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Romancing Miss Brontë
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Romancing Miss Brontë

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,588 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
In this astonishing novel, a brilliant mélange of fact and fiction, Juliet Gael skillfully and stylishly captures the passions, hopes, dreams, and sorrows of literature’s most famous sisters—and imagines how love dramatically and most unexpectedly found Charlotte Brontë.

During the two years that she studied in Brussels, Charlotte had a taste of life’s splendors—travel, lit
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Published April 27th 2010 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 18, 2015 Marita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago I visited the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth on a very, very cold snowy day. What struck me was the general bleakness. It didn't help that the upstairs windows overlooked the cemetery. The other thing that stuck in my mind was how small the clothes and shoes were that were on display.

Juliet Gael does an admirable job of bringing the Brontë family, and in particular the star of this book, Charlotte, to life. One can readily imagine the parsimonious lifestyle in the austere parsona
La Mala ✌

"Behind a veneer of a quiet, ladylike demeanor, Charlotte concealed an acerbic mind and ruthlessly harsh opinions on the weaknesses of the human species. Arthur, on the other hand, was the blustery, bigoted sort who could barely open his mouth without offending someone. Yet when the gloves came off, he had a great and tender heart, and was capable of love that would bear all wrongs, endure all tempests—in short, the very stuff that Charlotte took great pains to fabricate in her stories and th
Nov 19, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
A long admirer of Charlotte Bronte, and all the Bronte authors, I picked up this book at the library purely out of curiosity. It left me in tears. Years ago, when I was thirteen or fourteen, my mother insisted over and over that I read Jane Eyre. I kept trying, but I just couldn't get past the first 100 pages. I couldn't see how it would improve. It felt depressing and morose. Finally, when I was fifteen, I committed to it. I don't think any novel has had a greater impact on me since. I fell in ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
What a sad life Charlotte Bronte lived. Well, really all three women led sad lives but Charlotte had to endure more. What geniuses Emily, Anne, and Charlotte were though. I many families can have three wonderful novelists in them? I've read a book by all three, I can't say I have a favorite among them, but I've enjoyed the three I have read (5 star books). I can't imagine what Anne & Emily would have come up with if they had lived long enough. Charlotte has received the most acco ...more
May 25, 2010 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the life of me I cannot understand why I was so hesitant to read this novel in the historical fiction genre. Perhaps I was expecting more fiction than fact, more fluff than substance. What a pleasant surprise to discover that Romancing Miss Bronte was nothing like that at all.
Ms. Gael's prose is somewhat Austenesque although her subject matter is nowhere near Ms. Austen's well to do, charming, close-knit family with suitors stumbling over each other. This is the story of the family Bronte h
Mar 13, 2010 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope I can do justice to “Romancing Miss Bronte” when I describe why this is one of the best books I’ve ever read, certainly the best historical fiction novel I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

Let me begin by saying that even before hearing about this novel, I have always wanted to read a realistic book about Charlotte Bronte’s life. That’s because I always considered it such a tragedy that almost all the people she was close to died so early, and she herself marrying someone that (as I got t
Georgiana 1792
Biografia romanzata di una famiglia straordinaria

Questa biografia romanzata parte dall’arrivo del reverendo Arthur Bell Nicholls — il curato del reverendo Brontë — alla canonica di Haworth. Le tre sorelle Brontë, Charlotte, Emily e Anne, nutrono il sogno di rendersi indipendenti. Un sogno piuttosto arduo da realizzarsi per tre donne nell’Inghilterra Vittoriana. Le fanciulle, dopo una breve e difficile parentesi come istitutrici, sperano di poter aprire una propria scuola. Intanto vivono nella pi
Lady Strawberry
Jan 04, 2013 Lady Strawberry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se siete delle appassionate delle sorelle Brontë e avete letto i loro romanzi, non potrete fare a meno di questo libro. Juliet Gael ripercorre la vita di Charotte, Emily e Anne Brontë in una delicata sintesi di realtà e finzione. Le loro vite ritirate e a contatto con la natura, le difficoltà di dimostrare il proprio talento perché donne, le privazioni e la salute cagionevole che porta alla prematura scomparsa delle due sorelle più giovani, il successo che giunge, forse troppo tardi, le passioni ...more
Elena T.
Aug 23, 2016 Elena T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“Ma l’intelligenza era una qualità inutile in una ragazza, e così Charlotte aveva tenuto le sue speranze strettamente confinate nella sua immaginazione. Le teneva chiuse a chiave nelle sue scatoline, negli scrittoi e nei cassetti segreti, e guardava il fratello avventurarsi nel mondo per vivere i suoi sogni al posto suo.”

Grande carica emotiva per questo scritto sulle sorelle Bronte, con spiccata enfasi nella seconda parte per il rapporto di Charlotte con il curato del padre Arthur Nicholls.

Il pr
May 08, 2010 C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
I must mention now: I'm not the kind of person who would be seen reading a book with "romancing" in the title. But for "Miss Brontë", I shall read! Anything for the Brontës. Other writers during the Brontës time were mainly concerned about money and marriage, but the Brontës were more more more. That is what I love about them. A lot of women of the day would have seen Arthur as a marriage opportunity the second they met him. But even after Arthur proposed, Charlotte remained unconvinced. At alm ...more
Maria Grazia
Feb 03, 2013 Maria Grazia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
If you love Jane Eyre and Charlotte Brontë, this novel is unmissable. If you are interested in the lives of the Brontë family, so full of sorrow and talent, you'll love it.

Impossible not to be fascinated by the story of the three sisters who managed to get to fame thanks to their strength, talent and ... stubborness. Yes, stubborness. Because, if we have Jane Eyre, Villette and Shirley, Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, we owe that especially to Charlotte's stubborne
Jul 09, 2011 Serendipitous rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very enjoyable fictionalized biography of Charlotte Bronte. She grew up fairly sheltered, with a trip to continental Europe providing her only real life experience outside of the English countryside. While studying in Brussels, she fell deeply in love with one of her professors, but to her great sorrow, her love remained unrequited. She drew upon the passion and dreams of this period, as well as her own fertile imagination, to write "Jane Eyre."

Charlotte and her sisters and brother am
May 15, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Gael has written a beautiful piece of fiction based on the life of Charlotte Bronte. I had to pull myself away from reading this book! It fully captivated me with the story of love, pain, friendship, romance, soul connections, family loyalties, and the author's dedication to portraying the true essence of Charlotte, a strong woman. A big "thank you" to Juliet Gael for writing this story, as it was a real joy to be fully immersed in this lovely tale. I've been addicted to CB and her works for yea ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Jae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and researched, this book kept me enthralled from beginning to end. The story of Charlotte Bronte's relationship with her husband is particularly engaging. Although not a love story, the book is full of tenderness both for and between the characters. 4.5 stars. Definitely recommended.
I can imagine Charlotte would approve of this book. Honest truth is what she aimed to reveal in her life and to her readership.

Usually when an author takes liberties to devise a fictional account of another's life, it's poorly written, cheesy, and extremely wild and romantic in its imaginings. Sometimes the truth is twisted to fit the author's wish for a better outcome. This happens constantly with Jane Austen, but so far I've read two books (including this one) that portray Charlotte Brontë as
Aug 17, 2011 Pkc181 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I anticipated enjoying this book even though I did not really hope to learn anything new about Charlotte Bronte or her immediate family (most notably her sisters Emily and Anne and their “difficult” father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte). As an avid Bronte fan, I’ve read quite a few biographies on the Brontes, including what I consider to be the definitive work on the family “The Brontes” by Rebecca Fraser. I picked up this book primarily because I was intrigued on how the author would present Cha ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Hooma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book - I could not put it down and I enjoyed every moment of it. Reading this book has inspired me to read the writings of other famous 18th century British female novelists.

I learned so much about Charlotte Bronte from this novel and even though this text falls into the category of historical fiction, the key characters and events are accurate and project a very real picture of who Charlotte Bronte was and the kind of life she lived.

This statement may sound a bit cliche, but thi
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jul 09, 2010 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
‘If you could only be content with mortal love –stripped of all delusion.’

This novel begins with the arrival in Haworth of Arthur Bell Nicholls, Patrick Brontë’s new curate. It is 1845, and the four surviving Brontë siblings (Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne) are all living in Haworth Parsonage with their father. Charlotte has returned from her time in Brussels, and her experience there and her attachment to Constantin Heger, partly define the woman we meet in the pages of this novel.

By the t
Aug 27, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fic
Charlotte Bronte was the only one of her five siblings to marry, though it seems she loved three men in her short lifetime. The title of this book, Romancing Miss Bronte, is something of a misnomer, since this poor woman actually experienced very little in the way of romance. The Bronte sisters who became writers lived with their minister father in the remote moors of Yorkshire, in a bleak stone house on the very edge of a graveyard. To understand the impact of environment upon their lives, it i ...more
This book has been on my very long "to-read" list since 2011. After making a resolution to myself that I would tackle books that have been long simmering on that epic list, this was the luck of the draw.And I am so glad it was.
Having been a fan of the Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, and only somewhat aware of the true lives of this distinguished but seemingly doomed family, I was ready.
The story follows Charlotte and her family from childhood(done retrospectively) into early adulthood and to
Mar 21, 2014 Angigames rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stelle e mezzo
Un grazie infinite a Juliet Gael che con il suo romanzo mi ha permesso di conoscere una parte della vita della meravigliosa scrittrice Charlotte Bronte. Questo libro, che mescola realtà e fantasia, è narrato con passione e amore. C’è una sorta di venerazione e una cautela estrema, si vede che l’autrice ama la figura della Bronte e non vuole sminuirla affatto. Quello che vuole è che anche il lettore meno propenso alle biografie e ai saggi possa apprezzare il ritratto di una donna
Oct 19, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by this book. I am generally not partial to books and especially novels about a famous author’s life or sequels to their great works. If you have read Pride and Prejudice than I am sure your own imagination was sufficient about the lives of the Darcy's after their wedding vows and therefore are not in need for some cheap invention of Victorian sex. So with great trepidation I saw this book at the library and seeing and hearing great things about it I gave ...more
Oct 18, 2010 Bird rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, what a horribly depressing novel. This is partly my fault. I didn't know that all of the Bronte sisters, as well as their mother, died young. If I'd known that, I probably wouldn't have picked this up, because I tend to steer clear of sad books. (Life's sad enough, I don't need to read sad books, too!)

I didn't truly like any of the characters except for Arthur. Emily was insufferable, and why she was Charlotte's favorite is beyond me. She was cold and distant at best. (Which I supposed is e
Jul 02, 2011 Angt27 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-historic
I haven't read any Bronte works, but that didn't stop me from really enjoying 'Romancing Miss Bronte'. They all lived such sad, tragic lives and that really came through in this novel, but not in a sensational manner, rather just that it was sad, but that was the way life was back then. I really felt like the characters came to life in the novel, particularly Emily and Charlotte and I wanted to throttle Branwell.

In particular I found this book provided an extremely interesting insight into the r
Jul 03, 2011 katie rated it it was amazing
historical fiction books are perhaps my most favorite to read. i think that it takes a very talented and diligent writer to write a novel that will not only "stick to the facts" but will also win the heart of the reader. juliet gael does a wonderful job of breathing life into the story of the bronte family, especially charlotte. she did tons of research and took very few liberties with the story. she even cited many of charlotte's letters verbatim. jane eyre is in my top 5 favorite books, but my ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-fiction
I went into this with low expectations. Almost from the first page, I knew I was wrong - this was going to be a good book. The title is unfortunate, as it implies a light 'romance' genre. But there is actually very little mention of Arthur for quite awhile. This is eventually about him and their marriage, but it is really just a well-written account of the Brontes' lives that rings so true, it is very difficult to keep reminding yourself that it is fiction. Juliet Gael convinces you that she mus ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book vividly brought to life the personalities and eccentricities of the Bronte sisters.... Charlotte, Emily, and Anne... their brother Branwell... and their oddly austere father, Patrick Bronte.... detailing their remote life of near poverty in the town of Haworth, located in Northern Yorkshire, England.
As a lover of "Jane Eyre" (written by Charlotte) and "Wuthering Heights" (written by Emily), this book delighted me. Charlotte was a very quiet and demure woman, but inside, she smoldered w
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Shelley Diemart
3.5 stars. This is a fascinating novel about Charlotte Bronte, well researched and interesting. The writing is somewhat lacking and her tale fails to ignite the kinds of passions so obvious in the authors she writes about, but I must say that the story is absorbing and she brings the subjects to life. I learned, through her story, much about the Brontes and that was pleasantly surprising. She sticks to the truth fairly accurately, and gives a detailed account of omissions and alterations at the ...more
Sep 15, 2010 Lark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical fiction novel about Charlotte Bronte's adult life. While I appreciated learning more about her life as an authoress and her relationship with her sisters, I didn't love the writing style. For the first half of the book I wasn't sure if I was reading a novel or a biography. At one point, the author writes, "And so we see, dear readers..." That kind of made me question if I was really reading fiction. Anyway the "romancing" part picked up in the 2nd half of the book, and read ...more
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Beyond Mr. Darcy:...: March Group Read 4 7 Dec 05, 2012 01:12PM  
  • The Taste of Sorrow
  • Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters
  • Afternoons with Emily
  • The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë
  • The Lady and the Poet
  • Intimations of Austen
  • O, Juliet
  • Becoming Jane Eyre
  • Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life
  • Girl Mary
  • The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson
  • The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë
  • The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
  • Flaunting, Extravagant Queen (French Revolution, #3)
  • Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation
  • In the High Valley (Carr Family, #5)
  • Colonel Brandon's Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, #5)
  • Just Jane (Ladies of History, #2)
Juliet Gael is the pen name used by Janice Graham for biographical fiction. Janice was raised in the Midwest and obtained her M.A. in French literature before pursuing graduate film studies at USC and English literature at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. She has lived abroad for more than fifteen years, primarily in Paris, where she worked as a screenwriter. She now makes her home in Florence, It ...more
More about Juliet Gael...

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“Perhaps you confuse virtue and convention, gentlemen. Conventionality is not morality, and self-righteousness is not religion.” 9 likes
“There was is Arthur Nicholls much to recommend him to Charlotte Bronte, not least of which was the disparity between surface and soul, and it might be argued that Mr. Nicholls was the hidden gem of the two. Behind a veneer of quiet, ladylike demeanor, Charlotte concealed an acerbic mind and ruthlessly harsh opions on the weaknesses of the human species. Arthur, on the other hand, was the blustery, bigoted sort who could barely open his mouth without offending someone. Yet when the gloves came off, he had a great and tender heart, and was capable of love that would bear all wrongs, endure all tempests - in short, the very stuff that Charlotte took great pains to fabricate in her stories and that she was convinced she would never find.” 7 likes
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