The Brontë Myth
Following the Brontë sisters through their many reincarnations at the hands of biographers, Lucasta Miller reveals as much about the impossible art of biography as she does about the Brontës themselves. Their first biographer, Mrs Gaskell, transformed their story of literary ambition into one of the great legends of the 19th century, a dramatic tale of three lonely sisters...more
What made three very simple clergyman's daughters reach the status of myth in Western culture? Lucasta Miller ex ...more
When I wrote my guest post for the start of this week, I wanted to examine the way in which the Brontës had come to be perceived down the centuries. I named my topic "The Brontë Myth". Shortly afterwards, I discovered through my reading that Lucasta Miller had written an acclaimed book with the same title back in 2002. Predictably, I decided to Find Out More. What I discovered was a compelling and concise account of Brontë ...more
Is there such a thing as metabiograhy? If so, this is a fine example. It discusses not so much the Brontes (primarily Charlotte and Emily; sorry, Anne) per as as the history of how they have been written about in the century and a half since their death. It explores many of the wackier ...more
There's a lot of Bronte-stuff floating around, books, plays, movies, weird things on Etsy, and I am very guilty of loving of all of them. But in this book Lucasta Miller goes to great lengths to detail how reactions to the Brontes were shaped, and how they have evolved through the changes from the Victorian era to modernity. She writes with very accessible prose very effectively abou ...more
Miller chronicles how, after the shocked and repulsed reaction of their contemporaries to the collected pseudonymous works of Acton, Currer, and Ellis Bell, Charlotte Bronte immediately began fabricating a publi ...more
Miller confidently reveals the motivations behind the genesis of the myth and how it came to and still to some extent continue to cloud our perception of the "real" Brontës ...more
I picked this book up thinking it would be an accurate biography of the Bronte sisters, instead it's a critique of every biography written about Charlotte and Emily (nobody seems to care much about Anne) from just after Charlotte's death to almost the date of publish.
I thought I knew something about Charlotte but most of a what I knew was incorrect. They were outright lies and misdirections deliberately spread around by her first biographer.
Later biographers twisted the sisters in every way ...more
You probably think of ''Jane Eyre'' as the kind of novel you'd feel safe in recommending to a 12-year-old girl (if you know a 12-year-old girl who'd read a novel about a Victorian governess instead of the latest dish about Paris Hilton).
But as the British critic Lucasta Miller tells us in her provocative history of the reputation of the Bronte sisters and their work, when Charlotte Bronte's novel was published in 1847, ...more
Why? Because ever since readers first started speculating a ...more
This took me a while to get through, but mostly because I'm a slow reader when it comes to non-fiction. My main takeaways from this book were:
1. Everything I thought I knew about the Brontës was a fabrication.
2. I really want to re-read Wuthering Heights.
3. People cannot just accept th ...more
In 18 ...more
1) Almost nothing about Anne, who in my estimation was the most talented of the lot. If a writer is going to write about a family like this one, I personally want equal attention paid to all. And that should include Branwell also.
2) Fairly little attention (perhaps for self supporting reasons) paid by the author to those books which have already addressed many of the issues she ...more
The basic premise, as one who has followed the story, and lived in Haworth for a couple of years in the hospitality trade well knows, is that far more people are interested in the story of the Brontes than have ever read the writings and of these, far more are interested in one or more of t ...more