It's nearly 200 years this weekend since one of Yorkshire’s most famous women was born.
Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, and a member of the family that has brought fame and fortune to the tiny village of Haworth, near Keighley, celebrated her birthday on July 30.
Although it’s 165 years since Emily died, her legacy lives on and this weekend the Bronte Society is planning a programme of events to commemorate her life and achievements.
Sunday will see a pilgrimage to Haworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in a reserved coach, with historian David Pearson on hand to talk about the Brontes and the railway.
At the Bronte parsonage, which was home to the family from 1820 until 1861, there will be talks on Emily and a chance to take a short guided walk across the moors that were such an inspiration to the literary sisters.
Tickets for the event are available from £11.50 for children to £19.50 for adults. Details from www.bronte.org.uk or by calling Sue Newby on 01535 640185 (Susan.Newby@bronte.org.uk).
There is also a separate evening celebration with another talk on the Brontes and a piano recital. Tickets are £35. The Bronte parsonage, which has become a Mecca for Bronte lovers from all over the world, was gifted to the charitable Bronte Society in 1928 and is now a centre for research and exhibitions.
It houses the world’s largest collection of artefacts and documents associated with the family and their literary works.
Emily Bronte was born in the village of Thornton, near Bradford, and moved to Haworth with her family while still an infant. Her mother Maria Branwell died when Emily was just three years old.
The fifth of six children, Emily knew tragedy and hardship from an early age. Her two older sisters Maria and Elizabeth died in childhood and after the death of their mother the older girls were sent away to school, leaving the younger children to live with their strict, authoritarian father.
When she was 20 Emily became a teacher at Miss Patchett’s School in Law Hill, Halifax, but the life didn’t suit her and she returned home within a year. She then spent a year studying French in Brussels with Charlotte, a venture funded by their Aunt Branwell.
But it was Emily’s lot to become housekeeper for her father until she died from consumption at the age of 30 in 1848.
The privations and suffering of the Bronte sisters led to them inhabiting literary worlds of their own imaginations. Two centuries on and their works have become iconic and influential.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum is open from 10am until 5pm every day during the summer months.
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