The Classics Book Club resumes next week to talk about Brontes: January meetings will be held at the Blayney branch on Tuesday 20 January from 11am to 12 noon to discuss Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. Orange day group meet on Thursday 22 January from 12.30pm 1.30pm to talk about Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The Orange evening group meet on Thursday 22 January from 5.30pm for early birds or 6pm 7pm to chat about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte and Cowra meet on Tuesday 27 January from 12.30pm to 1.30pm to talk about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Elizabeth Gaskill wrote about this Bronte sisters' portrait by Branwell (he painted himself out but you can see him in faintly in the middle) in her biography of Charlotte Bronte:
“there could be no doubt about Branwell's talent for drawing. I have seen an oil painting of his, done I know not when . . . It was a group of his sisters, life size, three-quarters' length; not much better than sign-painting, as to manipulation; but the likenesses were, I should think, admirable. I could only judge of the fidelity with which the other two were depicted, from the striking resemblance which Charlotte, upholding the great frame of canvas, and consequently standing right behind it, bore to her own representation, though it must have been ten years and more since the portraits were taken. The picture was divided, almost in the middle, by a great pillar. On the side of the column which was lighted by the sun, stood Charlotte, in the womanly dress of that day of jigot sleeves and large collars. On the deeply shadowed side, was Emily, and Anne's gentle face resting on her shoulder. Emily's countenance struck me as full of power; Charlotte's of solicitude; Anne's of tenderness. The two younger seemed hardly to have attained their full growth, though Emily was taller than Charlotte; they had cropped hair, and a more girlish dress. I remember looking on those two sad, earnest, shadowed faces, and wondering whether I could trace the mysterious expression which is said to foretell an early death. I had some fond superstitious hope that the column divided their fates from hers, who stood apart in the canvas, as in life she survived. . . . They were good likenesses, however badly executed.”