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Cassocked Savage: The Life of Patrick Brontë
Fox Plays, August 13, 2016
Patrick Brontë, father of the famous sisters, was of lowly Irish birth. His father was kidnapped and became a slave. Pa
t's dad survived, married and Patrick was born. He had 9 younger siblings. He lived in a two-roomed cottage and from these humble origins became an amazing teacher then won a scholarship to Cambridge graduating with honours.
A priest in the Church of England, Brontë fathered six children, three of whom--Charlotte, Emily and Anne--became famous novelists. Their novels remain hugely popular today.
But Patrick copped a bad press. He asked the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell to write a biography about his daughter Charlotte. In her book, Mrs Gaskell gave Patrick a hard time. So hard that critics inferred he was 'a cassocked savage' and 'a mad dog who should be shot'. Really?
Biographers and publishers pushed the Gaskell line. Patrick's evil reputation was set in cemetery stone. But not any more.
Now his life-story can be revealed. And what a story. The redhead from County Down led an amazing life. He was a poet, novelist, hero and way ahead of his time. He gave his children a fabulous education with giant dollops of love. He inspired them to write. He was a fierce advocate for health, education and social reform. And he loved dogs! Meet the unsung champion from the wild Yorkshire moors.
Cassocked Savage is based on the play Saucy Pat by Cenarth Fox