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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 : Lucasta Miller
ISBN : 9780307428202
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 89.19 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.
Author : Daphne du Maurier
ISBN : 9780316253659
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 66.90 MB
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"Miss du Maurier has brought to the art of the biography the narrative urgency which gives such animation to her storytelling." -New York Times Book Review Pursued by the twin demons of drink and madness, Branwell Bronte created a private world that was indeed infernal. As a bold and gifted child, his promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. This is the biography of the shadowy figure of the "unknown" Bronte.
Author : Christine Nelson
ISBN : 1785510606
File Size : 28.85 MB
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* An elegant publication that provides an intimate portrait of a family of writers, drawing on the rich Bront� collection of the Morgan Library & Museum * A comprehensive array of manuscripts, rare printed books, personal documents and private letters to present a striking history of a remarkable family* Accompanies a major exhibition at the Morgan Library, New York, from September 2016 - January 2017 The Bront�s of Haworth were a prodigiously imaginative literary family. From the earliest manuscripts of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne - written with a quill pen in a minuscule hand designed to mimic the printed page - to explosive novels, such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, written in adulthood by Emily and Charlotte, the family's writings continue to fascinate. This elegantly designed, fully illustrated publication provides an intimate portrait of a singular family of writers through the manuscripts, rare printed books, personal documents, and private letters preserved in the Bront� collection of the Morgan Library & Museum, one of the world's finest. It accompanies a major exhibition at the Morgan from 9 September 2016 to 2 January 2017.
The Brontë story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Brontës themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Brontës has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity. Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Brontë's devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence. The Brontë letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Brontës to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.
'If men could see us as we really are, they would be amazed', wrote Charlotte Brontë, the outwardly conventional parson's daughter who had rarely met any men beyond those of the church or classroom by the time Jane Eyre was published in 1847. From the landscape of the Yorkshire moors, an appalling childhood and a family decimated by consumption, Jane Eyre came as an instant literary sensation. It also brought Charlotte Brontë the notoriety that was to remain with her for the rest of her short and tragic life. Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte's first biographer, attempted to clear Charlotte of the charges of passionate immorality that were levelled at a woman author - and an unmarried one at that. Rebecca Fraser, 130 years later, placed Charlotte's life within the perceptual framework of contemporary attitudes to women. Her biography is an invaluable contribution to Brontë scholarship, which shares her admiration for a woman prepared to stand out against some of the cruelest Victorian ideas about her sex.
"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.