Who were the Brontë sisters? - The Brontë sisters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—are acknowledged literary geniuses. Between them they produced some of the finest works in English literature.

The Brontë's birthplace - They were born in the village of Thornton in West Yorkshire, England. Pictured is their birthplace. Also born here was a brother, Branwell, and two other sisters, Maria and Elizabeth.

Patrick Brontë (1777-1861) - The children were born to Irish Anglican rector Patrick Brontë and his wife Maria, née Branwell. Patrick Brontë was destined to outlive his spouse and all six of his children.

Move to Haworth - The family moved to Haworth, where Patrick Brontë would become a pastor at the Church of St Michael and All Angels. They lived in the adjoining parsonage (pictured). Unexpectedly, however, in 1821 the family matriarch, Maria Brontë, died, likely from cancer.

Schooldays and tragedy - Five years later, Maria and Elizabeth died, at 11 and 10 years old respectively. Both had become ill at Cowan Bridge School (where Charlotte and Emily were also pupils). Charlotte blamed the school's poor sanitary conditions for their deaths, ultimately brought about by tuberculosis. Pictured is a cot used by the sisters.

Tuberculosis strikes - Charlotte and Emily returned home. But tuberculosis would in time plague other members of the Brontë family. Charlotte later modeled the Lowood school setting at the beginning of 'Jane Eyre' on her experiences at Cowan Bridge.

Young, creative minds - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne received little formal education after leaving Cowan Bridge School. Instead, they grew up creating imaginary worlds that they described in vivid detail through poetry and in plays. Emily and Anne were especially close and came up with Gondal, a make-believe realm.

Finding work - After leaving home, Anne found work as a governess. Charlotte began her professional life as a teacher before also becoming a governess. Their respective novels 'Agnes Grey' and 'Jane Ayre' both include references to this period in their lives.

Studying in Brussels - In February 1842, Charlotte and Emily arrived in Brussels. There they studied French, German, and literature. Inspiration for Charlotte's first novel 'The Professor,' published only after her death, and 'Villette' draw on her time in the Belgian city.

'Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell' (1846) - In 1846, the three Brontë sisters published 'Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.' The volume appeared under masculine pseudonyms, a decision made in part to bypass prejudice against female writers but also taken to disguise their Irish heritage. Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell, and Emily became Ellis Bell. Sales were dismal. But all were working on their first novels.

Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) - Though Charlotte was the last sister to find a publisher, her novel 'Jane Eyre' was the first to be published, in 1847.

First draft - Dated to 1846, this is the first page of the manuscript of the novel. Charlotte continued to write under her pen name, Currer Bell.

'Jane Eyre' (1847) - 'Jane Eyre' was a publishing sensation, and was the best-selling novel of 1847. Pictured is the title page of the original edition.

Emily Brontë (1818–1848) - Also published in 1847 was Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights.' Her pen name was Ellis Bell.

'Wuthering Heights' (1847) - 'Wuthering Heights' is considered one of the greatest novels ever written in English, this despite the fact that contemporaneous reviews were polarized. In fact, sales of the novel never reached those of 'Jane Eyre' in Emily's lifetime.

Anne Brontë (1820–1849) - Anne Brontë's debut novel was 'Agnes Grey,' published under the nom de plume Acton Bell. By then, many in the publishing world thought "Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell" were one and the same person.

Agnes Grey' (1847) - 'Agnes Grey' (1847) tells the story of Agnes Grey, a governess working within families of the monied English gentry. It's based on Anne's own experiences, employed as she was in the same position several years earlier.

Charlotte's second novel -Charlotte Brontë followed 'Jane Eyre' with 'Shirley.' It's set in Yorkshire in 1811–12 against the backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry.

'Shirley' (1849) - 'Shirley' wasn't as successful as 'Jane Eyre,' but is remembered for a curious quirk. Shirley comes from the Old English words scire (shire) and lēah (meadow clearing), and was originally a name given to boys. However, the popularity of Brontë's novel led to Shirley becoming a woman's name.

Branwell Brontë (1817–1848) - While the sisters basked in literary success, their brother Branwell had spiraled into a world of drug and alcohol addiction. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne cared deeply about him, but his unpredictable character and inability to hold down jobs was severely testing their patience.

'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' (1848) - The protagonist in Anne's second and final novel, 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,' is based on her troubled brother. The novel was an instant and phenomenal success, and stands alongside 'Wuthering Heights' as a masterpiece of English literature.

Death of Branwell Brontë - Branwell Brontë's demons finally caught up with him on September 24, 1848. He died aged 31 from tuberculosis aggravated by alcoholism and opium addiction. Pictured is a self-portrait from 1840.

Deaths of Emily and Anne - Branwell's early demise set a precedent. On December 19 the same year, Emily Brontë died, also from tuberculosis, aged 30. Anne died of the same disease the following year, on May 28, 1849. She was just 29. Emily and Charlotte, the latter who died in 1855, are buried in the grounds of St Michael and All Angels Church, Haworth.

Death of Charlotte Brontë - Charlotte Brontë passed away on March 31, 1855, aged 38. Tuberculosis was suspected, but she may have instead died from dehydration and malnourishment due to vomiting caused by severe morning sickness. Charlotte was the only sister to marry, and passed away while pregnant.

Gravesite of Anne Brontë - Anne Brontë is buried is St. Marys' churchyard in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Ironically, she died after catching a chill while attending her brother's funeral, a cold that likely developed into tuberculosis.

Brontë Parsonage Museum - The home where the Brontë family lived in Haworth is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The sisters spent much of their lives here and wrote their most famous novels under the parsonage roof.

The Brontë Society - The museum is maintained by the Brontë Society—one of the oldest literary societies in the English-speaking world. The society preserves for posterity artifacts, letters, documents, and original furniture, including the mahogany desk at which Charlotte wrote her novels (pictured).

Rich legacy - One recent addition to the Society's collection was the purchase in 2019 of a rare edition of 'The Young Men's Magazine' (pictured). Charlotte and her brother produced a series of these handwritten mini-books containing articles, stories, letters, and reviews throughout the 1820s and early '30s.

Visiting "Wuthering Heights" - Top Withens is a ruined farmhouse near Haworth. The derelict property is said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights. The ruin lies on the Pennine Way east of Withins Height below Delf Hill.