A woman portrayed by national media as living as Charlotte Bronte has said her business has been ruined by the false claims.

Stories published in the national and international newspapers last week alleged dressmaker Lyn-Marie Cunliffe, of Oxenhope, “lived in a time-warp” and spent her days dressed as the famous literary figure. The 49-year-old, who gives talks to schools and nursing homes and attends events in historical dress, was pictured in a fast-food restaurant and shopping wearing late Victorian dress.

She said she had been told the article would be about tourism and her business Abigails Ateliers. She said she had approved a different version of the story and had broken down in tears when she had read what was eventually printed.

“I have spent three years building up my business and now I am afraid it is ruined,” she said. “I spent a lot of time building up my online presence and now when you put my name in to a search engine there is a story about a crazy lady who thinks she is Charlotte Bronte."

See Monday's T&A for the full story