Who were the Brontes?
The Brontes of Haworth are among the best-known writers in the English language. The imagination of millions has been captured by the image of a family of geniuses, producing poetry and novels in splendid isolation from a lonely parsonage on a windswept Yorkshire moor. Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell have had books, films, plays and novels written about them based on that image. But is it actually true?
"Who were the Brontes?" questioned some of the popular myths surrounding the Bronte family. Emma researched and wrote the exhibition with the support of museum staff. She used the Brontes' own writings, their personal possessions, new scientific research and the work of artist Cornelia Parker to explore what the family's lives were really like. The exhibition explored the relationship between Haworth and the Brontes, and looked at how a major tourist industry had developed around their former home. It was on show at the Parsonage Museum for two years to January 2009.
Emma worked with the museum on a second exhibition, "That Unlucky Book", which celebrated the first ever biography of Charlotte Bronte published by novelist Elizabeth Gaskell in 1857. The exhibition showcased objects, letters and personal belongings that are not usually on display, including Mrs Gaskell's original handwritten manuscript of the biography on loan from Manchester University Library.
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