The early life of Charlotte, Anne and Emily.Their parents - Patrick and Maria (nee Branwell) - have six children: five girls and one boy, born between 1813 and 1820.
Patrick, a clergyman, is appointed the curate at Howarth in Yorkshire, where he spends the rest of his life, and where the Bronte children grow up. Located on the Yorkshire moors, this setting is to have a great influence on the sisters' later writing. The children are fierce free spirits, whose tender, if eccentric father believes passionately in their education.When his wife dies in 1821, Reverend Patrick becomes a struggling single parent to six children under six years old.Three years later he decides to send the four eldest girls (Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily) to boarding school.
The conditions there are harsh, and hasten the deaths of the elder two. (Charlotte later uses the boarding school as a model for Lowood in Jane Eyre.) Charlotte and Emily return home to Howarth, where they and their brother Branwell and baby sister Anne are given freedom to roam the moors and read widely. Their creativity begins to blossom and they invent tales of Byronic passion in imaginary kingdoms called Angria and Gondal. It is here that Cathy and Heathcliff begin life.
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