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The Brontes:

Juliet Barker

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ISBN 13: 978-1-58567-152-6
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An engrossing biography in letters of the most astonishingly creative family in English literature by the author of the "landmark study of the Bront s" Los Angeles Times

Upon its publication in 1995, Juliet Barker's The Bront s was deemed a monumental achievement that set a new standard in literary biography; it garnered rave reviews and was cited as a New York Times Notable Book of 1995 and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 1995. In The Bront s: A Life in Letters, the much anticipated follow-up to that landmark biography, Barker uses her unrivaled knowledge of the Bront family, including newly discovered letters and manuscripts, some appearing in print for the first time, to create an absorbing and entertaining book that is as original, compelling, and bold as the Bront family itself.

Barker's selection of letters reveal the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, as well as their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Bront . The letters detail the siblings' self-absorbed childhood, highlighted by wild imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily, and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness, and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. The letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, and a brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context.

By allowing the Bront s to tell their own story in The Bront s: A Life in Letters, Juliet Barker has produced an innovative form of biography that is not only a work of impeccable scholarship but also a story as dramatic, haunting, and undeniably readable as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

"Barker proves herself an impeccable editor of family papers we are all the richer for possessing." New York Times Book Review

"Provides a real sense of what those strange, brilliant people were like-simultaneously withdrawn from life and passionately interested in it." The Atlantic Monthly

Juliet Barker is the author of six books, including the acclaimed biography, The Bront s. She is the editor of Charlotte Bront : Juvenilia (Penguin Classics) and spent six years as curator of the Bront Parsonage Museum. She lives in England.

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