, although the family could not afford a formal education for him.  He was also good at writing and drawing.  He worked as a tutor and portrait painter when he grew up, but then went off the rails a bit.  Being very fond of drinking too much alcohol and taking opium (a dangerous drug) he very sadly did not make a success of his life.  He died at the young age of 31 of a lung disease.

 

Charlotte born in 1816, Emily born in 1818, and Anne born in 1820, did go on to write some of the most famous classics in English literature.

 

Their father was an Anglican minister.  He was appointed to be rector of the village of Haworth which is situated on the Yorkshire Moors in the north of England.  This is now the place the family is associated with. 

 

Their mother died in 1821.

 

Although their Aunt Elizabeth came to look after them, the children were often left alone together in their isolated home.  Even at a young age they liked to write stories to amuse themselves.  They played imaginative games together and collaborated in their writing too.

 

The sisters were educated in schools and at home and when older, took work as teachers and governesses.  A governess is a teacher privately employed by a family who will give her a place in their house to live.

 

Charlotte and Emily went to live in Brussels in Belgium for a while in 1842 to improve their French, but had to return home before they planned to because of the death of their Aunt Elizabeth.  Charlotte went back to Brussels for a while to become an English teacher, but by 1845 the family were all back together again and living in Yorkshire.

 

At this time, Branwell was becoming a concern for them because of his behaviour.  He spent too much of his time getting drunk at the Black Bull pub and his father was very unhappy with him.

 

The sisters on the other hand were being more industrious, and eventually paid out of their own pocket to have a volume of their poetry published in May of 1846.

 

ln those days, opportunities and choices were very limited for women.  They were lucky if they had an education.  They rarely owned property, they couldn’t vote in Parliamentary elections and there were very few careers they could follow.

 

So in order to be taken seriously as writers, women very often submitted their work under a male pen name.

 

Charlotte chose Currer, Emily chose Ellis and Anne chose Acton – the surname they chose was Bell.

 

After introducing themselves into the literary world in this way, the women all went on to publish novels.

 

Anne’s Agnes Grey and Charlotte’s Jane Eyre were published in 1847.

 

Jane Eyre is an interesting story of an orphan who has a difficult childhood and grows up to become a teacher.  She falls in love with her employer, but the path of true love does not run smoothly.

 

lt instantly became successful and was one of the year’s best selling books.

 

(Books were a major source of entertainment in those days; because of course there was no television or cinema or computers.)

 

The two books were full of intrigue and passion and attracted attention in the literary world as pieces of truly original work.

 

The experience of the death of their mother and sisters and a childhood of isolation on the moors followed by careers as teachers, travel and unrequited love all had an influence on their writing.

 

Anne’s second book The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Emily’s Wuthering Heights were both published in 1848.  The first book sold well, but the second did not at the time.

 

Now Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are probably the two most famous books left to us by the Bronte sisters.  They are two of the most famous books in English literature.

 

Wuthering Heights was not met with critical acclaim when it was published, but it is now thought of as a masterpiece of literature.

 

Unfortunately, the Bronte’s careers were not to last for long.

 

Branwell died of tuberculosis in September 1848, Emily died of the same disease in December and Anne in the following May.

 

Charlotte was left alone with her father but continued to write.

 

By now she was a celebrated author, and visited London a number of times.

 

She wrote two more books.  The first called Shirley was published in 1849 and the second called Villette was published in 1853.

 

ln 1854, Charlotte eventually found love and married the curate from her father’s church.  His name was Arthur Nicholls, but she too died of tuberculosis in 1855.

 

Many, many tourists visit Haworth every year.  The parsonage where they lived has been turned into a museum and is open to the public.

 

The Bronte sisters’ high-drama books are continued to be loved by thousands of readers and the stories have been made into films and television series.

 

The books have been translated into many other languages.

 

Their books are often on examination syllabuses at school, so when you are older you may read them too.

 

lf you do, you will already have heard about the family now, won’t you?

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob:  One book says to another, “You’re looking good – you seem much thinner these days.  l think you’ve lost weight.”

 

Bill:  And the other says?

 

Bob:  “Oh, yes, l have had my appendix removed!”

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

Charlotte

 

Haworth

 

Branwell

 

Ann, Emily and Charlotte with Branwell blanked out

 

 

 

 

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  desk   THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

 coffee

 

This week, Auntie Alice bought the children a very special present.

She bought a trampoline to put in her garden.

She knows that she will have a collection of children spend a lot of their summer holidays in her garden.

Her money-making schemes have been going well.

She has been hiring her doves out and selling her eggs and fresh vegetables.

She has been making lots more jam than usual and is selling that to Betty Clutterbuck to serve with her cream teas in the Rocky Bay Tearooms.

She hasn’t had a honey harvest yet but she can see that her bees are working hard to make one when she checks in her hives every week.

She also put a new swing up on the bough of the old oak tree at the bottom of the lawn.

There are two swings to play on now.

She doesn’t want too many children trying to get onto the trampoline at the same time.  She can predict elbows meeting with chins otherwise.

She told the children the sad story of the actress Isadora Duncan who had an unfortunate end in 1927 when her long, silk scarf got caught in a car wheel, and told them not to wear jewellery or anything else that could get caught in the trampoline when they were playing on it.

Then she went to check that her first aid box was well-stocked – just in case.

 

Isadora

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

Can you find these words?

They are all parts of a book.

 

  1. s _ _ _ e
  2. c _ _ _ r
  3. p _ _ e
  4. l _ _ f
  5. c _ _ _ _ _ _ s
  6. i _ _ _ x
  7. t _ _ _ e

 

 

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE THREE LlTTLE SlSTERS

These three little sisters are dressed in colourful clothes – they are all the colours of the rainbow and full of character.

 

 

All the yarn used is double knitting.

They are very small dolls, so although the knitting is easy to do, the construction needs very nimble fingers.

These dolls have their hair plaited at the side of their head, but you could put one plait at the back of the top of their head or give them pony tails instead if you wanted to.

The dolls all have brown hair but you could give them blonde or black hair instead.

 

DOLL FRONT (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to the colour of the sweater

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to brown dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 20cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

DOLL BACK (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to the colour of the sweater

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to brown dk yarn

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 20cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

DOLL LEGS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to the colour of the shoes

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 10cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

DOLL ARMS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and the colour of the sweater dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 10cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew up the side seams of the body and head right sides together using over-sew stitching
  2. Turn the body and head the right way out
  3. Sew along the inner leg seams using over-sew stitching right sides together and turn the legs the right way out
  4. Tightly bind the ankles twice around with shoe colour yarn
  5. Stuff the legs
  6. Sew across the top of the legs and the bottom of the body from behind (lay the legs across the stomach as you work) to attach the legs
  7. Stuff the head and body and pull the top of the head shut – secure the yarn
  8. Sew a strand of white yarn into the back of the neck and wrap it around the neck a couple of times, pull tight and secure the yarn into the centre back of the neck once more
  9. Embroider a face onto the front of the head using one strand of black yarn (you can pull double knitting yarn apart to get thinner strands)
  10. The eyes are French knots made with the yarn wrapped around the needle 3 times
  11. Sew a rosy cheek under each eye with pink yarn using a lazy-daisy stitch
  12. Sew along the under arm seams using over-sew stitching right sides together and turn the arms the right way out
  13. Tightly bind the wrists twice around with sweater coloured yarn
  14. Stuff the arms with the ends of the yarn left over from the knitting
  15. Sew the arms securely to the sides of the body so that they point forward
  16. Make plaits by crocheting 7 chains into a length of 2 strands of brown yarn to match the hair on the head
  17. Attach the plaits to the sides of the head and sew some strands of brown yarn at the top corners of the face in front of the plaits
  18. Add bows if you want to – you may think the dolls look neater without bows on the plaits

 

TIP

As with all toy making, when you stuff the body, put the stuffing into it in tiny amounts so that you can get the body shape to be exactly as you want it to be.

 

 

DOLL SKIRT (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and the colour of the skirt dk yarn cast on 12 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

 

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

 

Cast off

 

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew the two halves of the skirt together using over-sew stitching and right sides together
  2. Turn the right way out
  3. Thread a length of the sweater colour dk yarn through the channel at the top of the skirt
  4. Put the skirt onto the doll and tie a bow at the front of the skirt
  5. Crochet 12 chains and attach the ends of the straps to the front of the skirt and the back of the skirt crossing the straps across the back as you do so

 

These dolls are called Emily, Anne and Charlotte

but you can call your dolls anything you like!

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. spine – the back of a book
  2. cover
  3. page
  4. leaf – two pages of a book
  5. contents – the list at the front of a book
  6. index – at the back of the back
  7. title – on the front of the book

 

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