Haworth from the moor's edge. Source: Wood, facing p.288. "Haworth village was wild and lonely," according to Elizabeth Gaskell (285), who suggested this as one of the reasons that the Brontë sisters were unable to attract any pupils when they tried to start a school. But it had other drawbacks too. This was a place where mill-employees lived, working at low wages in local textile mills. By the time the sisters were writing it was therefore a place of "escalating industrial unrest" (Baumber 16). People in other menial occupations, such as quarrying and farming, were no better off. Living conditions were substandard, as was the water supply. No wonder then that mortality rates were high — as high as in the worst parts of the overcrowded capital itself (see Barker 96). The Brontë family may not have been as socially isolated as earlier critics have assumed. Nevertheless, they were relatively so; and in this context the early deaths of the Brontë children were not at all exceptional.

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Barker, Juliet. The Brontës. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1994.

Baumber, Michael. "Howarth in the Time of the Brontës." In The Brontës in Context, ed. Marianne Thormählen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 9-17.

Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn. The Life of Charlotte Brontë. New York and London: Harper & Bros., 1900. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Library of Congress. Web. 3 December 2017.

Wood, Butler. "A Brontë Itinerary." In Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1916; a centenary memorial, prepared by the Brontë society, with a foreword by Mrs. Humphry Ward and 3 maps and 28 illustrations. Ed. Wood. New York: Dutton, 1918. 313-25. Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 3 December 2017.

Created 3 December 2017