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Two common-place books of Ellen Caroline Warter, and around the Brontes

Identifier: Coll-1559

Scope and Contents

2 manuscript volumes. Oblong 8vo, one being 106 x 175 mm with 288pp, and the other 94 x 148 mm with 212pp. Many pages of both the larger and smaller commonplace book have Ellen Warter's embossed monogram (with a bee). The larger begins with 'The Home of the Brontes'.

Well over 300 of the pages of the commonplace books, including the whole of the larger one, are devoted to the Brontes, beginning with extended transcripts from J. H. Turner's Haworth past and present (1879) and related newspaper articles on the destruction of Haworth church. There follow contemporary and later reviews and criticisms of the poems and novels, all probably from published sources - Mrs. Gaskell, Thackeray and Wemyss Reid - the most recent taken from Skelton's Essays on Shirley (1883). many are unattributed and many remain to be identified. The remaining transcripts are from the works themselves, prose and verse, by all three sisters and principally Charlotte.


  • 1885

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Ellen Warter was born in 1839, at West Tarring, Sussex, England. She was the daughter of Edith May Southey (1804-1871) and the Rev. John Wood Warter (1806-1878), and grand-daughter of Robert Southey (1774-1843), Poet Laureate. Her father had become a close friend of Robert Southey and edited his letters and his Common-Place Book (1849-51). Her mother also kept a common-place book which was published as Wise saws and modern instances (1861). Ellen Warter's common-place books concentrate on the Bronte family, and they compile carefully copied texts.


2 Volumes

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased June 2014. Accession no: E2014.48.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 23 April 2015
Two commonplace books largely devoted to the lives of the Brontes, c. 1885

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379