Polly Teale’s literary re-imagining of the turbulent lives of the Bronte sisters portrays the women from childhood to death, weaving back and forth in time. In 1845, their brother, Branwell Bronte, returned home to Haworth, West Yorkshire, in disgrace, having been dismissed from his employment following an affair with the mistress of the house. As their brother descends into alcoholism and insanity, his sisters, Anne, Charlotte and Emily, attempt to keep the household together and protect their father, Patrick. In the midst of chaos, they write more furiously than ever before. Focusing on their creation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights respectively, their journeys and engagement with their characters offers a glimpse into the states of mind of the sisters during this time. Each feels tortured and ill-at-ease in their own way, as they struggle to align their literary creations with real life. With a certain amount of mystery surrounding the artistic legacy of the Bronte sisters, Polly Teale’s interpretation of their fractious relationship and tortured ambition presents a fascinating glimpse into the lives of three of Yorkshire’s most famous authors.
Bronte guide sections