Melissa Hardie has been chosen to take up the Daphne Carrick Memorial Scholarship 2012, presented every three years by the Bronte Society of Haworth, Yorkshire. The purpose of the award is to explore and extend knowledge about the lives and writings of the Bronte family of creative people. The aim of Dr Hardie’s study will be to assess, for the first time, the significance of the Cornish-related material gathered and discovered over many years by a number of local investigators and historians about the maternal relatives of the Brontes, and in particular the Branwell and Carne families of Penzance.
The mother and aunt of the Bronte children, namely Maria and Elizabeth, both emigrated from Penzance to Yorkshire in the early 1800s and were to spend the rest of their lives in that moorland environment. Though generally overlooked, except in outline, the dominant cultural circle of Cornish-connected people, with their memories and stories, around the family in Yorkshire, and the strong breath of Cornish-related Methodism are among the topics that she will explore.