Charlotte and Emily Brontë: Literary Lives by Tom Winnifrith, Edward Chitham (auth.)

By Tom Winnifrith, Edward Chitham (auth.)

This new publication at the Brontes concentrates at the means during which the literary pursuits and expressions of Charlotte and Emily have been equipped up. It uses fresh study into history and examining topic to enquire the advance of the authors' poetry and novels.

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Example text

Many of its characters have Scottish or Irish names. With only the poetry surviving, it is difficult to conjecture even the outline of the Gondal saga. A passionate love affair between a character called Augusta and a character called Julius seems important. Death and separation, pride and unlawfullove appear, as in Wuthering Heights, to playamajor part in Gondal. The Bronte sisters appear to have taken different attitudes to their writing. Charlotte, especially when she was on her own at Roe Head as a teacher, was worried by its dangerous attraction and by the ability of her fantastic creations to take her away from the world completely.

She still had a good deal to leam about how to write, as the juvenile stories and poems are almost without exception incoherent and uncontrolled. Emily and Anne had broken away from Charlotte and Branwell at some stage before 1834 to write their own stories about Gondal. This realm was set in the North Pacific and seemed more rugged than Angria. Many of its characters have Scottish or Irish names. With only the poetry surviving, it is difficult to conjecture even the outline of the Gondal saga.

There is no evidence for Mr Bronte hirnself preaching Calvinistic doctrines, although his sermons, letters, stories and poems are full of references to Hell and damnation. It now seems embarrassing for almost any religious sect to mention, let alone believe in, eternal punishment for sinners, but in the middle of the nineteenth century almost everyone believed in a literal hell. It is greatly to the credit of the Bronte sisters, perhaps influenced by the awful example of their brother dying as a drunkard and an adulterer, that they seemed to have had serious doubts about eternal damnation.

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