The Brontës

The Bront s 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 Bron

  • Title: The Brontës
  • Author: Juliet Barker
  • ISBN: 9780312134457
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 discThe 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 daring and revolutionary author than Charlotte Branwell, the adored brother, was a talented poet who provided much of Charlotte s inspiration.

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      Juliet Barker

    About Author

    1. Juliet R V Barker born 1958 is a British historian, specialising in the Middle Ages and literary biography She is the author of a number of well regarded works on the Bront s, William Wordsworth, and medieval tournaments From 1983 to 1989 she was the curator and librarian of the Bront Parsonage Museum.Barker was educated at Bradford Girls Grammar School and St Anne s College, Oxford, where she gained her doctorate in medieval history In 1999 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Bradford She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


    The Brontës Comment

    1. La leyenda literaria de los Bront empez con un juego de chicos As lo contaba Charlotte en 1829 The play of the Islanders was formed in December 1827 in the following maner One night about the time when the cold sleet and dreary fogs of November are succeeded by the snow storms high peircing nightwinds of confirmed winter we where all sitting roundthe warm blazing kitchen fire having just concluded a quarel with Taby concerning the propriety of lighting a candle from which she came of victorious [...]

    2. Juliet Barker s The Bront s, published in 1994, is a humungo 830 pages, followed by 170 pages of notes It is frequently, so it seems, referred to as the definitive Bront biography, which is why I asked my friend The Blond Knitter to buy it for me when I won her blog contest I like to think of the writers of definitive biographies crying Follow that as they write the final line I would The Bront s totally lives up to its billing Between the text and the notes which I only dipped into , I really d [...]

    3. I ve read many books on the Brontes, but this weighty tome has sat on my shelf for years Now is the time Great book, overall This is definitely THE book for the diehard Bronte enthusiast It is extremely detailed, and extensive The author does a fantastic job of recreating the world of the Brontes Unfortunately, we don t know many details about the Brontes lives, but the world in which they lived can be revealed through newspaper accounts, diary and journal entries, letters, etc This book goes a [...]

    4. It took a full two months to finish this book After watching the recent biopic about the Bronte siblings, I was excited to read this biography which had been sitting very large and intimidating on my shelves for a few years However, when I started reading I found out just how incredibly detailed the book is, about every possible aspect of the Brontes lives, including their father s life, education, and career before the siblings were even born, every plot of their childhood writings, every socia [...]

    5. Bored to senselessness, at times Exhaustive, comprehensive yes But Barker is not a writer, nor one who can spin an interesting tale out of dust The writing reminds me of one of those endless droning tour guides who just won t shut up and let you enjoy magic they insist on analyzing the larva incubating in the corner The detail is wonderful and wondrous to those who love the Brontes, as I do but the message is carried by an oh so average medium Three stars is generous, only for the volume of fact [...]

    6. For Bront devotees I confess to skipping over most of Patrick s letters to local newspapers Nonetheless, the account of Charlotte s lionization in the literary world following the success of Jane Eyre is fascinating And Barker s stark descriptions of the deaths of Emily, Anne, and Charlotte are deeply moving.

    7. Having read one book by each of three sisters Anne s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , Emily s Wuthering Heights , and Charlotte s Jane Eyre I wanted to know how it s possible that after 150 years, we are still reading books by all three of these sisters Has this ever happened in the world of literature The odds against this happening must be stupendous But the answer comes early in the book Anne, Emily, Charlotte, and their brother Branwell began writing fiction and poetry very early in life The fo [...]

    8. I loved this I tried to read it slowly, just 30 pages or so a day since I was given it for my birthday some six weeks ago, but the joy had to end at some point, and that point was this evening As a gift, it was a revelation and a eureka moment, as I have never been a Bronte fan, and I think only ever read Emily s Wuthering Heights at uni And yet I was pulled in and removed to the 1800s, to Yorkshire, through the intricate, detailed and interesting retelling of the Family Bronte, from father Patr [...]


    10. At 830 pages plus notes, Juliet Barker s biography The Brontes is incredibly comprehensive perhaps a little too dense for a casual reader interested in learning about the life of authors Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte.The book mostly focuses on Charlotte and her father Patrick, as Anne and Emily died young and had no friends to correspond with, so letters detailing their lives are pretty much non existent Charlotte s letters to her friend Ellen chronicled much of her life and Ellen turned tho [...]

    11. Thoroughly researched but also immensely readable A strongly argued and compassionate corrective to the traditional view of Charlotte and her sisters as lonely eccentrics on the moors Instead, Barker presents an absorbing portrait of a close knit, creative family in a busy provincial town, and in particular does much to rescue the sisters father, Patrick, and brother, Bramwell, from the stereotypical views of them in the Bronte legend Extremely worth reading for anyone with an interest in the si [...]

    12. This book was fantastic and completely comprehensive I feel like a Bronte expert now as I learned so much about each member of the family, especially the ones I didn t know as much about, like Branwell did you know he had his own Mrs Robinson literally I was almost sad to reach the end because I felt as if I had gotten to know them personally This is a great book if you have the time to read it its length is definitely intimidating

    13. It s taken me nearly two months, but I have finally conquered this humongous biography I loved every minute of it I have no doubt this will stick with me for a long time to come, and I have no doubt that this will be a book I read again and again and again Barker s The Bront s is the first definitive history of the family, actively seeking to destroy the myth that shrouds the very nature of this close knitted group Images created by the likes of Elizabeth Gaskell, Ellen Nussey, and Harriet Marti [...]

    14. Juliet Barker needed all 976 pages of text plus notes to set out her account of the Bronte family and I found none of it dull Indeed, her style of writing is excellent For example, we are introduced to Howarth on page 134 as follows Apart from a few short weeks in September, when the moors are covered with the purple bloom of the heather and the air is heavy with its scent, the predominant colours of the landscape are an infinite variety of subtle shades of brown, green and grey There are no hed [...]

    15. I haven t read any other non fiction book about the Bront family, but I can tell you that this is the Bront biography to start with Yes, it s a tome, but it s oh so worth it It completely erases the myths and legends surrounding the family, and relies on fact or as close as you can get to fact using letters and other documents.This book may end up depressing some people who like to believe the embellished sensationalism that are rooted in rumor However, for someone who wants to know the real Bro [...]

    16. I m quite in awe of the meticoulous research Juliet Barker has put into this biography of the Bront s, rich in both detail and scope The biography begins with the reverend Patrick Bront , and reveals him, as opposed to popular belief, as an attentive, loving albeit slighty eccentric father, who takes great care of his young children The four Bront children who survived into adulthood, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, form a closeknit circle and during their childhood neither of them seem to [...]

    17. This isn t a book you ll read in a day or want to drag to the beach.But, if you have any interesting in this brilliant and creative family, this is a book you ll want to read.There are a number of differences between this and other biographies of the Brontes, all of them laudable Among them is an illuminating portrait of the single parent, Patrick Presenting documentation for various sources, some never quoted before, she reveals him to have been a hard pressed but compassionate father rather th [...]

    18. This gigantic, epic tome about the life of the Bront family is the definitive biography which seeks to address the myth that has grown around them, address the wrongs of the biography of Charlotte Bront as written by Elizabeth Gaskell, and bring Branwell, Emily and Anne into sharper relief The level of research in this book is astounding, and Barker does a very thorough job in deconstructing Charlotte s martyrdom through the years while still doing her no injustice of character Anne is also give [...]

    19. The Bront family, known for the writing sisters who between them wrote and published Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, are typically referred to as forlorn children raised by a repressive and cold father in an isolated and cold setting Yet in the comprehensive 979 pages of this family biography, Barker unravels the myths long perpetuated about this famous family and the truth behind the tales The father of the famous Bront sisters was Patrick, born in Ireland in 1777 Patrick left Ire [...]

    20. In the earlier pages, I kept feeling there was too much attention being paid to Patrick Ironically, after everyone else died, and Charlotte was the only surviving child, I began to long for a few details of Patrick s struggles with 19th century religious practice There were many lessons here, not least of which was the new understanding that the existence of the Bell brothers was as much a part of Emily s insistence on privacy as it was a marker of how difficult it might ve been for women to pu [...]

    21. Got a little too ambitious at the start of the year I don t like reading this many books at once Putting aside temporarily at page 60.

    22. It is, to say the least, exhaustive, but readable and debunks quite a few myths I confess to skimming over some of the childhood sagas of mythical kingdoms that served to sharpen the childrens narrative skills Barker casts the family biography in its historical and geographic aspect which is interesting in itself Involvement in the Brontes fictional land of Angria and Gondal influenced not only the poems of Emily, Anne and Branwell, but Wuthering Heights in particular The novel also owed a good [...]

    23. I am just astounded by this book The research that went into it and the scope and breadth of it is just, incredible.This particular biography on this famous family begins with Patrick Bronte, the father of the famous siblings, his journey from Ireland to England and his education Patrick, unfairly portrayed in Elizabeth Gaskell s biography of her dear friend, Charlotte, was actually a very kind, loving and generous father who took great pains to provide for his children, as well as the people of [...]

    24. This is a really great biography for anyone who loves Jane Eyre It s a bit slow getting into the first hundred pages are about Patrick Bronte, who was Irish, came from a poor family, but managed to get a scholarship to study at Cambridge After another courtship Patrick married Maria Branwell in 1812 They had two girls Mary and Elizabeth, and the other four Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne At the age of thirty eight Maria died of cancer, 1821 Mary and Elizabeth were sent to Cowan bridge a sch [...]

    25. I cannot say enough about how much I loved this book Since I love the Brontes novels and am fascinated with the authors lives, this book was like having dessert at the end of every day Juliet Barker is the former curator of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, and she has painstakingly researched the Bronte family She has taken it upon herself to debunk the myths surrounding the Brontes that began with Elizabeth Gaskell s biography of Charlotte in 1857 Sadly these myths have been perpetuated through the [...]

    26. The Bront s Wild Genius on the Moors is long, highly detailed, usually fascinating, often moving, and sometimes heartbreaking It s the story of the entire family, from the time Patrick and Maria, parents of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell, were young adults until the death of Patrick, the last surviving member of this Bront family Besides the offspring already mentioned, there were also two older sisters who died while at boarding school, a tragedy Charlotte uses in Jane Eyre All four of th [...]

    27. The Brontes Wild Genius on the Moors by Juliet Barker was, in my opinion, a masterful accomplishment and a moving study of, not only, the three Bronte sisters, but the Bronte and Branwell families as a whole and their friends and acquaintances Regardless of contrary opinions, I believe most people can agree that Ms Barker is unquestionably one, if not the most, accomplished expert on the Bronte family at the present time Through her meticulous research and well documented conclusions, Ms Barker [...]

    28. This is a mega read but so pleased I have persevered The detail is phenomenal and some of it is too much so skimmed over these bits Mostly the fantasy worlds which the children created and detail about the father s religious duties Both these were tiresome because of the names That aside I have been totally absorbed in their lives, the social history of the area and period and their dedication to writing I blow hot and cold over Charlotte Sometimes she wins me over At other times she seems quite [...]

    29. What a vivid, thorough account of the Bront family The time and research that have gone into compiling this book is astounding it s certainly a labor of love for Juliet Barker It s a must read for those with a passion for the Bront s.The book is lengthy and gloriously, minutely detailed Barker dispels the myth of the Bront s that has been perpetuated since their lifetime thanks to Mrs Gaskell s famous biography She illuminates Patrick in particular and recognizes the siblings as much than their [...]

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