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The life of Patrick Brontë was intercut with moments of extreme joy – at his marriage to Maria Branwell and at his children’s success – but also with periods of profound sorrow.

From humble beginnings as a weaver’s apprentice, Patrick’s life was transformed when he was offered lessons by a local minister who discovered him reading aloud from Milton’s Paradise Lost. By sixteen, he was a school teacher, and he went on study at Cambridge University before being ordained as a clergyman and later settling in Haworth.

At seventy years old, having seen his wife and two of his children die, Patrick travelled to Manchester for a cataract operation. After the surgery, he lay still in a darkened room for weeks to heal, being cared for by Charlotte. It was at this time that she began to write Jane Eyre.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the Brontë Society’s 2019 creative partner, has devised an innovative installation exploring Patrick Brontë’s memories and imagination as he recovered from his cataract operation, produced in collaboration with Jo Pocock, Illuminos and Lumen. How My Light is Spent invites visitors to enter the Parsonage Cellar to share Patrick’s experience of darkness and hear the words he held most dear.

This immersive installation combines light and sound to create a memorable and moving experience. There is a brief moment of complete darkness and we therefore advise that the experience is suitable for 7+, however we will not prevent younger visitors from taking part with their responsible adult.

Free with admission to the Museum.