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The Brontës were the world's most famous literary family and Haworth Parsonage, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, was their home from 1820 to 1861.

Myth and Reality
Surprisingly, the enduring myth of the Brontës living a life of unrelieved isolation and tragedy was, to some extent, created unintentionally by the Brontës themselves. In choosing to write under pseudonyms, the sisters drew an immediate veil of mystery around them, and people speculated as to the true identity of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. After Emily's and Anne's early deaths, Charlotte added to the legend in her 1850 Biographical Notice of her sisters. To protect Emily and Anne from the accusations of brutality levelled by the critics, Charlotte portrayed her sisters as unlearned, unworldly young women who wrote by instinct rather than design.

The novelist Elizabeth Gaskell was Charlotte's first biographer and she was responsible for perpetuating a wider knowledge of the Brontës' lives when she published The Life of Charlotte Brontë in 1857, two years after Charlotte's death. Gaskell's book, which stands today as one of the best biographical studies of its kind, was nevertheless approached from a novelist's perspective and it became a monument to what she perceived as Charlotte's tragedy of noble self-sacrifice to duty. Thus the Brontës were elevated to the mythic, heroic status which is so often applied to those who die young. The Brontë Parsonage Museum seeks to separate myth from reality and to present the known facts about the family.

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