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Durham, England, United Kingdom
September 23, 2010
From journal Short Break in Yorkshire
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
June 29, 2002
If you are travelling from Bradford you can get a direct bus but you may well prefer to get to Keighley by train and transfer to the private Worth Valley line and a steam train. This will come on my other journal shortly.
If you do not know about the Brontes and you have the slightest interest in English literature, remedy this defect as soon as possible. Meanwhile the briefest introduction: Between 1814 and 1820 six children were born to Patrick and Maria Bronte. Any more became somewhat unlikely as Maria died of TB in 1821. Four years later the two eldest girls followed suit leaving their father, the Rector of Haworth and, in age order Charlotte, Bramwell, Emily and Anne. Branwell is best known for becoming an alcoholic and opium addict. by 1850 Charlotte and the father were the only ones who had not succumbed to TB. She married in 1854 and died in 1857 of complications in pregnancy compounded by TB. Patrick lived on until 1861.
These may not seem ideal circumstances for the development of any literary talent but Charlotte, Emily and Anne all had major works to their name. Initially they overcame much prejudice about the 'proper' scope of women's writing - which certainly did not stretch to women feeling and writing about sexual passion - by using men's names:- Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell [note initials.] Titles included Jane Eyre [Charlotte 1846], Wuthering Heights [Emily 1846] and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall [Anne 1848].
The part of Haworth to see consists of one very steep pedestrianised street leading up to the church and the Parsonage Museum, where memorabilia of the Brontes are found.
Well up the street is the 'Black Bull' Inn where Branwell is said to have strated his route to alcoholism.
The [steam] station and its museum are near the bottom of the steep street and the 'Bronte' Woolen Mill at the top of the street is a popular shopping venu.
From journal South Pennines