Saturday, 26 February 2011

Patrick Bronte - 'in the Scotch manner'.

There is an article about the Ulster roots of the Bronte family in the February issue of Verbal magazine, which is published by the Verbal Arts Centre in Londonderry.  This has been prompted by the fact that a new edition of Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, is in the book shops and a new film adaption is in the making.

The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, who gave us a number of fine novels, were the daughters of Rev Patrick Bronte (1777-1861).  He was minister in the village of Haworth in Yorkshire for more than forty years and exercised a thoroughly evangelical ministry.

However Patrick Bronte was not born in England.  In fact he was the eldest of ten children of Hugh Brunty, a farm labourer from Drumballyroney in county Down.

Patrick Bronte wrote several volumes of poetry and some time ago I came across this comment on his poetry by David J O'Donoghue, author of The Poets of Ireland.  In another of his works, The Geographical Distribution of Irish Ability, which was published in Dublin and London in 1908, he said:
Patrick Bronte was something of a poet, but wrote in the Scotch rather than the Irish manner.
Patrick Bronte died on 7 June 1861 and so this year is the 150th anniversary of his death.

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