A FORMER Keighley News reporter turned author is giving an illustrated talk as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Sharon Wright will speak about Maria Branwell – mother of the Bronte sisters.

She will outline the huge, often-overlooked influence that Maria had on her daughters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

The talk – at Bradford Local Studies Library, in Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, on Saturday, March 7, between 11am and noon – follows the recent publication of Sharon’s book, The Mother of the Brontes: when Maria met Patrick.

It tells the story of Maria from her early days as a well-to-do lady of Cornwall, to her life in Apperley Bridge, Thornton and Haworth.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, said: “This will be a perfect opportunity to gain a greater insight into the relatively unknown life of Maria Branwell and her years spent in various areas around our district.

“It’s sure to be interesting to any Bradford-district resident.”

Admission to the event is free.

Sharon has worked as a writer, editor and columnist for national newspapers, the BBC, Disney, Glamour, Red and the New York Post.