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Anne (1820–1849), Patrick Branwell (1817–1848), Charlotte (1816–1855), and Emily Jane Brontë (1818–1848)
Autograph manuscripts and letters
The Henry Houston Bonnell Brontë Collection, bequest of Helen Safford Bonnell, 1969; MA 2696
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These manuscripts, three in minuscule handwriting, are the work of a group of unusually imaginative teenage siblings. When they were children, the Brontës began inventing characters and scenarios as part of their creative play. Over the years they built a complex web of stories and poems about made-up kingdoms, informed by their extensive reading of literary works and contemporary news. In the notebook on the upper left, Charlotte describes a palace garden with strong echoes from The Arabian Nights. Below left, Branwell describes battles and intrigue in the Angrian chronicle. Above right, Anne's poem is written in the voice of an imprisoned heroine from the kingdom of Gondal. Below right, Emily's poem describes a dream visit from a ghostly figure.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.