Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
A Bronte Mystery
There are no known photographs of the Bronte sisters but a photo with "The Bronte Sisters" written on the reverse in French was discovered in France in 2011.
The photo is a collodion so if these are the sisters then it could only be a copy of a daguerreotype. A photographer living in France, John Stewart of Pau, visited Haworth Parsonage in 1856 and 1857 to photograph the portrait of Charlotte Bronte.
If it is a copy then the original photo must have been taken before Emily Bronte died in December 1848.
the website is here https://brontesisters.co.uk/
Latest Activity: Apr 25, 2022
An update - two pages:
"The hat seen in the photo first appeared in the UK in 1847 and was known as a 'Jenny Lind' after the then Swedish singer who became famous in Britain just before the Bronte sisters' novels were published."
"Jenny Lind was in Yorkshire in 1847-48 and Charlotte Bronte was one of her many admirers."
Whilst researching a lady named Nancy Garrs, for Undercliffe Cemetery, I came across a newspaper article dated 1877 saying that Nancy had on her wall at home a photograph of Miss Brontë on glass. It goes on to compare this with the portrait in…Continue
Started by Steve Lightfoot. Last reply by Lynn Cunliffe May 26, 2019.
I came across an article in the Bradford Observer 19th November 1857 p8 which describes how two visitors to Haworth and to Patrick Bronte himself came across a frame of photographs outside a chemists shop in Haworth and bought a portrait of Patrick…Continue
Started by Steve Lightfoot. Last reply by Carole L Moores Oct 9, 2021.
The solution that a copy had been made of a daguerreotype sounds plausible. But how could such a portrait have been found in France?John Stewart lived in France because of the poor health of his mother in law. With her he visited the Pau region.…Continue
Started by Izaak Boone. Last reply by Izaak Boone Oct 3, 2016.
There is new information on the website.http://brontesisters.co.uk/Updates.htmlThe profile portrait of Emily Bronte at the National Portrait Gallery in London is disputed since 1914 and may be of…Continue
Started by Nicolas. Last reply by Nicolas Apr 22, 2019.
I am always fascinated by these mysteries, but in my experience they usually get involved in so much minutiae that the central question becomes lost. I have no particular knowledge of the Brontes, but as a photo historian, this looks to me to be an…Continue
Started by Ken Jacobson. Last reply by Lynn Cunliffe Apr 4, 2019.
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