The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte (Virago Modern Classics)

21 Dec

The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte (Virago Modern Classics)

The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte (Virago Modern Classics)

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1844080757

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As a bold and gifted child, Branwell Bronte's promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of his sisters.

Daphne du Maurier concentrates all her biographer's skill on the shadowy figure of Branwell Bronte, and no reader could fail to be intensely moved by Branwell's final retreat into laudanum, alcohol - and death

















after his father died. ‘Once tha’ carriest an angel, but now tha’ carriest a devil,’ he cried as he rode his father’s horse into a lather. Emily must have felt sympathy for Johnny’s young sister Jane, sent away to school at Kingswood, near Bristol, and dying there when she was only thirteen, from home-sickness, perhaps, or yearning for the freedom of the moors—who could tell? Together brother and sister gazed up at the dark windows of Sowdens, where the Grimshaws had lived, wondering, perhaps,

whether Johnny and Jane had been by when their evangelical father received ‘the glorious vision from the seventh heaven’. Parson Grimshaw had told John Wesley, ‘Two under my own roof are just now under true conviction, one a girl of about eighteen years, and the other a boy about fourteen; and I hope my own little girl between ten and eleven years old.’ Emily, however, was not always free to roam the moors, or scribble poems and stories in the ‘study’ upstairs; she had to give Tabby a hand in

Haworth society which would foregather, after the Three Graces Lodge had been closed in perfect harmony in their Masonic rooms, in the ‘snug’ at the Black Bull, under the benevolent eye of the landlord ‘Little Nosey’. That the Worshipful Master did blot out the lines scored with red ink is evident from the surviving copy of the letter, but a list of the members of the Three Graces Lodge for the year 1840, which was in existence until a few years ago, gave one ‘esquire’ among them. He was John

to finish it at present from agony to which the grave would be far preferable. Mr Robinson of Thorp Green is dead, and he has left his widow in a dreadful state of health. She sent the coachman over to see me yesterday, and the account which he gave of her sufferings was enough to burst my heart. Through the will she is left quite powerless, and her eldest daughter who married imprudently is cut off without a shilling. The Executing Trustees detest me, and one declares that if he sees me he

abound in errors of the press. On a former occasion I expressed myself with perhaps too little reserve regarding Mr Newby, yet I cannot but feel, and feel painfully, that Ellis and Acton have not had the justice at his hands that I have had at those of Messrs. Smith and Elder. The novels of Emily and Anne did not receive the same praise from the critics or the public as Jane Eyre had won. Currer Bell’s novel had become what a modern newspaper would call ‘a best-seller overnight’; Wuthering

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