A Mystery Solved
The Brontës were immediately popular when they moved from the outskirts of Bradford to the parsonage at Haworth, in Yorkshire. Some of the cynical persuasion opined that the presence of three young pulchritudinous unwed maidens in the midst of Haworth's physical and social wilderness could provide encouragement to local swains of whom local Yorkshire lasses had inspected and rejected.
The observable fact that the new girls, 'lasses' to the locals, had the tinge of Irish in their speech, and their faces and forms were easy on the eye, and the girls had gentle manners, quite unlike the cart horses that worked on farm and field, or out of the cold, rain, and hard blowing of the savage moorland at their rustic looms at home, or traipsing into Keighley and Bradford to labour in the textile mills for long hours and short wages, but with plenty of company that enlarged their social circles and provided conduits, both affluent and effluent, that maintained the steady streams of gossip, rumours, and idle dreams that was the amusement of the working classes in such places.
What the Brontës contributed to Haworth and its environs as well as three desirable young women was a learned parson with ambitions to be a grandee or at least a don; and a son called Bramwell who, it is told, kept the Black Bull public ale house in funds as soon as he received any.
He had pretensions to be an artist but notwithstanding the dissolute spirit common to all the great artistes, he lacked their talent and rigour. It was common to hear local folks speak unkindly of him and use the truth about him like cudgels more damaging than the blackthorn sticks cut out of hedges.
Yet Bramwell was not the only troubled genius that dwelt in the ancient parsonage. His three sisters are grossly misunderstood as to their tempers, diversions, and talents. More of these lovely young girls that wrote in fashionable English but spoke in a heavy Irish brogue would have been accessible to generations of those that have marvelled at their words and storycrafts had not the Brontë Journals been most infortuitously lost.
With the recovery and restoration - that proceedeth still - of these personal writings, much that has been puzzling and obscure can now be laid open to the view of all that are interested in the lives and pleasures of this enigmatic family and its output.
Whatever might be thought of the Brontës of Haworth and their turbulent and too short lives, it is beyond doubt that their contribution to English belles lettres, and to the flurry of little shops with quaint descriptions that tie their places of business to the Brontë family with appropriate nomenclature such as, "The Brontë Bakery," "Ye Olde Brontë Gift Shoppe," "Brontë Cobbler's Shop," "Bide a while and stop at The Brontë Tea shop," "Try our Brontë Apple Charlotte," "Brontë Paycheck Cashing Co," and so forth.
The Brontës have theft their mark so indelibly on the little town of Haworth that its future as a quaint village lost in time is secured. Yet it is difficult to find something definitively Brontëian to smell or touch. With the passing of the last of them whatever revenants had lingered seemed to depart with a rapidity that would have left the Leeds to London Mail coach seemingly standing still.
The Brontë Parsonage museum has much of the Brontë's in it, but little that is available to touch or smell. Nevertheless, it offers much more of them than any other place on earth - except for the wild moors on dull and stormy nights when an evil wind blows over the places where lie the bones of heros and heroines.
It has been said that the Moors made the Brontë, but it is equally sure that the Brontës made the Moors what they became and still are down to this very day.
Here you will read how a horse and a dog discovered the most notable literay find of the second millennium: a discovery that will rock Brontëphiles and the literary world to its very foundations - and beyond.