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24 September 2014
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In Search of the Brontës

BBC ONE, Sunday 3 August and Sunday 10 August

This is the extraordinary story of the world's most famous literary sisters.

In Search of the Brontës follows Charlotte, Emily and Anne from the hopes and ambitions of childhood to the triumphs and traumas of their adult lives.

In this fascinating two-part dramatisation based on their letters and new research by acclaimed biographer Juliet Barker, Patricia Routledge narrates the true history of a family touched by genius, but blighted by tragedy – a story of alcoholism and illness, of thwarted passion and unrequited love, and of a quest for fame.

Starring Patrick Malahide as Patrick Brontë and Victoria Hamilton as Charlotte Brontë.

The world of windswept moors and tragic heroines vividly evoked in novels such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnus Grey bears much resemblance to the Brontës' own experiences.

But it is not the whole picture. In Search of the Brontës shatters the myths which have surrounded the three sisters since their untimely deaths over 150 years ago.

It reveals Charlotte Brontë to be fiercely ambitious, desperate for fame, and always one step ahead of the people who sought to criticise and undermine her, shrewdly protecting the posthumous reputations of her sisters, and the driving force behind their success.

It reveals their brother Branwell to be a gifted poet and writer, scarred by childhood loss and destroyed by a disastrous love affair; and Emily to be anything but the primitive, unworldly creature of legend. Infact she was obstinate, brilliant and scholarly, lived for her writing and cared nothing for her readers or critics.

The programme rescues the reputation of their father, Rev. Patrick Brontë, who was demonised by early biographers to save the reputations of his daughters, and discovers a tender, loving and humorous man who nurtured their genius, but lived to see their tragic deaths.

Powerful and moving, In Search of the Brontës gives a unique insight into the lives of three great literary heroines and the inspiration behind their works.

Notes to Editors

Mary Shelley and the Birth of Frankenstein

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