FANTASISTS, eggheads and Gothic girls descended on Haworth for the annual Bronte Society Summer Festival Weekend.

A trinity of special events was laid on for literature enthusiasts and other admirers of the Bronte sisters’ lives and work.

The History Wardrobe group presented Gothic for Girls, an evening of enlightenment combining fashion with all things Bronte.

TV and radio personality Lucy Mangan chaired the Great Who Wants to Be a Bronte Mastermind Challenge.

And Carol Dyhouse presented the Bronte Society’s annual lecture entitled The Eccentricities of ‘Woman’s Fantasy’... And Heathcliff.

Gothic for Girls took its audience back to the 18th century to explore the origins of gothic novels.

It highlighted the gothic elements of the works of Emily and Charlotte Bronte, before moving forward through the centuries to examine how the gothic tradition has influenced literature, fashion and culture right up to the present day.

The presentation featured a fabulous array of original costumes and accessories, as well as readings from well-loved writers.

The Bronte Mastermind Challenge was billed as a fun-filled evening of fact and fiction with participants competing to be named the ultimate Bronte obsessive.

Lucy Mangan checked whether the quizzers knew their Haretons from their Huntingdons, their Weightmans from their Smith Williams. The columnist for Stylist magazine, a features writer and the author of five books recently co-presented a BBC documentary about the Bronte sisters.

Carol Dyhouse delivered the annual lecture, taking as a starting point an 1847 review in The Athenaeum that found Wuthering Heights ‘a disagreeable story’ and complained of ‘the eccentricities of woman’s fantasy’.

Charlotte Bronte described Emily’s characters as full of ‘perverted passion and passionate perversity’.

Carol questioned how Heathcliff continued to be pictured as ‘a hero of romance’ when his author Emily explicitly warned against this. She widened her enquiry to consider why ‘woman’s fantasy’ had so often been seen as eccentric, unsettling, pathological or perverse.