A NEW exhibition is being launched as part of a programme of events spotlighting the formative years of the Brontes.

The Brontes Web of Childhood will explore how siblings Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell were shaped as writers during the early years of their lives.

Included in the exhibition, which begins next Thursday (February 1) at Haworth's Bronte Parsonage Museum and will run until New Year's Day 2025, are items never previously displayed in public.

Charlotte’s christening cap, on loan from a private collection, is being exhibited for the first time.

Also debuting at the museum are letters, previously held in the Blavatnik Honresfield Library, which show Charlotte’s intimate thoughts on death and mortality.

Diaries, portraits, schoolbooks and toys belonging to and created by the family as children will be on display, alongside several of the 'little books' – smaller than a matchbox – created by Branwell and Charlotte for their toy soldiers.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ann DinsdaleAnn Dinsdale (Image: Newsquest)

Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the museum, says: "We can clearly see the impact of the real lives of each of the Brontes in their later work, whether that’s in their creation of characters – motherless children, strong independent women – or situations, such as harsh schooling or the death of a child from tuberculosis. The siblings lost their mother and two oldest sisters before any of the four remaining children reached their tenth birthdays.

"Patriarch Patrick Bronte encouraged a rich, if unconventional, education for all his children – significantly for the time including the girls – and this, along with their fantastical imaginations, allowed each of the children to develop their incredible talents."

Alongside the exhibition, a new textile installation – Tactile Turmoil – by artist Ellie Brennan, is being displayed. Visitors are encouraged to touch the artworks, which comprise a collection of large rug-like pieces. The work was inspired by the Bronte sisters’ first impressions of their new home when they moved to Haworth from Thornton in 1820.

Throughout the year, the museum will host a number of events reflecting what's known about the siblings' childhood.

Storyteller Sophia Hatfield will share folk tales inspired by the servants who lived in the house, and the stories they may have told the children.

And the annual Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing in September will centre around contemporary children's and young adult writers, bringing some of the UK’s best to Haworth.

For the full programme of events, visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on