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The Bront๋s: A Life in Letters
The Bront๋s: A Life in Letters | Juliet Barker
4 posts | 2 read | 2 to read
The Bront๋ story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Bront๋s themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Bront๋. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Bront๋s has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity. Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Bront๋'s devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence. The Bront๋ letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Bront๋s to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.
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Happy International Women‘s Day!


Texreader โค๏ธ 8mo
merelybookish You too! Beautiful collection! ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
Sarah83 You have the old Jane Austen editions ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
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DGRachel Gorgeous! 8mo
saresmoore โ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ 8mo
rubyslippersreads So many gorgeous books! I have the Brontë letters, but I still want Jane‘s. ? 8mo
Aimeesue @Sarah83 I was just thinking โ€˜Wow, she‘s got some newer Austen Folios,‘ because mine are the 1961-ish Folios. @LeahBergen โ€˜s are prettier than mine. ๐Ÿ˜‚ (edited) 8mo
batsy What a collection ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
Lcsmcat Beautiful editions! 8mo
ScientistSam Please! 8mo
tpixie Beautiful!!! โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿงกโ™ฅ๏ธ 8mo
LeahBergen @Sarah83 I do! I love the wood engraving illustrations by Joan Hassall in these editions so much. ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I think it‘s a necessity for your Austen shelves. ๐Ÿ˜† 8mo
LeahBergen @Aimeesue Yours are the green bindings, aren‘t they? I believe they‘re identical inside to these late 1990s ones I have (that‘s when I started buying these ๐Ÿ˜†). I prefer these editions illustrated by Joan Hassall to the newer Folio ones. Shhh! ๐Ÿคซ 8mo
rohit-sawant Stunning editions! ๐Ÿ’• 8mo
Sarah83 I received one book of this collection with the Jane Austen swap. It is so gorgeous. ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
youneverarrived Beautiful ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
Sarah83 @Aimeesue that's sometimes the problem. Folio publishes some books so often, you don't know which edition you should buy ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
Aimeesue @LeahBergen Mine are a bluish green. The spines look greenish, I think, when they fade, but the covers are definitely blue. They do have the Hassell illustrations, though, which are gorgeous. Did they change the illustrations in the newer versions? Whatever for? 8mo
Melissa_J Lovely editions ๐Ÿฅฐ 8mo
LeahBergen @rohit-sawant Thanks! They‘re some of my faves. โค๏ธ 8mo
LeahBergen @youneverarrived Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜˜ 8mo
LeahBergen @Sarah83 Do you like these editions or do you prefer the illustrations in the new editions? 8mo
LeahBergen @Aimeesue Ah, yes! I think I‘ve only seen the faded spines before. They‘re so pretty! And yes, check out the Folio site to look inside the new editions. The illustrations are a tad mod and dreamy for my liking (let me know what you think ๐Ÿคซ). They also released an Austen set in 2006 that‘s a wee bit ... twee, maybe? ๐Ÿ˜† And, hey .... I‘m usually a big lover of twee-ness. ๐Ÿ˜† 8mo
LeahBergen @Melissa_J ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜ 8mo
Sarah83 I am not really certain. I love the old ones so much. I love drawings which seams like the painter used coal for it. ๐Ÿ˜ But the new ones are also wonderful. Can I take both? Which do you prefer? 8mo
BiblioLitten Those beauties!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
kspenmoll So lovely! 8mo
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen I can always count on you to be my enabler. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 8mo
Reviewsbylola ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ such shelf envy! 8mo
Lauraandherbooks What a beautiful collection ๐Ÿ˜ 8mo
LeahBergen @Lauraandherbooks Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š 8mo
122 likes33 comments
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A dog and a quilt on a blustery day. Now if I can only get someone to light the fireโ€ฆ

LeahBergen I was just looking at my copy of this today. ๐Ÿ˜ 10mo
Aimeesue @LeahBergen I still get distracted by all the pretty when I try to read it. ๐Ÿ˜‹ 10mo
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I do love #bookmail

DGRachel Beautiful! 13mo
HotCocoaReads Oh, this is a gorgeous book! 13mo
Sarah83 Lovely edition ๐Ÿ˜ 13mo
28 likes3 comments
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Today‘s book mail ... two books I‘ve been coveting for ages. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป


Eyelit Omg so pretty! ๐Ÿคค 1y
Melissa_J Lovely ๐Ÿ˜Š 1y
saresmoore Oh. My. Goodness. 1y
See All 35 Comments
CarolynM They are beautiful๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 1y
BookaholicNatty Beautiful!!!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธโค๏ธ 1y
JacqMac Gorgeous!๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Mdargusch I love them! ๐Ÿ’• 1y
rubyslippersreads Gorgeous! I have the Bronte one, and now you‘re making me want the Austen letters. ๐Ÿ˜„ 1y
Lcsmcat Beautiful! 1y
brennahawleycraig ๐Ÿ˜ป 1y
Centique I think I‘m in love ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 1y
batsy Just stunning ๐Ÿ’• 1y
erzascarletbookgasm OMGoodness. They‘re gorgeous! 1y
emilyhaldi ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’• 1y
Tanisha_A ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
BarbaraBB Stunning ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Kalalalatja I can‘t deal with how gorgeous they are ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Sarah83 Gorgeous ๐Ÿ˜ but I really thought, you already have rhe Austen's letters โ˜บ๏ธ 1y
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I think your Mom would want you to add it to the collection, right?? ๐Ÿ˜„ 1y
LeahBergen @Sarah83 Not the Folio edition. I have a smaller paperback edition of the illustrated letters. ๐Ÿ™‚ 1y
Sarah83 So it was only the wrong edition I had on my mind. ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Aimeesue Oooooooooh! Lovely! ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen I‘m sure she would. ๐Ÿ˜„ 1y
Reviewsbylola They are beautiful! I especially love the Bronte! 1y
Moray_Reads I have the Austen but I REEAALLY want the Brontรซ one ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
GypsyKat OMG these are stunningly beautiful!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Aimeesue I gotta stop looking at your Folio posts - I've just ordered the JA Letters. I'm gonna have to start building a library out back for all these books I'm buying because of Litsy. Instead of a backyard Man Cave, I will have a backyard Book Cave. Feasible, right? 1y
LeahBergen @Aimeesue ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I have bought SO many books after seeing them on Litsy. It‘s disgusting. 1y
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola It‘s my fave of the two. ๐Ÿ˜ 1y
LeahBergen @Moray_Reads I think you definitely need it. It‘s my favourite of the two! 1y
LeahBergen @GypsyKat Oh, they are! I‘m loving them to an unhealthy degree. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ 1y
BiblioLitten Beautiful! Simply beautiful ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜ 1y
Aimeesue @LeahBergen I‘ve spent two hours culling books to make room for the Folios. I‘m being ruthless, because PRIORITIES!๐Ÿ˜‚ 1y
DeborahSmall โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ 1y
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