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Six Facts About the Brontës

With three literary geniuses in the family—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—the Brontës certainly secured themselves a (rightful) place in the English literary canon. From 'Shirley' to 'Agnes Grey', Heathcliff to Rochester, there are characters and plots we tend to read and reread across generations.

Get better aquatinted with the family with the following family tree and six facts you may not have known about the Brontës!

  1. Oldest sisters Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis while way at boarding school—a real life experience Charlotte would use in her famous novel Jane Eyre.

  2. While his sisters were sent away to school, and educated for a specific career, Branwell was educated by his father at home. He would spend his life rather aimlessly, never sticking to one vocation.

  3. Anne and Branwell worked in the same house for Mrs. Lydia Robinson as governess and tutor respectively. Mrs. Robinson would inspire Anne's character of Mrs. Murray in Agnes Grey...

  4. ... and Branwell's rumoured romantic feelings for Mrs. Robinson, 15 years older than him, inspired the Mrs. Robinson character and some plot points of Charles Webb's novel The Graduate.

  5. The juvenilia that Charlotte, and Branwell wrote—a fictional world called Angria—was based first on Arthur Richard Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington. As the two matured, they were more inspired by Lord Byron.

  6. While Charlotte would be the last surviving Brontë sibling, the patriarch of the family, Patrick, would outlive not only his wife but also his six children.


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