Maria Brontë, the Brontë siblings' mother, passed away in 1821 and we know little of her life.
However, in the Brotherton collection we can glimpse her religious thinking in the apparently unpublished manuscript of her somewhat severe essay on 'The Advantage of Poverty in Religious Concerns'.
In her essay, Maria takes the opportunity to find spiritual gain in material loss:
'What is poverty? Nothing - or rather a something which, with the assistance, and blessing of our Gracious Master, will greatly promote our spiritual welfare, & tend to increase, & strengthen our efforts to gain that Land of pure delight'
"Pure delight" was elsewhere for Mrs Brontë and hardship helped in drawing one closer to it: a doctrine that must have been familiar to the poor of Haworth.
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