AN ILLUMINATING evening in Haworth saw the launch of the latest exhibition at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

Writer and artist Frank Cottrell-Boyce was watched by invited guests as he unveiled his innovative display about the Rev Patrick Bronte.

Guests were able to descend into the Parsonage’s cellar – usually closed to the public – to look around How My Light is Spent.

The installation explores Patrick’s memories and imagination as he recovered from a cataract operation aged 70, having already outlived his wife and two of his children.

The immersive installation combines elements of theatre, light and sound to create a memorable and moving experience for people of all ages.

Audiences will share Patrick’s experience of darkness, hear the memories he held dear and see the dreams and visions he shared with Charlotte, who had cared for him following the operation. It was at this time that she began to write Jane Eyre.

Frank, the Bronte Society’s 2019 creative partner, has collaborated with lighting specialists Illuminos and Lumen and artist Jo Pocock devise the exhibition, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Patrick being appointed Haworth’s minister.

The life of Patrick Bronte 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 16 he was a school teacher, and he went on to study at Cambridge University before being ordained as a clergyman and later settling in Haworth.