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An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed. In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed. By unfolding the histories of the meaningful objects in their family home in Haworth, Lutz immerses readers in a nuanced re-creation of the sisters' daily lives while moving us chronologically forward through the major biographical events: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their determined efforts to make a mark on the literary world. From the miniature books they made as children to the blackthorn walking sticks they carried on solitary hikes on the moors, each personal possession opens a window onto the sisters' world, their beloved fiction, and the Victorian era. A description of the brass collar worn by Emily’s bull mastiff, Keeper, leads to a series of entertaining anecdotes about the influence of the family’s dogs on their writing and about the relationship of Victorians to their pets in general. The sisters' portable writing desks prove to have played a crucial role in their writing lives: it was Charlotte's snooping in Emily’s desk that led to the sisters' first publication in print, followed later by the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Charlotte's letters provide insight into her relationships, both innocent and illicit, including her relationship with the older professor to whom she wrote passionately. And the bracelet Charlotte had made of Anne and Emily's intertwined hair bears witness to her profound grief after their deaths. Lutz captivatingly shows the Brontës anew by bringing us deep inside the physical world in which they lived and from which their writings took inspiration.
Nineteenth-century Britons treasured objects of daily life that had once belonged to their dead. The love of these keepsakes, which included hair, teeth, and other remains, speaks of an intimacy with the body and death, a way of understanding absence through its materials, which is less widely felt today. Deborah Lutz analyzes relic culture as an affirmation that objects held memories and told stories. These practices show a belief in keeping death vitally intertwined with life - not as memento mori but rather as respecting the singularity of unique beings. In a consumer culture in full swing by the 1850s, keepsakes of loved ones stood out as non-reproducible, authentic things whose value was purely personal. Through close reading of the works of Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, and others, this study illuminates the treasuring of objects that had belonged to or touched the dead.
Author : Christine Alexander
ISBN : 9780191613500
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 76.74 MB
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'We pretended we had each a large island inhabited by people 6 miles high.' In their collaborative early writings the Brontës created and peopled the most extraordinary fantasy worlds, whose geography and history they elaborated in numerous stories, poems, and plays. Together they invented characters based on heroes and writers such as Wellington, Napoleon, Scott, and Byron, whose feuds, alliances, and love affairs weave an intricate web of social and political intrigue in imaginary colonial lands in Africa and the Pacific Ocean. The writings of Glass Town, Angria, and Gondal are youthful experiments in imitation and parody, wild romance and realistic recording; they demonstrate the playful literary world that provided a 'myth kitty' for their early - and later - work. In this generous selection the writings of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell are presented together for the first time. The Introduction explores the rich imaginative lives of the Brontës, and the tension between their maturing authorship and creative freedom. The edition also includes Charlotte Brontë's Roe Head Journal, and Emily and Anne's Diary Papers, important autobiographical sources. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
"The Dangerous Lover takes seriously the ubiquity of the brooding romantic hero - his dark past, his remorseful and rebellious exile from comfortable everyday living. Deborah Lutz traces the recent history of this figure, through the melancholy iconoclasm of the Romantics, the lost soul redeemed by love of the Brontes, and the tormented individualism of twentieth-century love narratives. The Dangerous Lover is the first book-length study of this pervasive literary hero; it also challenges the tendency of sophisticated philosophical readings of popular narratives and culture to focus on male-coded genres. In its conjunction of high and low literary forms, this volume explores new historical and cultural framings for female-coded popular narratives."--BOOK JACKET.
Author : Lucasta Miller
ISBN : 9780307428202
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 22.94 MB
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In a brilliant combination of biography, literary criticism, and history, The Bronté Myth shows how Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronté became cultural icons whose ever-changing reputations reflected the obsessions of various eras. When literary London learned that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights had been written by young rural spinsters, the Brontés instantly became as famous as their shockingly passionate books. Soon after their deaths, their first biographer spun the sisters into a picturesque myth of family tragedies and Yorkshire moors. Ever since, these enigmatic figures have tempted generations of readers–Victorian, Freudian, feminist–to reinterpret them, casting them as everything from domestic saints to sex-starved hysterics. In her bewitching “metabiography,” Lucasta Miller follows the twists and turns of the phenomenon of Bront-mania and rescues these three fiercely original geniuses from the distortions of legend. From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Penguin is publishing the definitive biography of this extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman Charlotte Brontë's life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. Like Jane Eyre she was raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors and sent away to brutally strict boarding school at a young age. Charlotte grew up and watched helpless as, one by one, her five beloved siblings sickened and died; by the end of her short life, she was the only child of the Brontë clan remaining. And most fascinating and tragic of all, throughout her adult life she was haunted by a great and unrequited love - a love that tortured Charlotte but also inspired some of the most moving, intense and revolutionary novels ever written in the English language. Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She encouraged her sister Emily to publish Wuthering Heights when no-one else believed in her talent. She took charge of the family's precarious finances when her brilliant but feckless brother Branwell succumbed to opium addiction. She travelled from Yorkshire to Europe to the bright lights of London, met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation (Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray), and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. And in each of her books, from Villette and Shirley to her most famous, Jane Eyre, Charlotte created brand new kinds of heroines, inspired by herself and her life, fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions. This beautiful produced, landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family's writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights. It is a uniquely intimate and complex insight into one of Britain's best loved writers. This is the literary biography of the year; if you loved Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens, this event is not to be missed.
Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. Coauthors and real-life friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney prove this wrong, thanks to their discovery of a wealth of surprising collaborations: the friendship between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor, who shaped the work of Charlotte Brontë; the transatlantic friendship of the seemingly aloof George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, most often portrayed as bitter foes, but who, in fact, enjoyed a complex friendship fired by an underlying erotic charge. Through letters and diaries that have never been published before, A Secret Sisterhood resurrects these forgotten stories of female friendships. They were sometimes scandalous and volatile, sometimes supportive and inspiring, but always—until now—tantalizingly consigned to the shadows.
Author : John Pfordresher
ISBN : 9780393248883
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 83.25 MB
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The surprising hidden history behind Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Why did Charlotte Brontë go to such great lengths on the publication of her acclaimed, best-selling novel, Jane Eyre, to conceal its authorship from her family, close friends, and the press? In The Secret History of Jane Eyre, John Pfordresher tells the enthralling story of Brontë’s compulsion to write her masterpiece and why she then turned around and vehemently disavowed it. Few people know how quickly Brontë composed Jane Eyre. Nor do many know that she wrote it during a devastating and anxious period in her life. Thwarted in her passionate, secret, and forbidden love for a married man, she found herself living in a home suddenly imperiled by the fact that her father, a minister, the sole support of the family, was on the brink of blindness. After his hasty operation, as she nursed him in an isolated apartment kept dark to help him heal his eyes, Brontë began writing Jane Eyre, an invigorating romance that, despite her own fears and sorrows, gives voice to a powerfully rebellious and ultimately optimistic woman’s spirit. The Secret History of Jane Eyre expands our understanding of both Jane Eyre and the inner life of its notoriously private author. Pfordresher connects the people Brontë knew and the events she lived to the characters and story in the novel, and he explores how her fecund imagination used her inner life to shape one of the world’s most popular novels. By aligning his insights into Brontë’s life with the timeless characters, harrowing plot, and forbidden romance of Jane Eyre, Pfordresher reveals the remarkable parallels between one of literature’s most beloved heroines and her passionate creator, and arrives at a new understanding of Brontë’s brilliant, immersive genius.
Charlotte Brontë centred her life's work on explaining the complexities of our sexual nature, and in fact anticipated many of the fundamental assumptions of the sexually-based psychologies of the twentieth century. In this pioneering work John Maynard shows how her early stories and novelettes deal openly with an underworld of consuming passion, adultery, seduction, promiscuity, frigidity, and incest. He then traces how these themes are incorporated and developed in her mature work - notably Jane Eyre and Villette, both of which offer an intensely felt but freely realised vision of sexual awakening. He shows that despite the problems of her own sexual life, which he considers in his opening chapter, Charlotte Brontës artistic vision in her great novels offers the possibility of sexual and psychological growth in an age beset by all manner of repressions and inhibitions.