The Bronte’s Paracosm: Gondal

While writing Sourpuss we came across an article about The Bronte Sisters. We were seeking inspiration from other authors who happened to be related and they were of particular interest since all three of them had written great pieces of literature. When we found out how Emily and Anne spent their playtime our imaginations were ignited and we found the motivation we were seeking. As youngsters, they created a place, a paracosm named Gondal.
A paracosm is a detailed, imaginary universe that may include a cast of characters, unique culture and customs, make-believe geography, and invented languages.
Bruce Poulsen Ph.D.
As children the Bronte’s created an entire fictional country.
The world of Gondal was invented as a joint venture by sisters Emily and Anne. It was a game which they may possibly have played to the end of their lives.

"Historical examples (e.g., the Bront ̈es) suggest that productive world play may thus serve as a “learning laboratory” for adult achievement.
Early research explored ties between world play and later artistic endeavor. Recent study of gifted adults finds strong links, too, between world play and mature creative accomplishment….”

International Handbook on Giftedness : Imaginary Worldplay as an Indicator of Creative Giftedness

- Michele Root-Bernstein
They even wrote an entire collection of poems about Gondal.
From The Gondal Poems By: Emily Bronte

From our evening fireside now,
Merry laugh and cheerful tone,
Smiling eye and cloudless brow,
Mirth and music all are flown:

Yet the grass before the door
Grows as green in April rain;
And as blithely as of yore
Larks have poured their day-long strain.

Is it fear, or is it sorrow
Checks the stagnant stream of joy?
Do we tremble that tomorrow
May our present peace destroy?

For past misery are we greiving weeping?
What is past can hurt no more;
And the gracious Heavens are keeping
Aid for that which lies before –

You can read the entire collection of poems here.
As little girls, we never created our own world like the Bronte’s, but we loved acting out little storylines and characters. While writing your novel seek inspiration! Discovering Gondal reminded us that we weren’t sitting at a desk typing words or outlining the plot, we were doing something therapeutic – playing together.