Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Whirlwind Journey Through Time at the Mariemont Museum

Brussels Brontë Group activities are events for which I willingly wake up early on a Saturday. Last Saturday was no exception; I was excited to make the pilgrimage to the Musée Royal de Mariemont with fellow Brontëphiles to see the BBG-famous “L’Ingratitude” essay with my own eyes.

I was expecting a pleasant day out with like-minded people and the opportunity to behold this devoir written by Charlotte Brontë in her own hand. What I was not expecting was the whirlwind journey through time which unfolded through the written words of key figures in history, literature, politics and science. 

Portal to Mariemont Museum.         The TARDIS in 'Doctor Who'.

Although, I suppose I should have guessed after seeing that to enter the museum, we passed through the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), the time machine from Doctor Who.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Visit to Mariemont Museum to See Charlotte's 'L’Ingratitude'

Fourteen members of the Brussels Brontë Group visited the Musée Royal de Mariemont on 7 March 2020 to view Charlotte Brontë’s French essay L’Ingratitude and other items in the museum’s ‘Reserve Précieuse’ (collection of rare books and manuscripts). We were given a lively two-hour talk by Chief Librarian Bertrand Federinov.

The session included letters or manuscripts by Charles I, Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin and two special favorites of the Brontës -- the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson.

M. Federinov shows Charlotte's `L'Ingratitude' essay.

M. Federinov started by filling us in on the history of the museum. It stands in the Mariemont domain, first founded as a hunting estate by Mary of Hungary, sister of Charles V. In the early nineteenth century the Warocqué family, who made their fortune from coalmining, bought it and built themselves a neo-classical château on the estate.