Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontes (Paperback)
St. Martin’s Griffin, Apr 27 2010, $14.99
In 1821 in Haworth, Yorkshire, Maria Bronte, mother of five and wife to a Vicar, dies. Her widower husband Patrick sends his oldest four daughters to boarding school, but Maria and Elizabeth come home to die from consumption. His son Branwell becomes an addict while his three other daughters (Charlotte, Emily, and Amy) use pseudonyms to become poets and eventually novelists even as they dote on their father and brother. By 1855, all five of Maria’s offspring are dead none having reached the age of forty.
The key to this superb Bronte biographical fiction novel is, in spite of the title, the focus on all six siblings and their father with especially Amy and to a lesser degree Branwell getting equal treatment to their more famous siblings. Fans of the renowned authors (and their less famous siblings) will appreciate this fine Passion-filled homage to a first family of literature.