Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mrs. Chadwick online and other research news

Published in 1914, Mrs. Chadwick's In the footsteps of the Brontës is one of the most interesting early biographies of the family. The book, which has some very valuable information about 'Brussels' has now become available online.

http://archive.org/stream/infootstepsofbro00chadrich#page/n5/mode/2up

Little is known about the author, Esther Alice Chadwick. She seems to have been born in 1882. In 1910 she published a biography of Mrs Gaskell. Both books she signed, confusingly, as Mrs. Ellis H Chadwick. In 1917 her article about A gift from M. le Professeur Constantin Heger to Charlotte Brontë was published in 'The Nineteenth Century'. The last reference to her that can be found is a book named Haworth Parsonage, the home of the Brontës, from 1928. It's not known when she died.

The book has some very interesting photographs and other illustrations, for instance of the Rue d'Isabelle and M. and Mme. Heger's grave. There's also a nice but too speculative chapter about a third visit to Brussels by Charlotte (beginning on page 400) in 1850.

Research

With regard to the Jenkinses, and in particular the question about where exactly they lived, a giant breakthrough has been achieved by Brian Bracken. Below you can read his article about it. Brian, if I may say so, is a great addition to the Brussels Brontë Group's Research Dept. With the aid of Renate Hurtmanns, who previously did vital cemetery research, we will continue to bring you interesting resarch news.

There's also more to come on the website, the beginning of an A to Z of places and persons, in which among other things a longer version of Brian's article can be read. In the near future we also hope to make available online some old articles ourselves, like Mrs. Chadwick's A gift.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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