Welcome to the BRONTE SIMULATOR 2014(TM), the world's premier
educational recreation of the lives of the Bronte family. It aims to
recreate all the thrills and spills of Regency era Britain, join
passionate but socially inept Emily and her driven but spiteful sister
Charlotte as they fight their way through the nineteenth century
Yorkshire and beyond!!!
First thing's first.
Are you a Boy or a Girl?
[["I am a gentleman"|gentleman]]
[["I am a lady"|lady]]
I can see why you would choose that, unfortunately for everyone involved you were in fact born as a woman. [[Dash it all!|lady]] (Male classes are unplayable without the "All's well that Branwell" expansion pack)
Select your Player
[[Charlotte |charlotte]][[Emily |emily]][[ Anne|anne]]
You are Charlotte Bronte, driven author and career woman before the
advent of the power suit or the shoulder pad.
Having recently returned from your studies abroad you find yourself in a somewhat dire situation. Your father is fast approaching
blindness, and your brother is certainly incapable of supporting
himself, both financially and as he tries to sit up in front of his
While you briefly consider opium, you decide that writing a letter is a
far better option to maintain your steam as a young creative, but who
should you reach out for to stimulate your creative juices?
[[You decide to write to the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, and ask him for some advice|southey]]
[[You decide to write to your Belgian teacher Constantin Héger, he always was... stimulating|heger]]
You are Emily Bronte: passionate, perceptive, brilliant and terrible at human interaction. Against all your better judgement you find yourself at a social event. You try to remember the rules of Regency social gatherings, how to address people (as Sir, Madam or by their rank accordingly), when to speak (never if at all possible) who may lead the subject of conversation (the individual with the biggest sideburns).
The conversation turns to the classics and your attention is piqued momentarily before hearing the sentence from a young man in very tight trousers,
"Well they had the right idea concerning women, best keep them locked up," he catches a glance from you before adding "as all treasured possessions should be!", as if making a great reconciliatory step.
How do you respond?
[[Try to change the subject|sideburns]]
[[Use the example of Sparta, arguably the purest Hellenic state who gave woman far more freedom than they currently have|sparta]]
[[Look down at the front of his tights and suggest that perhaps she is an admirer of their sculpture as well|out]]
[[I want to play as Anne|whut]]
[[No... I guess not sorry|lady]]
Can't say I've heard of her, are you sure that you're not thinking of Anne Hathaway?
[[She was the only one of the Sisters who ever really adjusted to living in the real world, so yes I'd like to play as her! |wazza]]
[[fine I'll pick one of the other Bronte sisters|lady]]
[[Yes her!|yes her]]
[[No, I guess not...|lady]]
..and you're sure about this?
[[Now look here you simpleton! She wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, a massively influential novel in its time despite its immoral and highly controversial subject matter. It succeeded in even considering moments of melodrama and awkward narrative structure to be both a moving tale of personal growth in the context of a marriage poisoned by alcoholism but also one of the first sustained pieces of feminist literature! So you had better let me play as her!|tuber]]
[[I suppose not, I guess the other Brontes are pretty cool...|lady]]
Fine, have it your way, it is the winter of 1848...
You struggle to maintain a festive spirit throughout Christmas,
as you sorely miss the sassy inputs from your now dead sister
Emily. Like most of the family you find yourself sick. When your
condition fails to improve, a doctor is sent for and he intimates that you have Consumption and that the condition is fairly advanced.
How do you react?
[[Like your sister Emily, refuse medical intervention|annedie]]
[[Accept the advice of the doctor and take advantage of recent advances in modern medicine|ineffectual]]
Though the weight loss helps you fit into a variety of fashionable stays and short corsets, the chronic cough, blood-tinged sputum, fever and night sweats are much less to your liking.
It is February, and you are feeling somewhat better. Your sister Charlotte suggests taking a trip to York Minster and suggests perhaps stopping on the way to do some shopping. Whilst you relish the opportunity to marvel at God's greatness as reflected in the mason's craft and haggle over the price of silk (a shilling my rear!), you are concerned that perhaps you should take the opportunity to rest and make good your recovery.
How do you proceed?
[[Lets go, I'm sure that all the shopping and prayer will do me good|go]]
[[I think I'd better stay, maybe work on some writing. After all, my last poem "A Dreadful Darkness Closes In" was a bit of a downer|stay]]
Unfortunately for you, the aforementioned modern advances basically consist of elevating medical intervention from detrimental to mostly ineffectual and it does little to help.
You take a wonderful trip, seeing all those familiar places and faces on the way does your soul good, and you are only slightly perturbed when they need to be reminded of your name, sometimes several times in a conversation. Shortly after seeing glorious York Minster your energy is spent.
As you lay dying your last words to your sister are "take courage" which she must have misheard as "Bury me here at St Mary's Church, Scarborough, really far away from the family plot and so quickly that our father cannot attend even though he really wants to."
After your death, four further editions of your works are printed, in 1850 Charlotte writes of your work the following epistle, halting further publications.
"Wildfell Hall it hardly appears to me desirable to preserve. The choice of subject in that work is a mistake, it was too little consonant with the character, tastes and ideas of the gentle, retiring inexperienced writer."
It may be that you have a word to God about striking her down or something, speculating about the afterlife is beyond the scope of this game, but for now it is enough to know that this is.
You stay and rest up, feeling your strength return to you day by day, working on your new novel seems to return to you a measure of your strength, though you tire easily and need to take your rest frequently. One morning while you lay gently dreaming of the romantic adventures of the consumption riddled heroine of your new work, and definitely not reflecting on how author surrogacy and dream fulfilment might come to be viewed as cheap when literature progresses, you notice your sister Charlotte coming into the room with a pillow. She smiles before greeting you warmly.
"Good morning sweet sister, I've been reading your notes for your
latest story, it's excellent, bracing stuff! Perhaps even better than mine!" she laughs shrilly, fluffing the pillow in her hands.
"But that is by the by dear, I only came in to make sure you were
[[My face doesn't need a pillow! Drat it all I can't breathe, that cursed harridan!|anne epitaph 1]]
You are buried in the family plot after a small ceremony.
After your death four further editions of your works are printed, in 1850 Charlotte writes of your work the following epistle, halting further publications.
"Wildfell Hall it hardly appears to me desirable to preserve. The
choice of subject in that work is a mistake, it was too little
consonant with the character, tastes and ideas of the gentle, retiring inexperienced writer."
It may be that you have a word to God about striking her down or
something, speculating about the afterlife is beyond the scope of this game, but for now it is enough to know that this is...
Double-click this passage to edit it.You eagerly open his reply as soon as it arrives, skimming of the large body of text for key sentences because you are an up and coming go-getter, and you have better things to do than read every word a gifted
person has written.
"Madam—… It is not my advice that you have asked as to the direction of your talents, but my opinion of them; and yet the opinion may be worth little, and the advice much..."
"...The day dreams in which you habitually indulge are likely to induce a distempered state of mind..."
"...Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure will she have for it, even as an accomplishment and a recreation..."
"...But do not suppose that I disparage the gift which you possess, nor that I would discourage you from exercising it..."
"...Write poetry for its own sake… and not with a view to celebrity; the less you aim at that the more likely you will be to deserve and finally to obtain it..."
You throw down the letter despondently, of all the ill conceived hogwash! What higher purpose could literature serve than getting famous?! You'll show him, in future generations people will still speak of your works, even if not as frequently as they do of the immortal Robert Southey who penned the famous lines:
"A kitten is in the animal world what a rosebud is in the garden."
[[No wonder sexy Lord Byron didn't like you, Southey!|pre publish]]
He doesn't reply to any of your letters, you inwardly curse yourself and wonder if they were not detailed enough, perhaps they did not contain enough deeply personal musings or hair. You can only imagine his reluctance to be with you has something to do with his so called "wife". You make a point to write a book which places a crazy wife as an obstacle between a young plain student and the emotionally distant older man who obviously loves her.
After some small months brooding over your letters you start to notice your sisters are still alive, and much to your surprise and expertly contained chagrin they have been trying their hand at poetry as well, and they actually appear to be pretty good. You collect and edit some of the choicest works and begin the laborious process of finding a publisher...
[[How to begin|publish]]
You have several options about how to pursue publishing:
[[Be honest with the publishers and try to make it work|honest]]
[[Find a gimmick|gimmic]]
[[Convince your brother Branwell to publish the works in his own name|branwell]]
[[Pretend to be men to help the book get published|man]]
There is a whole chapter in the "Lady's Book of Etiquette" about not using reason or logical arguments to undermine the poorly thought out or vastly inconsistent opinions of your superiors, unsurprisingly you are asked to leave.
[[It's a boring party anyway |room]]
You are asked to leave, but he turns a pleasing shade of aubergine and proceeds to change the subject to the mating habits of newts.
[[Totally worth it|room]]
There is a whole chapter in the "Lady's Book of Etiquette" about not using reason or logical arguments to undermine the poorly thought-out or vastly inconsistent opinions of your superiors... unsurprisingly, you are asked to leave.
[[It's a boring party anyway|room]]
You find yourself back in your room and though you welcome the
solitude you can't help but feel your sense of outrage grow at having to leave on account of that idiot. Just as you are about to start some serious pacing you notice a face hanging at your window, a rather pleasing motif you note.
"Emily, it's me, it's Georgie,
I've come home, I'm so cold!
Let me into your window!"
You are stunned by the gripping falsetto.
"George Gordon Byron! But you're dead"
"Yes, but not even the grave or the fact we probably never met can
keep me from your tender embrace! Join me and we can rule the literary night together... Forever!"
TO BE CONTINUED
They laugh in your face, an action which not only hurts your tender sensibilities but additionally transfers one of their tuberculosis to you. All in all not a great day for you, but an excellent one for tuberculoses, Bronte sisters - five for five! THE END
You have always been fascinated with the gothic, and seeing as Bram
Stoker's Dracula has only just been published in thirty years or so, you
decide that vampires are what these and all your subsequent works
need. This development is massively successful and the proliferation of
sexy vampire literature spreads throughout the English speaking world,
taking the medium of the novel to its (super) natural conclusion. You
go down in history as the person who discovered that a lot of women
find vampires sexy for some reason. One night you lie in bed, and are
roused from a dream about how incredibly famous you are to see a dark
featured, well built figure floating outside your window. You are
captivated by his intense eyes, sharp fangs and sexy club foot...
"Lord Byron! I thought you were dead!"
"I am, my dear" his voice softly intones floating toward the window. He sees you. He starts back...
"Oh, my dear I do apologise! Which way is Emily's room?"
As you direct him and wish him a good night you realise that without
his vampire immortality sometime in the next 80 years for you it will
At first using Branwell as the face of your literary endevours works well, everyone believwa that his alcoholism and various addictions are a result of his being a tortured artist, rather than just being glaring charcter flaws. By the time that you are publishing novels things come to a head, driven by the validation of his insecurities concerning being outclassed by his female siblings and being asked by people why he keeps writing stories about governesses, his drinking and smoking become unsustainable. He begins to spend all his time alone in his room, which people attribute to art. You notice his opium intake lessen and decicde to see how he is doing. He is resolved to give up the drugs and alchol for good, and moreover there's something about him that makes you believe that it's sincere, potentially the fact that he is dead. The following months consist of trying to hide his death so that you can rush out your further publications, aided by the fact opium addicts don't customarily move anyway and a bizzare fasion for sunglasses becoming prevelant. Eventually your deception is discovered, however you manage to turn the expereince into your most highly regarded novel, weekend at Branwells...THE END
The ploy works, your poems are well received and by employing a
carefully masculine font in your correspondences you manage to conceal your gender. Unfortunately it works a little too well and the owner of the publishing house decides that he simply must meet the young visionaries responsible, a condition he places on publishing your collected poems - of all the accursed luck!
How do you proceed?
[[Get Branwell to pretend to be the author after all|branwell]]
[[Pretend to be men yourselves!|cross dress]]
You help each other into some of James and Branwell's clothes and even have the foresight to fashion little moustaches out of the little locks of hair that you had been meaning to mail out. The effect is compounded by the fact you are missing several teeth.
You needn't have worried however as gender roles are so static that cutting a strip in your skirt so it looks like trousers is about as far as you needed to go.
The meeting goes so well that he invites you back to his place for brandy and cigars, however, being unwilling to push your luck you make your excuses ("sorry, I need to go solicit a prostitute", "capital my dear boy!")...
Congratulations you are a published author! And your slim collection of poetry goes on to sell more than one copy!!! You manage to springboard from this unprecedented success into other literary avenues and eventually get to be so well known that you can admit to being a woman (and by extension original sin)!