Branwell Bronte – biography

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Branwell Bronte: Struggling for Fame

A poet and painter, who never got a chance to get from the shadow of his more successful sisters, Branwell Bronte was lost due to his addiction to alcohol and opium. He suffered from being an underestimated artist and writer.

Branwell always craved for fame and recognition. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to get to light until this day.

We are going to review some of the defining stages of Bronte life. The mission is to figure out if he was such a talentless painter or pet or if it was his more recognizable sisters to keep him in the shadow throughout his entire life. Or maybe it was he who wrote all books for his sisters instead. It is high time we started our involving investigation!

Childhood and Early Life

Bronte grew up with three of his elder sisters. Hailing from Thornton, Bradford in Yorkshire, he was born on June 26, 1817. The future poet’s mother died four years after his birth. The family was quite poor. So, Branwell gave up hopes to get a formal education. They were forced to follow rather tough financial restrictions and common budget emergencies.

However, the financial situation never seemed to be a problem for a young boy who was very enthusiastic when it came to self-studying. He always craved for knowledge and turned out to be a very talented and gifted scholar. From the early childhood, Bronte enjoyed writing stories and poems together with his sister Charlotte. At the age of 19, he was offered a position of the Lodge secretary.

Branwell combined his work as a secretary with painting portraits in Bradford. In 1840, he took the position of a private tutor in a rich and wealthy family but dismissed after one year of working. Later he worked as a clerk at Luddenden Foot station but also was dismissed due to some problems resulted in the financial deficit founded on statin accounts.

Some people said it was more Bronte incompetence rather than a theft. His sister Anne helped him to get a new tutor position in the Robinson family. You probably know what happened then. Once again, he was dismissed due to an affair with Mr. Robinson’s wife. It all resulted in a huge stress and total frustration with what life had prepared for the painter and poet.

The Fatal Addiction

Constant failures made Branwell get indulged in alcohol and opium. The addiction had a negative impact on both physical and mental health. His bad habits resulted in a developed sense of pity towards himself. Bronte felt worthless and absolutely abundant. He made several efforts to renew his relations with Mrs. Robinson after her husband’s death. However, all his efforts were nothing but another failure.

He died at the age of 31 on September 24, 1848. Although Bronte was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, the real reason of his death was an addiction to opium.

Most Recognizable Painting

The portrait of three Bronte sisters is yet the most popular painting by Branwell. Moreover, it appeared to be his one and only group portrait experience. The work is now available for the visitors of the London National Portrait Gallery. It depicts three of his sisters including Charlotte, Emily, and Annie.

The novelist Elizabeth Gaskell was the first one to mention about the portrait back in 1853. She was the author of a detailed biography of Charlotte Bronte. Despite such a late mentioning, the painting itself was created at least 20 years earlier. The approximate year is 1834. It was the time when all four children lived together while being teenagers.

It looks very metaphoric depicting only three of four children. Here we have sisters who managed to become more successful in relations and writing career while the painter was forced to stay in their shadow for the rest of his life. Sounds a bit unfair, doesn’t it? Well, we have something special for you that might change your opinion about his achievements and talents.

The Story Behind the Novel

The fame and popularity of Bronte sisters are certainly out of the question, especially considering their iconic novels. They gave a birth to three never-dying classics such as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre. All three were pretty talented poets and writers.

However, they were never spotted creating something really unique. This fact makes their success look a bit strange. How could they write such great masterpieces? Why did not they continue writing novels? The problem is that three of the above-mentioned books were the only ones written by the Bronte sisters to get recognition and fame.

On the other hand, we have a young and talented boy who always was an enthusiastic and gifted scholar craving for new knowledge and exploration. We are not claiming for sure, but some experts say it was Branwell who wrote all those books for his sisters. We do not know the reasons as well as if the statement is true. However, there is something unnatural in the situation around the Bronte family.

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