Thorough, nuanced, and well researched.

    Drawing on primary and secondary source material, this well-researched collective biography delves into the Brontë siblings’ day-to-day lives in the parsonage of Haworth and explores their later achievements.

    The six Brontë children—Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne—weren’t permitted to play with the local children but found solace and companionship with each other, playing, writing, and taking long walks on the moors. The children’s educated and literary mother may have influenced their curate father, who came to support education for his daughters. But a disastrous foray in a harsh boarding school tragically led to the tuberculosis deaths of Maria, 11, and Elizabeth, 10, just a few years after the loss of their mother. Writing sustained the surviving siblings. Branwell and Charlotte, always close, continued to create their imaginary world, Angria; Anne and Emily had their own saga. Readers are shown how their insular yet creative childhoods set the tone for the sisters’ classics, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey. Browning also introduces novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, explaining how her 1870 biography of Charlotte has been the source of many misconceptions about the family. This work presents a nuanced story of an extremely close-knit family, both supportive of and sometimes at odds with each other, often happy, but just as often suffering from grief, anxiety, and depression. Occasional black-and-white illustrations add little to the work.

    Thorough, nuanced, and well researched.
    (author’s note, who’s who, endnotes, bibliography, index)
    (Biography. 12-17)

    Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2023

    ISBN: 9781538172315

    Page Count: 256

    Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

    Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

    Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

    View Source Here

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