Four young siblings: Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, live a stoic existence in a small village in the English country side. Their old father, an Anglican minister, a rigid spinster aunt and Tabby, the maid, complete their household. The siblings have artistic ambitions and rely upon each other for companionship. Branwell is a painter and a self portrait with his sisters is worthy of the general admiration of the family. He wants to pursue a professional career, but only goes as far as to establish a friendship with Leyland, another artist. Emily's favorite pastime is to walk across the bleak moors that surround the village dressed as a man. Anne, the youngest of the siblings, is her companion. Charlotte, more ambitious than the others, convinces their reluctant aunt to give her money to go to Belgium in order to study French.