Charlotte and Emily

( 7 )

Overview

From an obscure country parsonage came three extraordinary sisters, who defied the outward bleakness of their lives to create the most brilliant literary work of their time. Now, in an astonishingly daring novel by the acclaimed Jude Morgan, the genius of the haunted Brontës is revealed and the sisters are brought to full, resplendent life: Emily, who turned from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination; gentle Anne, who suffered the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her; and the...

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Overview

From an obscure country parsonage came three extraordinary sisters, who defied the outward bleakness of their lives to create the most brilliant literary work of their time. Now, in an astonishingly daring novel by the acclaimed Jude Morgan, the genius of the haunted Brontës is revealed and the sisters are brought to full, resplendent life: Emily, who turned from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination; gentle Anne, who suffered the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her; and the brilliant, uncompromising, and tormented Charlotte, who longed for both love and independence, and learned their ultimate price.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The haunting Brontës bloom like heather on the rain-drenched moors in this feverish re-creation of the Victorian English family by Morgan (pseudonym for the U.K.'s Tim Wilson), who has mined literary icons like Byron, Keats, and Shelley (Passion) before tackling the sisters. The Brontës of lonely Haworth, a rural town with a mortality rate to rival the worst of London's slums, are daunting as subjects because of their constant struggle to survive. The novel doesn't just focus on Charlotte and Emily, celebrated scribes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but also on Branwell, their egocentric brother whom their father, the Rev. Patrick Brontë, doted upon. Sharp glimpses of the talented youngest sibling, Anne, and elder sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, both of whom died after falling ill at a nightmarish girl's school, complete the family picture. Branwell's profligate ways can seem excessive, and although coltish Emily remains a blurry conundrum, this memorable ode to the Brontës and their impressive contribution to world literature, despite relentless trials and early deaths (only Charlotte reached 40), is bitterly exquisite. (May)
From the Publisher
"Generations of powerful writers from Elizabeth Gaskell to Daphne du Maurier…have rewritten the Brontës’ narrative…[Morgan holds] nerve and reason where many a Brontë biographer fails…brilliant…moving…superb…a lovely book." —The Guardian

"Quite simply the best novel about the Brontës I have ever read." —Juliet Barker, author of The Brontës: A Life in Letters

Praise for the novels of Jude Morgan:

"[One of] the best books of 2005. A remarkable book...about love and lust....A feast of language, a grab bag of delights....an exploration of mind and emotion, heart and art.” —The Washington Post Book World on PASSION

"This entertaining comedy of manners sparkles with rat-a-tat repartee, and the endearing...characters separate and reunite as rhythmically and precisely as ballroom dancers performing a waltz." —People Magazine (3 1/2 stars) on INDISCRETION

"With empathy and formidable imagination, [PASSION brings] the Romantic era to full, resplendent life." —Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

"Deeply imagined and gorgeously written...brings a fascinating past to brilliant light." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on PASSION

"A deeply empathic exploration of obsession and art, genius and madness....Morgan's ability to bring each character to life is virtuosic." —The Washington Post Book World on SYMPHONY

"Lush, period-appropriate, at times impenetrable prose make for...a credible behind-the-music expose of the Romantic era." —Kirkus Reviews on SYMPHONY

"A tour de force." —Library Journal on PASSION

Sarah L. Courteau
The tension and affection between Charlotte, who is eager to please and hungry for a little literary fame, and Emily, who refuses to play by the world's rules, are wrought with particular sensitivity. Morgan…is a fine writer in his own right, and Charlotte and Emily, foregone as its sad conclusion is, often surprises and delights.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312642730
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 793,324
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

JUDE MORGAN, who studied with Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, lives in England. His novel of the Romantic poets, Passion, was called "one of the best books of 2005...a feast of language, a grab bag of delights" (The Washington Post Book World).

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Reading Group Guide

From an obscure country parsonage came three extraordinary sisters, who defied the outward bleakness of their lives to create the most brilliant literary work of their time. Now, in an astonishingly daring novel by the acclaimed Jude Morgan, the genius of the haunted Brontës is revealed and the sisters are brought to full, resplendent life: Emily, who turned from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination; gentle Anne, who suffered the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her; and the brilliant, uncompromising, and tormented Charlotte, who longed for both love and independence, and learned their ultimate price. 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    First, a word about the title: Why? Why do they call these books

    First, a word about the title: Why? Why do they call these books different things in different countries? And why did they leave poor Anne off of the title in The United States? Sigh, poor Anne.

    I believe that this is the first Morgan book I've ever read. I do think that if I'd have read any of his other work I would have rushed out to find the rest immediately. This book was excellent.

    Oh that Brontë family! The awful boarding school, the spoiled drunken brother, the deaths of such young sisters...the tragedies never ended for them. Only Charlotte lived to be 40, and she outlived her 5 siblings by years. Were the novels they ended up publishing to be expected because of their bleak lives? Or is it a miracle that they were able to write at all?

    Keep in mind that this is a work of fiction, but it did bring the Brontë family to life for me. I enjoyed this very, very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction or in the lives of the Brontë sisters.

    Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful and Moving

    This novel is far above the normal run of historical fiction. It is beautifully written and rings so true that it's as if the author has put himself in the heads of the characters. I have read all the Bronte sisters' novels multiple times and have taught them many times. I can say with confidence that this writer has researched the Brontes thoroughly, but has also succeeded in telling their story with the imagination, perception, and soul of an artist. Because of this, I think this book actually helped me to understand the Brontes better than the nonfiction biographies I have read.
    The other members of my book club, who are not English professors, also enjoyed the book, calling it engrossing, moving, and commenting on how beautifully crafted the writing is. If you haven't read the Brontes' novels before, this novel is a great inspiration for you to do so.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A superb Bronte biographical fiction novel

    In 1821 in Haworth, Yorkshire, Maria Bronte, mother of five and wife to a Vicar, dies. Her widower husband Patrick sends his oldest four daughters to boarding school, but Maria and Elizabeth come home to die from consumption. His son Branwell becomes an addict while his three other daughters (Charlotte, Emily, and Amy) use pseudonyms to become poets and eventually novelists even as they dote on their father and brother. By 1855, all five of Maria's offspring are dead none having reached the age of forty.

    The key to this superb Bronte biographical fiction novel is, in spite of the title, the focus on all six siblings and their father with especially Amy and to a lesser degree Branwell getting equal treatment to their more famous siblings. Fans of the renowned authors (and their less famous siblings) will appreciate this fine Passion-filled homage to a first family of literature.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted October 18, 2010

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    Posted January 12, 2011

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    Posted May 24, 2010

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