The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

by Syrie James
4.5 22


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The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James

"I have written about the joys of love. I have, in my secret heart, long dreamt of an intimate connection with a man; every Jane, I believe, deserves her Rochester."

Though poor, plain, and unconnected, Charlotte Bronte possesses a deeply passionate side which she reveals only in her writings—creating Jane Eyre and other novels that stand among literature's most beloved works. Living a secluded life in the wilds of Yorkshire with her sisters Emily and Anne, their drug-addicted brother, and an eccentric father who is going blind, Charlotte Bronte dreams of a real love story as fiery as the ones she creates.

But it is in the pages of her diary where Charlotte exposes her deepest feelings and desires—and the truth about her life, its triumphs and shattering disappointments, her family, the inspiration behind her work, her scandalous secret passion for the man she can never have . . . and her intense, dramatic relationship with the man she comes to love, the enigmatic Arthur Bell Nicholls.

"Who is this man who has dared to ask for my hand? Why is my father so dead set against him? Why are half the residents of Haworth determined to lynch him—or shoot him?"

From Syrie James, the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a powerfully compelling, intensely researched literary feat that blends historical fact and fiction to explore the passionate heart and unquiet soul of Charlotte Bronte. It is Charlotte's story, just as she might have written it herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061648373
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 542,651
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women's National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) Translation rights for Syrie's books have been sold in sixteen languages. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.

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Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This wonderfully written book takes you immediately into the lives of the Bronte family. I did not want to put it down - even though it took a few hankys to finish. Gave my copy to my granddaughter to read - her favorite book is Jane Eyre. I am sure Syrie James' Jane Austin will be just as moving. I can not say enough about this beautiful book. Charlotte Bronte was quite a lovely person.
pnut52OK More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from the moment I read the first page. It is such a sweet and charming read and swept me to a time when things were so much simpler in so many ways and yet more difficult in so many other ways. I have recommended this book to many of my friends that love good literature and appreciate and love Charlotte Bronte's writings as I do. Ms. James has done a beautiful job of pulling together data to make this book such a believable and treasured read.
ccmbaum More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that it's a must read! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful discovery. I have read several Bronte biographies, and this is the best presentation I have encountered. By having Emily tell the story of her family, one gets a sense of discovery and immediacy lacking in traditional biography.
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SHDYoda More than 1 year ago
"The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte" provides a glimpse into the life and mind of a brilliant, private and misunderstood author that wrote some of the best examples of English literature of all time. Including Charlotte's deep relationships with her sisters, Anne and Emily, gives the reader the opportunity to better understand these two, equally talented authors. James extensive research on Bronte's life allowed her to write almost an autobiography of sorts rather than just a fictional novel. Her attention to detail and research is greatly appreciated. I now want to reread "Jane Eyre", "Agnes Grey" and "Wuthering Heights" immediately! This is a must reread.
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I did not have high hopes for this book as I was expecting some hackneyed adventures featuring CB as the central character. It couldn't be further from that idea. This, instead, is a delightful account of the Bronte story and realistically told in Charlotte's voice. No huge surprises to anyone familiar with the Brontes, but does read like a long-lost memoir--and NOT "dry" like so many biographies can unfortunately be.
srw07 More than 1 year ago
For readers of "Jane Eyre", "Wuthering Heights" and the other Bronte books, this book is an entertaining way to learn about the family that generated three of the best writers of the 19th century. Told from the point of view of Charlotte, it is very well researched, easily read biography of the whole Bronte family.
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FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
While we know that Charlotte Bronte did not leave behind a secret diary, Syrie James' book offers a delightful portrait of this groundbreaking nineteenth century author. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte offers a compelling story that focuses on the lives of the Bronte sisters as told by Charlotte. If you haven't heard of the Bronte's, here is your opportunity to learn about this amazing family that included three respected female authors, and one not so respected brother. The household was led by their father, Patrick Bronte, a clergyman in rural Haworth, England. Almost out of the womb, the three surviving sisters were destined to become authors, writing journals and stories from an extraordinarily early age into adolescence. In 1846, the sisters jointly issued a poetry collection that was published using pseudonyms, both to maintain their privacy and to hide their true gender. Though this first publication hardly saw the light of day, the three sisters continued their writing pursuits, finally earning positive literary criticism. Emily Bronte earned recognition with her torrid tale, Wurthering Heights, a book that became the talk of London; while Charlotte's Jane Eyre, a story of a plain, docile school teacher, caught the attention and imagination of the reading public. It is with this backdrop that James recreates Charlotte's life: her dreadful childhood experience at the Clergy Daughter's School, followed by her time at Roe Head, to the death of her siblings, and finally back to the marriage proposal and her untimely death. A critical juncture in the story comes when Charlotte assumes a teaching post in Brussels and falls in love with the head of the school, Constantin Heger. While it is unclear what actually transpired with Mr. Heger, we do know that Charlotte's relationship to Mrs. Heger was quite strained. In telling Charlotte's story, James makes the persuasive argument that all Charlotte's publications, but particularly Jane Eyre, were drawn directly from events in Charlotte's life. When Charlotte died, Ms. Gaskill, a feminist writer of some renown, and a friend of the Bronte's, was persuaded to write a biography of Charlotte. In deference to the time, it was a somewhat sanitized version of events, especially relating to Charlotte's period in Brussels. The biography was also later criticized by reviewers for Ms. Gaskill's reliance on information from Charlotte's best friend, Ellen Nussey, a fellow "spinster," who felt abandoned when Charlotte's prospects for marriage became a reality. Ms. James has done an excellent job of culling through the research and offering us another look at this fascinating family. James makes sense of the events of Charlotte's life, tells a story that captures the language and feel of the times, and keeps the novel moving at a fast pace. While most of the dialogue in Charlotte's Secret Diary is plausible, James sometimes goes a bit too far, such as her rendition of Charlotte's wedding night. This portion adds to the romantic angle, but is the least convincing. Despite these few exceptions, James' book is a captivating and entertaining read. James is so winning in her narrative style that by the end of the tale the reader will be convinced that she, in fact, has discovered Charlotte's secret diary. Quill says: A well-written, if somewhat romanticized version, of the life of Charlotte Bronte. A perfect summer read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, Maria, Elizabeth and Anne) grew up in the nineteenth century in the Yorkshire moors of Haworth along with their brother Branwell under the parenting of their father the local Perpetual Parson and their Aunt Elizabeth. Their mom died when she was eight. Whereas the three girls enjoyed stories, their brother turned to alcohol. At school, Charlotte being ugly was placed last to select for anything until she began telling stories to her fascinated classmates. After leaving school, Charlotte realized her choices of employment as a single most likely spinster woman was teaching or being a governess. She chose to try writing, as did her sisters, using pseudonyms to gain publication without their father knowing it. Ironically she hides her writings from her dad who she is the most dedicated to him of all his offspring. She also begins keeping a diary that opens with a stunner, a marriage proposal in 1845. Well aware that "my heart is knit to him, her father's curator and their next door neighbor Arthur Bell Nichols. After she dies, he destroyed much of what she wrote to him. This is a super historical biography that uses a diary to tell the tale of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre. Using a first person perspective brings depth to the great author even that much more, but also detracts from how others see her and events like her sisters and Arthur as they come across through a Charlotte filter. Still this is an excellent biographical fiction that looks profoundly at a great nineteenth century writer as Syrie James does her research to tell the story of Charlotte Bronte as she did with THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN. Harriet Klausner