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A Novel of the Brontë Brother

Douglas A. Martin, Darcey Steinke (Introduction by)


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/1/2005)


For readers of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles, this genre-bending exploration of the tragic figure of Branwell Brontë and the dismal, dazzling landscape that inspired his sisters to greatness is now available in a new edition with an introduction by Darcey Steinke.

Branwell Brontë--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.

Soft Skull Press, 9781593765972, 256pp.

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

About the Author

Douglas A. Martin was born in Virginia and raised in Georgia. He earned a BA in English from the University of Georgia, an MFA in creative writing from the New School, and a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Martin is the author of the poetry collections My Gradual Demise & Honeysuckle and Servicing the Salamander and co-author of The Haiku Year--a project that required him to compose a haiku a day. He has also published a collection of short stories, They Change the Subject, and a trilogy of prose pieces, Your Body Figured. His novels include Outline of My Lover, named an International Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award; Branwell: A Novel of the Brontë Brother; Once You Go Back ; and Wolf.