A Novel of the Brontë Brother
Soft Skull Press, 9781593765972
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
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They must coax his hidden talent out into full bloom. He must be driven enough, in imagination, talented enough to support them all.
Branwell Bront --brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne--has a childhood marked by tragedy and the weight of expectations. After the early deaths of his mother and a beloved older sister, he is kept away from school and tutored at home by his father, a curate, who rests all his ambitions for his children on his only son. Branwell grows up isolated in his family's parsonage on the moors, learning Latin and Greek, being trained in painting, and collaborating on endless stories and poems with his sisters. Yet while his sisters go on to write Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Agnes Grey, Branwell wanders from job to job, growing increasingly dependent on alcohol and opium and failing to become a great poet or artist. With rich, suggestive sentences "perfectly fitted to this famously imaginative, headstrong family" (Publishers Weekly) Branwell is a portrait of childhood dreams, thwarted desire, the confinements of gender--and an homage to the landscape and milieu that inspired some of the most revolutionary works of English literature. A new edition with an introduction by Darcey Steinke.