Friday, 15 September 2017

Bronte family

I am reading a novel by Anne Bronte, 
so decided to reacquaint myself with the Bronte family.

   The father, Patrick was a minister who loved poetry and published several books.  He was married to Maria, who died in 1821, at age 36, leaving six young children.
  He moved the family to a very gloomy parsonage that overlooked a graveyard.  The children wrote stories to entertain themselves.

   The three oldest girls, Marie, Elizabeth and Charlotte were sent away to an all-girls' school, where the living conditions were poor and a typhoid epidemic swept through the school.  Both Maria and Elizabeth got very sick and were brought home, where they died- the same year.  They were aged 10 and 11.

   The 3 sisters who were left, all wrote novels, each publishing under an alias.  
   Charlotte wrote 3 novels: "Jane Eyre", "Shirley", and "Villette".  She died at age 38 perhaps of tuberculosis, although she was very sick from her pregnancy.  She had only been married for a few months.
   Emily wrote only one novel, "Wuthering Heights" and died at age 30. Her death was also attributed to tuberculosis, although there is much written about the harsh climate and the unsanitary conditions of their home - water that was contaminated by runoff from the graveyard.  Many coughs and colds.  Poor food.
    Anne wrote two books: "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall". She died at age 29, the same year as her brother died, again attributed to tuberculosis.
   Brother Branwell ( the only son) died at 31 after a life of alcoholism and wild living.
   In spite of the poor health of all the children, the father outlived them all, dying at age 84.    
   So much sadness in this family, but their writing lives on.

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