Elaine's Reviews > Romancing Miss Brontë

Romancing Miss Brontë by Juliet Gael
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Mar 22, 10

Recommended for: everyone who loves 19th century novels
Read in March, 2010

Many of us have imagined what life was like for a particular artist. What contributed to his or her work of art, are there biographical reasons for certain characters in novels, for a fascination with particular models in art, an event which spurred a composer to create a given opus? In recent years, various novelists have taken these musings, hopefully along with biographical research, and created novels of the lives of well known artists and writers. Such imaginings are not confined to novels. The movie Fur was created as "an imaginary biography of Diane Arbus."

Juliet Gael's portrayal of the Bronte siblings is an excellent addition to the genre of imaginary biography. Not only is it written well, but Ms. Gael wrote it as if she were writin in the 19th century. Dialogue is not composed of fragments as in contemporary novels, although fragments are more realistic renderings of speech. She describes the scenes in the moors and Scotland, Wales and Ireland as British 19th century writers were wont, illuminating the beauty of craggy shores and beautiful vista, paying close attention to the scenic as 19th century authors did.

Gael's portrayal of home life at the Brontes is rich in detail, down to the companionship of the family dogs, and making clear the English love for dogs and their constancy in domestic life.

I am not a fan of most imaginary biographies,but this is one I couldn't put down. It left me with a deep desire to reread the Brontes, especially now that I know the reasons they were written and what in their lives prompted them.

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