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In the early 1800s, sisters Charlotte and Anne Brontë prepare to leave their sister Emily, their brother Branwell and their aunt and vicar father to work as governesses. Charlotte and Anne want to experience life outside their home as preparation for their careers as writers. Branwell is a talented, temperamental painter who is coddled by his sister Emily, and Charlotte and Anne plan to give the money they earn as governesses to him, so that he can go to London to study art. One night while Bran is getting drunk at a local tavern, Arthur Nicholls, his father's new curate, arrives. Bran insists that Arthur accompany him to the vicarage. At first Arthur refuses, believing that it is too late in the evening, but then, seeing how drunk Bran is, accompanies him. Emily answers the door and mistakes Arthur for one of Bran's drunken friends. The following day, after Bran leaves for London, Arthur reappears. After he is greeted by the unwelcoming Mr. Brontë, Emily's mistake is cleared up and she and Arthur become friends. One day, Emily shows Arthur a lonely house, which has inspired her novel, Wuthering Heights . After some time passes, a disillusioned Bran returns home, blaming his sisters for his failure as an artist. Charlotte and Anne also return home. At a dance at the neighboring Thornton house, Arthur is struck by Charlotte's beauty. When Charlotte realizes that Emily is interested in Arthur, she becomes interested as well. Later, a drunken Bran disrupts the dance, and Arthur takes him home. Learning that Charlotte wants to take Emily to Brussels to further their educations, Arthur secretly buys a painting from Bran, and the money enables the sisters to go to Europe. Emily hopes that Arthur will ask her to stay behind, but he has fallen in love with Charlotte and will not comply. At the school of Monsieur and Madame Heger in Brussels, Charlotte admits to Emily that she received unwelcome attentions while she was a governess and that later, Arthur kissed her. Emily is heartbroken by the news. That night, Emily dreams about the moors and a threatening black horseman. Later, Heger takes Charlotte to an exhibition and kisses her. When she returns to the Hegers', Emily is packing, having received a letter from Anne saying that Bran is ill. Back in England, Charlotte and Emily both write their books. After Branwell reads them, he tells Emily that they are both in love with the same man. Later, the sisters learn that Arthur bought the painting that financed their trip to Europe, and Emily insists that they repay him. One day Emily goes out in the rain looking for Bran. She finds him shortly before he collapses and dies. Wuthering Heights and Charlotte's book, Jane Eyre , are both published under male pseudonyms. Despite the fact that Charlotte's sells best, famous author William Makepeace Thackeray believes that Emily's is the greatest. Thackeray meets Charlotte and introduces her to London society. She convinces him to take her to the poverty-stricken East End, where Arthur now works. Arthur admits to Charlotte that he loves her, but because Emily loved him, he felt he could not stay in Yorkshire. Learning that Emily is very ill, Charlotte hurries home and arrives in time to say goodbye before her sister dies. Later, Arthur returns for Charlotte.