|To Walk Invisible|
|Written by||Sally Wainwright|
|Directed by||Sally Wainwright|
|Starring|| Finn Atkins |
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Executive producers||Faith Penhale|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Production companies|| BBC Cymru Wales |
The Open University
To Walk Invisible is a British television film about the Brontë family that aired on BBC One on 29 December 2016.The drama was written and directed by Sally Wainwright and focused on the relationship of the three Brontë sisters; Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and their brother, Branwell.
In the United States, it aired on 26 March 2017 on PBS as part of Masterpiece Theater , under the title To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.
The title of the drama comes from a letter that Charlotte Brontë had written to her publisher about once meeting a clergyman who did not realise that she was Currer Bell. It suited her and her sisters that they were not famous; "What author would be without the advantage of being able to walk invisible?"
In 1845, the Brontë family, consisting of Patrick Brontë, his daughters Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and his son Branwell, are reunited after Branwell is dismissed from his position as tutor, and Anne, who had been working as a governess for the same family, resigns alongside him. Anne reluctantly tells her sisters that Branwell was dismissed for having had sexual relations with the mistress of the house.
Anne reveals to her sister Charlotte that she still writes, though Charlotte admits to having given up the hobby as it frightens her. Later Anne also confides to Emily that she is terrified by Branwell's drunken behaviour, as their father is blind and sickly and their house belongs to the parish, meaning that when he dies the sisters will be wholly dependent on their brother who is a liar, a heavy drinker, and a spendthrift.
Charlotte, who is also terrified of a future where she is financially dependent on Branwell, has a conversation with him about his future plans where he reveals he has published a few poems, but because of the insignificant amounts paid, is setting his sights on a novel. The conversation triggers Charlotte to wonder if she and her sisters might be able to publish their own material as well. She searches through Emily's room and uncovers her poems, which she finds brilliant and amazing. Emily reacts violently to the breach of privacy, while Anne is intrigued by the idea of publication and shows Charlotte some of her poems and a novel she is working on. Charlotte is unimpressed by Anne's work, but thinks that the three sisters should try to publish a volume of poetry they can use to establish themselves before they write novels. The sisters pay to have Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell published and use pseudonyms so as not to be discriminated against because of their sex. They keep the publication secret from their father and brother.
Branwell hears from his mistress and discovers her husband has died. However, his will provides that she will lose both her money and her house if she remarries or is seen with Branwell. Branwell sinks further into alcoholism and becomes increasingly violent.
Meanwhile, the sisters have written novels and begin to send them out for publication. Charlotte takes their father for cataract surgery and during his recovery period she begins work on a second novel, Jane Eyre .
After disappearing for a long time, Branwell returns, severely unwell. The family tries to nurse him back to health but sudden sobriety means that he begins to experience hallucinations.
Charlotte finally receives a letter from a publisher and is disappointed to learn that while Emily's novel Wuthering Heights and Anne's novel Agnes Grey have been accepted for publication, her own novel, The Professor , has been rejected. She urges her sisters to go forward with publication without her and begins to look for a publisher for Jane Eyre .
The situation with Branwell worsens as the family is forced to pay off more of his debts. However, Jane Eyre is accepted for publication and all three of the books are incredibly successful. After yet another incident with Branwell harassing their father for money, Emily urges her sisters to reveal themselves and the huge success of their books to their father in order to alleviate his worries about their financial futures. The sisters ask their father not to reveal their success to Branwell, as they have achieved what he only dreamt of.
Charlotte becomes enraged after Anne and Emily's publisher tries to pass off The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , a book written by Anne, as being Charlotte's work. She insists that the sisters travel to London and reveal themselves to be separate authors. Anne agrees to go with her sister, but Emily refuses, insisting on protecting her anonymity. After Charlotte introduces herself and Anne, they are greeted with great enthusiasm by their publishers, who take them to the opera.
When they return home Emily reveals that Branwell is deeply ill and has been vomiting blood. Branwell never recovers and eventually dies.
A postscript reveals that Emily died three months after Branwell and Anne died five months after her. The parsonage was later turned into a museum celebrating the sisters and their work.
BAFTA-winning writer Sally Wainwright, whose other credits include crime drama Happy Valley and comedy-drama Last Tango in Halifax , both set in Yorkshire, said she was "thrilled beyond measure" to have been asked by the BBC to "bring to life these three fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women".
The drama was filmed mostly in Yorkshire with Haworth being used extensively during filming.A replica of the Parsonage at Haworth was constructed on the moorland in Penistone Hill Country Park, just west of Haworth. This allowed external scenes to be filmed away from the real Parsonage in the village. The replica parsonage was also added to with other buildings and a street to make a small set of how Haworth looked at the time of the Brontës, with at least one local councillor pointing out that in their time, the Parsonage was not shaded by trees as it is now.
Interior scenes were filmed in studios at Manchester as filming in the actual Parsonage itself was not possible. Other external scenes were filmed within the city of Yorkand the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.
On review aggregating web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has achieved a score of 83% based on six reviews, for an average rating of 7.5/10.
Lucy Mangan, writing in The Guardian , described the drama as "bleak, beautiful and brilliant; like everything that Wainwright and her repertory company does". She also praised Nagaitis' performance as "a blazing performance [which] conveys the inner torment as well as the selfishness and keeps our sympathy even as he drives us up the wall".
The Telegraph 's Jasper Rees gave the drama five stars out of five describing the episode as "the Brontë sisters brought to fizzing, furious life," and similarly praised Adam Nagaitis' acting, noting that it was excellent.
The programme also attracted numerous comments on social media, with many viewers expressing their displeasure about a fine performance ruined by what they felt to be the poor quality of the film's sound recording.
The characterisation of the Brontë family was criticised by Peggy Hewitt, a member of the Brontë Society whose own biography about the family, These Lonely Mountains, is "widely regarded as the definitive book about the Haworth moors and their links to the Brontës".Hewitt was critical of what she saw as Branwell's character being overplayed, Charlotte's "constant mean pinched look" and the representation of Patrick Brontë as "mild and ineffectual" when she claims he was a "fiery Irishman, Cambridge graduate, [and a] forward-looking social reformer."
Anne Brontë was an English novelist and poet, and the youngest member of the Brontë literary family.
Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature.
Emily Jane Brontë was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. She also published a book of poetry with her sisters Charlotte and Anne titled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell with her own poems finding regard as poetic genius. Emily was the second-youngest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.
Haworth is a village in the City of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England, in the Pennines, 3 miles (5 km) south-west of Keighley, 10 miles (16 km) west of Bradford and 10 miles (16 km) east of Colne in Lancashire. The surrounding areas include Oakworth and Oxenhope. Nearby villages include Cross Roads, Stanbury and Lumbfoot.
The Brontës were a nineteenth-century literary family, born in the village of Thornton and later associated with the village of Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. The sisters, Charlotte (1816–1855), Emily (1818–1848) and Anne (1820–1849), are well-known poets and novelists. Like many contemporary female writers, they published their poems and novels under male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Their stories attracted attention for their passion and originality immediately following their publication. Charlotte's Jane Eyre was the first to know success, while Emily's Wuthering Heights, Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and other works were accepted as masterpieces of literature after their deaths.
Shirley, A Tale is a social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë, first published in 1849. It was Brontë's second published novel after Jane Eyre. The novel is set in Yorkshire in 1811–12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. The novel is set against the backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry.
Patrick Branwell Brontë was an English painter and writer. He was the only son of the Brontë family, and brother of the writers Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Brontë was rigorously tutored at home by his father, and earned praise for his poetry and translations from the classics. However, he drifted between jobs, supporting himself by portrait-painting, and gave way to drug and alcohol addiction, apparently worsened by a failed relationship with a married woman. Brontë died at the age of 31.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum is a writer's house museum maintained by the Brontë Society in honour of the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The museum is in the former Brontë family home, the parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, England, where the sisters spent most of their lives and wrote their famous novels.
Patrick Brontë was an Irish Anglican minister and author who spent most of his adult life in England. He was the father of the writers Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, and of Branwell Brontë, his only son. Patrick outlived his wife, the former Maria Branwell, by forty years, by which time all of their six children had died as well.
The Brontë Sisters is a 1979 French drama film directed by André Téchiné and written by Téchiné with the collaboration of Pascal Bonitzer and Jean Gruault. The film stars Isabelle Adjani, Marie-France Pisier and Isabelle Huppert as the Brontë sisters. The cinematography was by Bruno Nuytten. It was a project that Téchiné wanted to make since 1972, but only after the favourable reception of Souvenirs d'en France (1975) and Barocco (1976), he was able to find the necessary financing. Produced by Gaumont, the film's originally running time was cut from three to less than two hours upon its release at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.
Devotion is a 1946 American biographical film directed by Curtis Bernhardt and starring Ida Lupino, Paul Henreid, Olivia de Havilland, and Sydney Greenstreet. Based on a story by Theodore Reeves, the film is a highly fictionalized account of the lives of the Brontë sisters. The movie features Montagu Love's last role; he died almost three years before the film's delayed release.
Maria Branwell is best known as being the mother of British writers Emily Brontë, Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë and of their brother Branwell Brontë, who was a poet and painter. Maria married Patrick Brontë on 29 December 1812.
Arthur Bell Nicholls was the husband of the English novelist Charlotte Brontë. Between 1845 and 1861 Nicholls was one of Patrick Brontë's curates and was married to his eldest surviving child, Charlotte, for the last nine months of her life. He cared for Patrick Brontë after Charlotte Brontë's death and spent the rest of his life in the shadow of her reputation. He returned to his native Ireland, remarried and left the ministry.
Maria Brontë was the eldest daughter of Patrick Brontë and Maria Brontë, née Branwell.
Elizabeth Branwell was the aunt of the literary sisters Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë.
The Glass Town is a paracosm created and written as a shared fantasy world by Charlotte Brontë, Branwell Brontë, Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë, siblings of the Brontë family. It was initiated by Charlotte and her brother Branwell; Emily and Anne Brontë later participated in further developing the stories and geography of its world, although they also broke away to conceptualize Gondal, while Charlotte conceptualized Angria.
Penistone Hill Country Park is an open space of moorland that is located to 0.31 miles (0.5 km) west of Haworth and 0.62 miles (1 km) north-west of Oxenhope in West Yorkshire, England. The park's highest point is detailed with a trig point which is 1,030 feet (310 m) above sea level. Since 1994, the park has been notified as being an SSSI as part of the South Pennine Moors.
Emily is a 2022 British biographical drama film written and directed by Frances O'Connor in her directorial debut. It is a part-fictional portrait of English writer Emily Brontë, concentrating on a fictional romantic relationship with the young curate William Weightman. Fionn Whitehead, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Alexandra Dowling, Amelia Gething, Adrian Dunbar and Gemma Jones also appear in supporting roles.
Elizabeth Brontë was the second-eldest child of Patrick Brontë and Maria Brontë, née Branwell. A member of the literary Brontë family, Elizabeth was the younger sister of Maria Brontë as well as the elder sister of writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and poet and artist Branwell. Less is known about Elizabeth than all the other members of her family.