The six Bronte children had a pretty raw deal in many respects. Their father, Patrick, lived long enough to see every one of them die, along with his wife and, from the look of the church graveyard, loads of the local population. Haworth in the nineteenth century was a world apart from the neat town it is now, with squalor and disease running rampant.
The three Bronte sisters grew up watching loved ones die around them, starting with their mother and two sisters. That they chose to escape into a made up world of stories is not terribly surprising. When they grew up they took this story telling into the wider world and produced a collection of books that was like nothing before.
I’m not a great fan of their writing, but I do like going to the Parsonage in Haworth where they grew up and wrote their greatest works. There are only a handful of rooms in the small building, but actually being in the room where Charlotte wrote “Reader, I married him” is pretty darned cool, although I did rather spoil things for number one wife when we were in the shop on the way out and I pointed at a row of paperbacks saying, in tone hushed with awe, “Hey, they wrote books as well!”.
I also insisted on buying a genuine Bronte Parsonage combination spirit level, torch and screwdriver tool. Apparently Emily used to use one just like it it to change the batteries in her digital watch. Or something.
Getting to Haworth was made much more interesting by the unexpected arrival of a large amount of snow overnight. This made driving great fun and meant the first thing we had to do in Haworth was find somewhere that sold wellington boots. On the other hand, it did make the pictures nice. And I was lucky to see a steam train arrive at Haworth station. (although of course you know that Haworth was not actually connected to the railway network until some time after the death of the sisters, who had to travel to the station at Keighley when they wanted to go to London to meet their publisher).
Of course I took a camera, and a bunch of pictures.
Genuine bona-fide steam train
Fairly quiet for a Saturday..