Gaming the Bronte family ImagiNations of Glasstown, Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine


The Bronte sisters Emily, Charlotte and Anne and brother Branwell created childhood and teenage imaginary Napoleonic worlds (paracosms) in tiny handwritten books of poetry, prose, drawings and fictional newspaper adverts in the 1830s and 1840s in Yorkshire.


Their ‘tropical Yorkshire’ ImagiNations world, based on West Africa, North and South Pacific islands, were inspired by the gift to Branwell from their parson father of the ‘Twelves’, a dozen wooden soldiers that the children named and created  for these characters their shared fantasy worlds.

Thus were created the Glass Town, Angria, Gondal and Gaaladine worlds which survive in fictional fragments with a confusing host of characters. There are villains, Byronic heroes, feisty women and savage natives involved in endless wars and intrigues.

Home made Fimo Polymer Clay 54mm figure of an Angrian Infantry Standard bearer with the rising sun flag – Arise Angria!

The Bronte family Imagination and modern gaming

Emily Bronte, World’s First Dungeon Mistress?

Branwell Bronte’s contribution as dungeon master and ‘flavour text’

A Game of Thrones comparison

Bronte ImagiNations Fictional Timeline 1830s

Mapping the Bronte ImagiNations

Tabletop Gaming Scenarios

Using the Bronte fragments for possible gaming scenarios

15mm Skirmish in Angria

Charlotte Bronte Blows up Trains!

Bronte Waterloo Soldiers and the Twelves
Screenshots of the BBC TV drama 2018

Bronte Regiments
One of the well-documented Angrian regiments, The fierce Bloodhounds – dressed in Gingham.

Savage Natives, Villains and Enemies

54mm hollowcast repairs to make Zulu or Ashantee Warriors, and background on the Ashantee tribes in Bronte fiction and historical facts:

More about the real Ashanti Wars:

Bronte Parsonage Museum:

The Art of The Brontes Book, their Visual Inspiration (Thames and Hudson)

Modern Fiction links to the Bronte ImagiNations
Good for possible gaming scenarios?

Celia Rees (2018) Glass Town Wars

This blogpost references two other fiction works:

Pauline Clarke, (1963) Return of The Twelves (aka Twelve and the Genie) – Carnegie award-winning children’s book.

Catherynne M. Valente, (2018) The Great Glasstown Game – doorstep of a book, very Alice and Steampunk. Will post a review after attempt at rereading.

Isabel Greenberg, Glass Town – beautiful graphic novel

I really like Isabel Greenberg’s depiction of the Bronte children with the sisters as their ImagiNations alter ego in their military uniforms

Love those uniforms – Sample page from Isabel Greenberg, Glass Town.

In this post I was also Bronte Fan Bombing (on a tiny scale) the Facebook Group pledge poll for “next female historical military miniature to produce” by Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo Games, maker of believable female historical and fantasy gaming figures.

Despite amusing Annie with the fan bombing, The Bronte sisters didn’t make it into the final poll, not strictly being military figures.

However I loved one of the (objectors?) comments:

“The funniest query was about ‘which military engagements they had been in?’ I could of course list all the ImagiNations dated battles of Gondal, Glasstown and Angria c. 1820s – 1830s.”

I have plans for Bad Squiddo’s Little Wolves (Amazons) figures, namely a FEMBruary 2022 Brontes related vignette – it starts on February 1st each year!

Battling Boggarts

Keep watching this space …