A family of great talentIrish-born Patrick Brontë and The parsonagehis wife Maria Branwell, movedHaworth from Thornton in 1820where the Reverend PatrickBronte was appointed Priest ofHaworth. They had six childrenat that moment.Haworth was an unhealthy, poortown and the children spent Unfortunately Mrs Bronte diedmuch of their time eitherwalking on the nearby moors or of cancer in 1821. While sheat home, creating stories and was ill, the eldest sister, Mary, Haworthpoems about imaginary lands. read stories to the younger sibblings so that her mother could rest. When the mother died,the children’s aunt, Elizabeth Branwell looked after the children.
A family of great talentThe four eldest Brontë daughters were enrolled as pupils at agirls’ school where they were treated badly. They were cold andhungry most of the time. The following year Maria and Elizabeth,the two eldest daughters, became ill and died of tuberculosis;Charlotte and Emily returned home .
• In 1831 Charlotte worked at a school, Branwell began to try and become a portrait painter with little success. Emily worked for a short time at a school in Halifax. Anne worked as a tutor to the Robinson family. . Emily always found herself unsuited to the life and she returned home.• The other sisters were not lucky either, so in 1845 the Family were all together again in Haworth and continued writing. They used the legacy from their aunt Branwells death in 1842 to finance a collection of their poems. The Bröntes, published under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, due to the fact that they lived in an age of prejudice against female writers.
• Charlottes novel Jane Eyre (1847), Emilys Wuthering Heights (1847), and Annes The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) were written while they were living at the Parsonage.• Branwell’s health deteriorated due to alcohol and opium addiction and died in 1848 aged 31, Emily died from tuberculosis, aged 30 in 1848. Anne was also ill from tuberculosis and died in 1849 aged 29.• Charlotte, desperate, continued to write and published two more novels. She married Arthur Bell Nichols her father’s curate. It was a short marriage, Charlotte, who was pregnant, died in 1855 aged 38.• Patrick Bronte continued to live at the parsonage, being looked after by Charlotte’s husband and died at the age of 84. He survived his six children and his wife.• It was later known that the sanitary conditions in Haworth were very poor and water supply was infected as the patronage was surrounded by graveyards. If it hadn’t been so, probably the sisters wouldn’t have died so young.
How could Emily Brontë write Wuthering Heights ?Many commentators, especially Emilys contemporaries, found it hard tobelieve that a reserved clergymans daughter with little experience of the worldcould have written such a unique, brutal and immoral (as they saw it) novel. Atthe time, many assumed that the author was a man (because the Brontës hadwritten under pseudonyms) and some still believe that Branwell was the trueauthor……But we must not forget the power of imagination.Walking alone on the moors or sitting bored in the parsonage on a rainy day,Emilys mind could have drifted to all sorts of possible places. We know thatthe sisters had access to a large collection of books including Walter Scott andByron, and the juvenile writings that they produced show an ability to fantasyand imagination. In fact, it seems more likely that a person with a limited sociallife would have imagined extreme stories like Wuthering Heights than aconventional love story