Bronte family's pet loves go on display at parsonage

One of Patrick Bronte's dog collars and a family pet dog that it may have belonged to the Brontes

One of Patrick Bronte's dog collars and a family pet dog that it may have belonged to the Brontes

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Do you have pet theories about the Bronte sisters?

The Brontes and Animals is the centrepiece of the 2014 season at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth which reopens after a winter break tomorrow.

The temporary exhibition focuses on animals in the Bronte family’s lives including their pet dogs.

And it explores how animals featured in Bronte novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Collections manager Ann Dinsdale said. “All the Brontes loved animals and had a wide variety of pets at the parsonage.

“Animals also play an important part in the stories – such as Mr Rochester’s dog Pilot, and Cathy in Wuthering Heights being bitten by a dog.”

The exhibition also features many of the Brontes’ paintings and drawings of animals, letters referring to animals, illustrated editions of the novels, and dog collars from their pets.

And it is being used for some half-term events.

Next Wednesday between 11am and 4pm, there will be a chance to make animal finger puppets and the following day, also from 11am to 4pm, animal-themed writing will be spotlighted, while from this Saturday to March 2, people can take part in an animal trail.

This year’s other temporary exhibition focuses on the Brontes’ relationship with the railway which arrived at the same time as the Brontës lived in Haworth, and Branwell Brontë worked as a railway clerk.

The railway exhibition ties in with one of the Bronte Society’s newest acquisitions, a miniature portrait of Mrs Hudson by Charlotte Brontë, who travelled by train to Bridlington to stay with her in the mid-1800s.

Another new item on show will be the “Belgian essay”, an autographed manuscript by Charlotte that was bought by the Brontë Society for £50,000 at the end of last year.

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