Charlotte Bronte bicentenary celebrations begin
- 2 February 2016
- From the section Leeds & West Yorkshire
An exhibition has been launched in West Yorkshire to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth.
The world-renowned author of Jane Eyre and Villette was the eldest of the literary Brontes, born 21 April 1816.
The exhibition, Charlotte Great and Small, marks the start of a five-year programme of events to celebrate 200 years since the Brontes' births.
It includes a letter sent by Charlotte to Constantin Heger, thought to be "the real Mr Rochester" of Jane Eyre.
Child-sized clothes, books and paintings are also on show, as well as the Heger love letter - loaned to the Bronte Society from the British Museum - which was torn up and stitched back together.
It it is the first time in many years the letter has been back to the Parsonage.
Tracy Chevalier, curator of Charlotte Great and Small, said: "The Parsonage is a unique house; it's incredible to see the place where so much creativity arose.
"I'm hoping to sprinkle some surprises amongst the dresses and writing desks, including a Twitter tour of the house and exhibition and even a knitted Jane Eyre."
Chevalier is editing a collection of short stories influenced by Charlotte Bronte, featuring writing by Susan Hill, Emma Donoghue, Audrey Niffenegger and Jane Gardam.
A touring exhibition "Celebrating Charlotte" will be at the National Portrait Gallery in London, followed by the Morgan Library in New York.
Northern Ballet is presenting the world premiere of a new version of Jane Eyre in May and Sally Wainwright's drama To Walk Invisible airs on BBC1 in the autumn.
The bicentenary of Branwell Bronte will be celebrated in 2017, with further events for Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.