Very few families produce one outstanding writer. The Brontë family produced three. The works of Charlotte, Emily and Anne remain immensely popular, and are increasingly being studied in relation to the surroundings and wider context that formed them. The forty-two new essays in this book tell 'the Brontë story' as it has never been told before, drawing on the latest research and the best available scholarship while offering new perspectives on the writings of the sisters. A section on Brontë criticism traces their reception to the present day. The works of the sisters are explored in the context of social, political and cultural developments in early-nineteenth-century Britain, with attention given to religion, education, art, print culture, agriculture, law and medicine. Crammed with information, The Brontës in Context shows how the Brontës' fiction interacts with the spirit of the time, suggesting reasons for its enduring fascination.
Table of Contents
Chronology; Introduction Marianne Thormählen; Part I. Places, Persons and Publishing: 1. Haworth in the time of the Brontës Michael Baumber; 2. Domestic life at Haworth Parsonage Ann Dinsdale; 3. Northern-England locations associated with the Brontës' lives and works Ann Dinsdale; 4. The father of the Brontës Dudley Green; 5. A mother and her substitutes: Maria Brontë (née Branwell), Elizabeth Branwell and Margaret Wooler Bob Duckett; 6. Patrick Branwell Brontë Victor A. Neufeldt; 7. Charlotte Brontë Dinah Birch; 8. Emily Brontë Lyn Pykett; 9. Anne Brontë Maria Frawley; 10. Friends, servants and a husband Stephen Whitehead; 11. The Brontës' sibling bonds Drew Lamonica Arms; 12. Juvenilia Christine Alexander; 13. The Brussels experience Sue Lonoff; 14. The Brontë correspondence Margaret Smith; 15. Portraits of the Brontës Jane Sellars; 16. The poetry of the Brontës Janet Gezari; 17. Literary influences on the Brontës Sara J. Lodge; 18. The Brontës' way into print Linda H. Peterson; 19. Reading the Brontës: their first audiences Stephen Colclough; Part II. Scholarship, Criticism, Adaptations and Translations: 20. Brontë biography: a survey of a genre Tom Winnifrith; 21. Mid-nineteenth-century critical responses to the Brontës Miriam Elizabeth Burstein; 22. Brontë scholarship and criticism, 1920–70 Herbert Rosengarten; 23. Brontë scholarship and criticism, approx. 1970–2000 Sara J. Lodge; 24. Current trends in Brontë criticism and scholarship Alexandra Lewis; 25. Adaptations, prequels, sequels, translations Patsy Stoneman; Part III. Historical and Cultural Contexts: 26. Religion David Jasper; 27. The philosophical-intellectual context Stephen Prickett; 28. Education Dinah Birch; 29. Art and music Christine Alexander; 30. Natural history Barbara T. Gates; 31. Politics Simon Avery; 32. Newspapers and magazines Joanne Shattock; 33. Agriculture and industry Marianne Thormählen with Steven Wood; 34. Transport and travel Edward Chitham; 35. Law Ian Ward; 36. Class Elizabeth Langland; 37. Careers for middle-class women Elizabeth Langland; 38. Marriage and family life Marianne Thormählen; 39. Dress Birgitta Berglund; 40. Sexuality Jill L. Matus; 41. Physical health Janis McLarren Caldwell; 42. Mental health Janis McLarren Caldwell; Further reading; Index.