Today I binge-watched The Brontes of Haworth, a 1973 mini-series about, who else?, the Bronte Sisters. While I found it entertaining and informative, it was hardly riveting since it was so dark and episodic. Most interesting was seeing, as Branwell Bronte, a young Michael Kitchen, who was, to me, completely unrecognizable as the same person who stars in Foyle's War. While all the Bronte's were a little odd, Branwell was a neurotic wreck. Arrogant and brilliant in his youth, he became a complete loser as an adult, wasting every opportunity for success, embracing laziness and becoming addicted to alcohol, opium, and his own fantasies of fame. He was such a mediocre painter that this series didn't even show his actual portrait of his three surviving sisters, but a far better replacement. And what sisters they were. All three were incredibly prolific writers, especially Emily and Charlotte, both of whom wrote novels that still enjoy world-wide popularity. There was a particularly annoying error in this mini-series, which is always done incorrectly with dramas in which hopeful authors receive rejections. It is that the manuscript, being returned, had far too few pages. Manuscripts of novels, especially hand-written ones at that time, would practically require a crate to contain them, and not the lightweight envelope so often shown to arrive from the publisher.
Note: While Branwell Bronte was not as pathetically untalented an artist as, say, George Bush, his paintings were hardly National Gallery material. He originally had included himself in this group
portrait, but later effected his removal.