A few months ago, I took a call from an irate reader who wanted to sound off about the frequency with which the Bronte sisters featured in the paper.

I was reminded of his Friday lunchtime fulminations when looking through In The Footsteps Of The Brontes, a book of contrasting pictures and extended captions by Haworth photographer Mark Davis and Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

If that gentleman should skim this, let me assure him that this latest addition to the library of Bronte books – out just in time for his Christmas stocking – focuses on the places that Anne, Charlotte and Emily knew, rather than the books they wrote.

Each one of the 90 pages contains two or more images, most of them photographs, showing past and present. The book’s front cover, repeated inside, shows the parsonage at Haworth. In the first picture, the nine front windows are curtained, whereas in the second they have been replaced by blinds.

Neither picture reveals the place as the Bronte family knew it. To get an idea of that, you have to turn the page for a monotone picture of the parsonage, without the end extension that was added after the Brontes were dead.

Intriguingly, this photograph, showing three men in stovepipe hats, two women and a girl, recalls an early photograph of the parsonage during the Brontes’ lifetime that was published years ago in a newspaper colour supplement.

The tantalising suggestion was the young women in the picture were the three sisters and that the sad-looking lanky figure in the big hat was their brother Branwell.

If that photograph was evidence of anything, it was that the life, the legend, of the Bronte family continues to fascinate probably more than anything any of them wrote, Wuthering Heights included.

While the book doesn’t follow the footsteps of Charlotte to Brussels, where she developed an unrequited passion for her tutor, it appears to go everywhere else the Brontes went, from St John’s College, Cambridge, where the astonishing Patrick Bronte enrolled as an undergraduate in 1802, to St Mary’s Churchyard in Scarborough, where Anne was buried in May 1849.

Of particular interest to me is the sketch of the Talbot Hotel, Bradford, at the junction of Darley Street and Kirkgate, where Branwell drank in the 1830s.

Ann Dinsdale says he lived at nearby Fountain Street where he also painted the pictures that he vainly hoped would establish his reputation as an artist.

Branwell, whose image Charlotte was said to have brushed out of the famous portrait of the three sisters, also tried to make good as a railwayman at Sowerby Bridge and a tutor at Thorpe Green Hall, York. The book follows his footsteps to the Lord Nelson Inn, Luddenden and to the site of the Robinson family mansion, now occupied by a college.

Branwell’s descent into booze and drugs is said to have intensified after an affair with the wife of his employer, Edmund Robinson. It did not result in marriage after Mr Robinson’s death.

Ironically, he lived at Monk’s House in the grounds of the Robinson family home. It still exists, as a private residence, decorated with shrubbery and creepers.

Jim Greenhalf