The Brontë Story, Tim Vicary
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Tim Vicary

The Brontë Story

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A level 3 Oxford Bookworms Library graded reader. Retold for Learners of English by Tim Vicary.

On a September day in 1821, in the church of a Yorkshire village, a man and six children stood around a grave. They were burying a woman: the man’s wife, the children’s mother. The children were all very young, and within a few years the two oldest were dead, too.

Close to the wild beauty of the Yorkshire moors, the father brought up his young family. Who had heard of the Brontës of Haworth then? Branwell died while he was still a young man, but the three sisters who were left had an extraordinary gift. They could write marvellous stories – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall . .. But Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë did not live to grow old or to enjoy their fame. Only their father was left, alone with his memories.
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advertisement a notice (e.g. in a newspaper) which tells people about jobs, things to sell, etc.
article a piece of writing in a newspaper or magazine
artist someone who can paint and draw pictures
bark (v) to make the short sharp sound that a dog makes
Bible (the) the holy book of the Christian church
blind not able to see
breathe to take air into and send it out from your nose and mouth
bury to put a dead person in a grave
candle a stick of wax that gives light when it burns
cart a vehicle with two or four wheels, usually pulled by a horse
coach a large four-wheeled vehicle, which is pulled by horses and is used for carrying passengers
cough (v) to send out air from the mouth and throat in a noisy way
cruel very unkind; bringing pain or trouble to other people
curate a young churchman who helps a rector with his church work
curtain a piece of cloth that hangs in front of a window
devil a very evil person; God’s enemy, Satan
donkey an animal like a small horse, with long ears
draw (past tense drew) to make pictures with a pencil
drunk/en (adj) excited or confused or sick because of drinking too much alcohol
duke a title for an important nobleman
evil very bad
funeral a church service before a dead person is buried
God the being who made the Universe
governess a female teacher who teaches children in their own home
grave the resting-place for a dead person
gravestone a stone on a grave with the dead person’s name on it
graveyard a place where dead people are buried
grow up to become an adult
heather a small plant with purple flowers, which grows on moors
howl the long loud cry that a dog makes
invent to make or think of something new
kiss (v) to touch someone lovingly with your lips
laudanum a kind of medicine or drug which makes people feel happy
laughter the sound made when somebody laughs
moor(s) open, rough land on hills, with no trees
oil-paint a kind of paint made by mixing colours with oil
operate to cut into somebody’s body in order to mend something
paint (v) to make a picture with coloured paints
pale with little colour in the face
papa father; a word used mostly by children (not used today)
piano a large musical instrument with black and white keys that you press to make music
poem a piece of writing in verse
pray to speak to God
print (v) to make letters, etc. on paper by pressing it with a machine; to make books in this way
proud feeling pleased because someone (e.g. your child) is clever or successful
publish to prepare a book, magazine, etc. for selling
pupil a child who is learning at school or from a private teacher
rector a priest in the Church of England
servant someone who is paid to work in another person’s house
shy afraid of meeting or talking to people
sofa a long comfortable seat for two or three people
stroke (v) to move your hand gently over something, again and again
tear (n) water that comes from the eye when somebody cries
tiny very, very small
toy something for a child to play with
water-colours a kind of paint made by mixing colours with water
wicked very bad; evil
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