Patrick Bronte: Father of Genius

Patrick Bronte: Father of Genius

by Dudley Green, The Archbishop of Canterbury
     
 

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Patrick Brontë (1777–1861) was the father of the famous Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily, three of Victorian England's greatest novelists, but he was a fascinating man in his own right and not nearly such an unsympathetic character as Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë would have us believe. Born into poverty in

Overview

Patrick Brontë (1777–1861) was the father of the famous Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily, three of Victorian England's greatest novelists, but he was a fascinating man in his own right and not nearly such an unsympathetic character as Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë would have us believe. Born into poverty in Ireland, he won a scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge, and was ordained into the Church of England. He was perpetual curate of Haworth in Yorkshire for 41 years, bringing up four children, founding a school, and campaigning for a proper water supply. Although often portrayed as a somewhat fobidding figure, he was an opponent of capital punishment and the Poor Law Amendment Act, a supporter of limited Catholic emancipation, and a writer of poetry. This is the first serious biography of Patrick Brontë for more than 40 years.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A thorough, well-written, absorbing, and sympathetic biography."  —Historical Novels Review

Historical Novels Review
A thorough, well-written, absorbing, and sympathetic biography.
Library Journal

Green (Letters of the Reverend Patrick BrontA") aims in this biography of Patrick BrontA"-father of writers Anne, Charlotte, and Emily BrontA"-to correct factual errors in Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte BrontA", which portrayed the paterfamilias as remote and eccentric. Noting that his subject has been "much maligned," Green aims "to present a fair and accurate account of Patrick's life and ministry" based on extensive documentary evidence that he uses to good advantage. Patrick BrontA" (1777-1861) was a Church of England clergyman who rose from humble origins in Ireland to graduate from Cambridge University. His 45 years of ministry included 40 in Haworth on the Yorkshire moors, where he outlived all six of his children, including his accomplished novelist daughters. Gaskell's uncomplimentary portrayal of the father, Green notes, was based on accounts from a former servant dismissed as unsatisfactory. Green depicts BrontA" as kind, just, and concerned about his children. The book contains a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury as well as nine appendixes, including Gaskell's description of Patrick. This thoroughly researched and documented work is recommended for academic libraries.
—Denise J. Stankovics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845886257
Publisher:
The History Press
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A thorough, well-written, absorbing, and sympathetic biography."  —Historical Novels Review

Meet the Author

Dudley Green is a retired schoolmaster and former president of the Brontë Society, by which he is recognized as an expert on Patrick. He edited The Letters of Patrick Brontë, the first such complete collection, and also wrote Because It's There: the Life of George Mallory.

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