The Brontes of Haworth

Watch The Brontes of Haworth

  • 1973
  • 1 Season
  • 7.1  (120)

Produced by the Yorkshire Television network (YTV) in 1973, The Brontes of Haworth is a captivating British mini-series drama that delves into the intricate lives and literary contributions of the Brontë family. Set against the backdrop of the small, isolated village of Haworth in West Yorkshire’s windswept moors, the series offers a deeply empathetic and nuanced portrayal of the family's passionate devotion to literature and art, their individual and collective struggles, as well as their personal triumphs and tragedies.

Over the course of five episodes, the narrative unravels the world of the four Brontë siblings – Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell. It painstakingly details their journey from early childhood to adulthood, from obscurity to literary fame. The series takes a unique storytelling approach by weaving the siblings' original works of poetry and prose into the plot, presenting captivating parallels between their literary works and their lived experiences.

The dramatic focus of the series centers on the lives of the three Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily, and Anne – who, against all odds, became significant figures in the literary world during the Victorian era. The audience learns about the sisters' early passion for writing, fostered in their childhood through the creation of intricate fantasy worlds, and matures into their profound, innovative novels that continue to resonate with audiences today. The episodes explore the enduring themes present in the sisters' works, such as social criticism, the status of women, morality, and love, reflecting their own observations and experiences in a patriarchal society.

On the other side of the coin is the deeply troubled Branwell, a talented painter and poet who becomes a pariah, succumbing to self-destructive tendencies. The dynamics between him and the Brontë sisters form a crucial part of the plot, adding a layer of complexity and emotional intensity to the narrative.

Patrick Malahide plays Patrick Brontë, the father of the siblings. As a clergyman, he is depicted as a stern but supportive figure who encourages his children's intellectual development. The portrayal of his relationship with his children is tinged with tragedy, encapsulating the sorrow of outliving all his offspring, a heartbreaking truth in the real-life Brontë story.

The characters of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell are brought to life by actors Michael Kitchen, Vickery Turner, Rosemary McHale, and Ann Penfold respectively. Their performances were highly praised, notably for capturing the multidimensional essence of their characters, combining youthful passion, resilience, creative genius, deep-rooted fears, societal constraints, internal struggles, and the inevitable tragedy that befalls them.

The series also explores the impact of the raw, rugged landscape of the Yorkshire moors on the Brontës' lives and literature. This is one of the show's visual highlights, with the distinct scenery serving as a hauntingly beautiful and ominous metaphor for the tumultuous lives of the Brontë siblings. Another noteworthy feature is the series' use of authentic locations such as the Parsonage, where the Brontë family resided. This further adds to the historic authenticity of the narrative.

The series does not shy away from presenting the harsh realities faced by women writers during the Victorian era. The Brontë sisters' choice to publish their works under male pseudonyms - Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell - speaks volumes about the societal prejudice and gender biases of the era. This point is well reflected and showcased, adding to the authenticity of the narrative.

The Brontes of Haworth is not just about the genesis of three iconic novels -- Charlotte's "Jane Eyre", Emily's "Wuthering Heights", and Anne's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall". Instead, it is a comprehensive, humanizing glance at the private lives of the famous Brontë family. Through heartrending drama and engrossing storytelling, the series paints an intimate picture of the creative sparks, personal traumas, societal constraints, and familial bonds that fueled the Brontës' literary legacy. It is a must-watch for literature enthusiasts, history buffs, and those interested in the significant, albeit lesser-known aspects of the Victorian era.

The Brontes of Haworth
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Silent Is the House
5. Silent Is the House
October 29, 1973
Charotte's wide acclaim as an author brings her father much pleasure, and her quiet life takes a surprising turn when she receives a marriage proposal. In the end, however, Mr. Bronte suffers a mournful existence: outliving all his gifted children.
Rewarding Destiny
4. Rewarding Destiny
October 21, 1973
The year 1847 brings excitement for the sisters with the publication of their novels and a life-changing voyage to London to prove to their publisher that each sister is an author in her own right. But sorrowful events soon overshadow the glow of success.
Delusion's Song
3. Delusion's Song
October 14, 1973
As Mr. Bronte's health fades, his daughters find success in crafting their stories, and Charlotte publishes a book of poems. Branwell's self-destructive behavior takes a turn for the worse, reducing him to a shadow of his once-brilliant self.
Home and Abroad
2. Home and Abroad
October 7, 1973
Branwell finds his artistic hopes dashed and makes a painful decision, while Charlotte and Emily further their education in Brussels. Anne has challenges as the governess of a wealthy family, and a cholera epidemic strikes back home with tragic consequences.
The Little King
1. The Little King
September 3, 1973
The comfortable childhood shared by Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell Bronte instills in them boundless creativity and a passion for learning. But their sheltered upbringing creates difficulties as each makes his or her way into the world.
  • Premiere Date
    September 3, 1973
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (120)