In Haworth, I discovered the family's rebellion eclipsed even the wonderful fiction of Emily, Ann and Charlotte. Thanks to Johnnie Brigg's insightful, informative, supebly researched and entertaining 'Bronte Walks', I also discovered that the family did much to reform many social and health problems in Haworth!
Charlotte, Ann and Emily all were active in making education available to the children of Haworth, as part of a movement that eventually led to free and universal education for all. Charlotte has a plaque dedicated to her work on that front, in the hall that once housed the village school, her family founded.
The Reverend Patrick Bronte, was involved in agitating for improved sewerage and drainage systems, to rid Haworth of the waterlogged bacteria ridden problems that had likeley led to the deaths of his two less famous daughters Maria and Elizabeth, during their childhood, not to mention his beloved wife and later, Emily and Ann.
It is well known that Emily, Charlotte and Ann were pioneers as female novelists, initially publishing under the aliases of Ellis, Acton and Curer Bell, in attempt to conceal their gender. When the public eventually learned that these three presumed young men were indeed women form rural back waters, it caused a public sensation!
That the three, sat round the table competing with each other to generate and support each other's work, in attempt to free themselves from more traditional female roles of their day, was yet another pearl I learned thanks to Johnnie Briggs!
Johnnie Briggs truly brings such information and the poignant tale of their brother Branwell to life. So too, the passionate love of their parents, Reverend Patrick and Maria (Branwell) Bronte, via quoting diary and letter extracts, as well as revealing places and events that were vital to the village during the lifetime of the Brontes.
I highly recommend anyone venturing to Haworth to ensure they book onto one of Johnnie's 'Bronte Walks'. His passion for the Bronte family, as well as Haworth itself is evident . As a former historic tour guide myself, I can vouch for the unique integrity and quality of what he offers.
A walk with Johnnie Briggs, through his beloved Haworth, will invest any member of the public with knowledge, love and appreciation of the entire Bronte family; a gift that can not help but further the appreciation of the sisters' remarkable literary legacy!