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BBC to dramatise Brontes' lives

Published 18/05/2015

An undated picture of the Bronte sisters
An undated picture of the Bronte sisters

The difficult home life of the Brontes will be brought to life in a new BBC1 drama about the literary sisters, written and directed by Last Tango In Halifax author Sally Wainwright.

The one-off, two-hour drama will follow Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte's relationship with each other and their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life was plagued by alcoholism and drug addiction.

To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters will be filmed in and around Yorkshire, where the most famous sisters of English literature lived.

Casting is yet to be announced for the drama, described as "an original perspective on the Bronte sisters".

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: "The Bronte sisters have always been enigmatic but Sally Wainwright's brilliantly authentic new BBC1 drama brings the women behind some of our greatest literary masterpieces to life.

"It's an extraordinary tale of family tragedy and their passion and determination, against the odds, to have their genius recognised in a male 19th century world."

Bafta-winning writer Wainwright, whose other credits include TV series Happy Valley, said of the drama: "I am thrilled beyond measure that I've been asked by the BBC to bring to life these three fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women."

The drama explores the siblings' relationship with each other and their self-educated father, who grew up in an impoverished home in rural Ireland and encouraged his children - irrespective of their gender - to become passionate about literature.

It also portrays their "increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life - following a tragically misguided love affair - sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour".

Charlotte, arguably the most talented of the three sisters, died at the age of 38. Her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, was published in 1847 and was an instant success.

Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, while Anne, the youngest of the three , penned The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall.

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