The Bronte sisters have captured the imagination of thousands of readers worldwide who have become fascinated with their life in the parsonage in Haworth.
As the children of an impoverished vicar, the Bronte sisters knew they had to find the means to support themselves financially so they sought positions as governesses. Their real passion though was for their writing and they began publishing their poems under the names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.
Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were published in 1847 to differing degrees of success. Their true identities were not publicly revealed until 1850 by which time Emily and Anne had both died. Victorian society was scandalised by the revelation the controversial books were written by women.
But who were the sisters and where did they get the inspiration for their novels?
THE BRONTE SISTERS
Based on a story by Theodore Reeves, Devotion is a highly fictionalised account of the lives of the Bronte sisters, starring Ida Lupino as Emily Bronte, Olivia de Havilland as Charlotte Bronte, and Nancy Coleman as Anne Bronte.
The film was panned by critics for dumbing down the lives of the sisters and reducing their story to a mere romance as Charlotte and Emily are torn by their love for the same man, Arthur Bell Nicholls.
THE BRONTES OF HAWORTH (1973)
The Brontes of Haworth was a five-part British series which was commissioned by Yorkshire Television and written by dramatist Christopher Fry who had recently adapted The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for the BBC.
Filmed on location in Haworth, the story begins with the young Bronte siblings creating highly detailed imaginary worlds which would eventually lead to the sisters writing their famous novels.
The series feels dated now and there is too much focus on Branwell, however the last episode is genuinely moving as Charlotte loses her siblings one by one.
THE BRONTE SISTERS (1979)
The Bronte Sisters is a French drama film directed by André Téchiné and starring Isabelle Adjani (Emily Bronte), Marie-France Pisier (Charlotte Bronte) and Isabelle Huppert (Emily Bronte).
The film focuses on the relationship between the sisters and their brother, Branwell. As the sisters pursue their literary ambitions, Branwell follows his own path of self-destruction which throws the parsonage into chaos.
Just as the sisters experience their first taste of success as published authors, Branwell dies, followed by Emily, and then Anne. The last surviving Bronte child, Charlotte eventually marries but she too is destined to die young.
TO WALK INVISIBLE (2016)
To Walk Invisible is a British drama commissioned by the BBC about the relationship between the three Bronte sisters and their brother Branwell. Written and directed by Sally Wainwright, the series was shot around Haworth and in a replica of the real parsonage.
The drama focuses on the Bronte sisters realising they need to find some way to publish their writing to become financially independent. The sisters publish their novels under male pseudonyms but are shocked when people insist they were written by the same author.
Anne and Charlotte travel to London where they reveal their true identities. However, upon returning to Haworth, they learn their brother is gravely ill.
Emily, a British film released in 2022, concentrates on Emily Bronte and a fictional romance she had with the young curate William Weightman.
When Weightman arrives at Haworth, the Bronte sisters are enamoured with him, however Emily remains aloof and begins to experiment with opium along with Branwell. When Branwell is sent away, Emily and Weightman draw closer and become lovers. Weightman ends the relationship when he realises Charlotte has discovered it.
Emily is devastated when she learns Weightman has died of cholera and pours her heart into the writing of Wuthering Heights. Later, a dying Emily begs Charlotte to burn her love letters to the curate.