The Brontës

Overview

The tragic story of the Bronte family is well known, replete with a half-mad father, a wastrel of a brother, and three uniquely gifted - and oppressed - sisters. But beyond these familiar details, the Brontes' story has remained largely obscure. This landmark book is the first definitive history of this fascinating family. Based on eleven years of research among newly discovered letters by every member of the family, original manuscripts, and the newspapers of that time, it gives a new and fuller picture of the ...
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PAPERBACK New 0312145551 This is a trade paperback.

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Overview

The tragic story of the Bronte family is well known, replete with a half-mad father, a wastrel of a brother, and three uniquely gifted - and oppressed - sisters. But beyond these familiar details, the Brontes' story has remained largely obscure. This landmark book is the first definitive history of this fascinating family. Based on eleven years of research among newly discovered letters by every member of the family, original manuscripts, and the newspapers of that time, it gives a new and fuller picture of the Brontes' lives from beginning to end and, in the process, demolishes many myths. The father, Patrick, was not, as commonly believed, the cold patriarch of a family of victims. Charlotte, ruthlessly self-willed, ran roughshod over her sisters and went so far as to alter or destroy their manuscripts when she disapproved. Emily was so psychologically and physically dependent on her fantasy life that she could not survive in the outside world. Anne, widely regarded as the gentlest of the sisters, had a core of steel and was a more daring and revolutionary author than Charlotte. Branwell, the adored brother, was a talented poet who provided much of Charlotte's inspiration.

Barker's book is the first definitive history of this ever-fascinating family. Based on 11 years of research among newly-discovered letters by every family member, original manuscripts, and the newspapers of the time, it gives a new and fuller picture of the Brontes lives from beginning to end and demolishes many myths. 16 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Somewhere in this remarkably detailed and insightful biography of the Bront familyfocusing specifically on the father, Patrick, and his four gifted childrenCharlotte is "accused of seeing in the dark." It can be said that Barker, who has produced other works on the Bronts (e.g., Selected Poems, Tuttle, 1993), has illuminated the dark surrounding the lives and works of the entire clan, using original manuscripts, letters, essays, juvenilia, and newspapers of the time. Patrick is seen as a caring father and a writer of merit and literary influence on his children. Branwell's underrated writings are shown to be a great inspiration for Charlotte. According to Barker, none of the girls were victims. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne wrote of brutal events, but certainly they were not always autobiographical. True, Charlotte was dominating, Emily was dependent on fantasy, and sweet Anne had a backbone of steel. Charlotte, when in good health, referred to herself as being "fat." Barker has written a very fat book. For literary collections.Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.
Booknews
A definitive history of this fascinating literary family written by a Bronte scholar and former curator and librarian at the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Barker's hefty opus integrates newly-discovered manuscripts and letters from every member of the family as well as fine photographs and reproductions of manuscripts and drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312145552
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1003
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 2.25 (d)

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