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There is much in the Brontës which cannot be adequately appreciated without a knowledge of the life and character of their father. Only in recent years have amends been made by scholars to Patrick Brontë. In the popular mind, he still lingers as a rather grim despotic creature, a caricature of reality. He had his crotchets, but he was a conscientious, kind, and unusually tolerant parent; all the real evidence we have suggests that his children were lively and happy at home. His reputation was guilelessly damaged by Mrs Gaskell, who came to her biographical task with certain preconceptions. Rumours retailed by Lady Kay-Shuttleworth1 had already created her image of Patrick, and she turned a willing ear to any supportive Haworth gossip, though almost all of it related to a period so remote that little first-hand knowledge of it could have been available to the most thorough researcher.
KeywordsTolerant Parent Sunday School Paradise Lost Godly Life Lifelong Friend
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