Description : Since 1857, hardly a year has gone by without a book or play or monograph or film about the Brontës. Each generation has reimagined Charlotte, Emily, and Anne in ways that reflect changing visions—of the role of the woman writer or of sexuality or of the very concept of personality. Charlotte Brontë has been seen as domestic saint, as sex-starved hysteric, as ambitious literary careerist. Her sister Emily has been furnished with apocryphal lovers of both sexes; has even been denied the authorship of Wuthering Heights by conspiracy theorists who attribute it to her brother, Branwell. Now Lucasta Miller, in The Brontë Myth, shows us how the Brontës became cultural symbols almost as soon as their novels were published; how they became notorious even before the veil dropped from their carefully chosen pseudonyms, as Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights, appearing out of nowhere, instantly fascinated, inspired, and scandalized English readers. The subsequent discovery that Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell were three youngish spinsters— parson’s daughters—living rural lives of utmost propriety made interest in the sisters obsessive. Add a supposedly ferocious father and untimely death, to say nothing of the Victorian penchant for seeing noble sacrifice in every possible situation, and the production of legends multiplied. Lucasta Miller provides fascinating insight into the manufacture of cultural myth and how it can distort our memory of the artist even as it obscures the art. She traces the reinterpretations, indeed re-creations, of the Brontës, from Charlotte’s own efforts to soften her dead sisters’ reputations and Mrs. Gaskell’s classic portrait of the artists as exemplary Christian ladies to the fashionably Freudian psychobiographies of the 1920s and ’30s, from counterfeit memorabilia and the promotion of literary tourism to Hollywood representations of gloomy heroines on savage windswept moors. She rescues the Brontës from their admirers and attackers, giving us back three vivid women who, with little formal education, were writing in the days when few women dared to try: geniuses and sisters who, in the words of a household witness in the late 1850s, were “as cheerful and full of spirits as possible.... full of fun and merriment.”
Description : In a brilliant combination of biography, literary criticism, and history, The Bronté Myth shows how Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronté became cultural icons whose ever-changing reputations reflected the obsessions of various eras. When literary London learned that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights had been written by young rural spinsters, the Brontés instantly became as famous as their shockingly passionate books. Soon after their deaths, their first biographer spun the sisters into a picturesque myth of family tragedies and Yorkshire moors. Ever since, these enigmatic figures have tempted generations of readers–Victorian, Freudian, feminist–to reinterpret them, casting them as everything from domestic saints to sex-starved hysterics. In her bewitching “metabiography,” Lucasta Miller follows the twists and turns of the phenomenon of Bront-mania and rescues these three fiercely original geniuses from the distortions of legend. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : This volume represents more than twenty-five years of writing about female icons and biography. Rollyson provides the bits and pieces that resulted not only in his biography of Marilyn Monroe but also in much of the work he has subsequently done on Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, and on the nature of biography itself.This book includes a selection of Rollyson's New York Sun book reviews dealing with female icons such as Mary Stuart, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Brontës, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath. Rollyson's writing about icons has provoked him to question the process by which selves are defined. Discovering the shaping mechanisms of the self is simultaneously a way of understanding how biographies are built.In the end, this book should be of interest not merely to devotees of Monroe, Sontag, and other icons but also to anyone curious about the nature of biography and the biographer.
Description : Charlotte Bronte: legacies and afterlives is a timely reflection on the persistent fascination and creative engagement with Charlotte Bronte's life and work. The new essays in this volume, which cover the period from Bronte's first publication to the twenty-first century, explain why her workhas endured in so many different forms and contexts. This book brings the story of Charlotte Bronte's legacy up to date, analysing the intriguing afterlives of characters such as Jane Eyre and Rochester in neo-Victorian fiction, cinema, television, the stage and, more recently, on the web. Taking a fresh look at 150 years of engagement with one of the best-loved novelists of the Victorian period, from obituaries to vlogs, from stage to screen, from novels to erotic makeovers, this book reveals the author's diverse and intriguing legacy. Engagingly written and illustrated, the bookwill appeal to both scholars and general readers.
Description : During the nineteenth century, women authors for the first time achieved professional status, secure income, and public fame. How did these women enter the literary profession; meet the demands of editors, publishers, booksellers, and reviewers; and achieve distinction as "women of letters"? Becoming a Woman of Letters examines the various ways women writers negotiated the market realities of authorship, and looks at the myths and models women writers constructed to elevate their place in the profession. Drawing from letters, contracts, and other archival material, Linda Peterson details the careers of various women authors from the Victorian period. Some, like Harriet Martineau, adopted the practices of their male counterparts and wrote for periodicals before producing a best seller; others, like Mary Howitt and Alice Meynell, began in literary partnerships with their husbands and pursued independent careers later in life; and yet others, like Charlotte Brontë, and her successors Charlotte Riddell and Mary Cholmondeley, wrote from obscure parsonages or isolated villages, hoping an acclaimed novel might spark a meteoric rise to fame. Peterson considers these women authors' successes and failures--the critical esteem that led to financial rewards and lasting reputations, as well as the initial successes undermined by publishing trends and pressures. Exploring the burgeoning print culture and the rise of new genres available to Victorian women authors, this book provides a comprehensive account of the flowering of literary professionalism in the nineteenth century.
Description : The extraordinary creativity of the Bront--euml--; sisters, who between them wrote some of the most enduring fiction in the English language, continues to fascinate and intrigue modern readers. Their novels, which so shocked their contemporaries, address the burning issues of the day: class, gender, race, religion, and mental disorders. As well as examining these connections, Patricia Ingham also shows how film and other media have reinterpreted the novels for the twenty-first century. - ;The extraordinary creativity of the Bront--euml--; sisters, who between them wrote some of the most enduring fiction in the English language, continues to fascinate and intrigue modern readers. The tragedy of their early deaths adds poignancy to their novels, and in the popular imagination they have become mythic figures. And yet, as Patricia Ingham shows, they were fully engaged with the world around them, and their writing, from the juvenilia to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights , reflects the preoccupations of the age in which they lived. Their novels, which so shocked their contemporaries, address the burning issues of the day: class, gender, race, religion, and mental disorders. As well as examining these connections, Patricia Ingham also shows how film and other media have reinterpreted the novels for the twenty-first century. The book includes a chronology of the Bront--euml--;s, suggestions for further reading, websites, illustrations, and a comprehensive index. - ;A dazzling, unobtrusive, true work of criticism - what a rarity that is - Craig Raine
Description : The works of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte are saturated with spatial metaphors, their composition inevitably reflecting Victorian concepts of gender and the ideology of 'separate spheres'. Questioning the binary interpretation of incarceration and flight, this study focuses on how, through a transgression of narrated, textual, and metaphorical spaces, the Brontes' feminine protagonists show the ideological divide between male and female spaces to be more permeable than previously acknowledged. Applying the spatial concepts of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari, this study examines how the normative dichotomy of the 'separate spheres' in the selected novels is destabilized through a transgression of literary spaces."
Description : Sara Lodge offers a lively introduction to the critical history of one of the most widely-studied nineteenth-century novels, from the first reviews through to present day responses. The Guide also includes sections devoted to feminist, Marxist and postcolonial criticism of Jane Eyre, as well as analysis of recent developments.
Description : The first detailed study on the subject of Victorian unfinished novels, this book sheds further light on novels by major authors that have been neglected by critical studies and focuses in a new way on critically acclaimed masterpieces, offering a counter-reading of the nineteenth-century literary canon.