The Bewitched Parsonage: The Story of the Brontës

The Bewitched Parsonage: The Story of the Brontës

The Bewitched Parsonage: The Story of the Brontës

The Bewitched Parsonage: The Story of the Brontës

Excerpt

To tell again the story of the Brontës is to invite the captious eye of the literary historian. That cannot be avoided whatever the literary subject may be. The creative artist in literature is grist to every critic's mill. But critics have made appropriations which have excluded the interest of the general reader. This has been the case, and in a larger measure, I think, with the Brontës than with any other authors, whose lives and works have had such a long and familiar influence upon the reading public.

The tragic drama of the lives of the Brontë family has so colored and tempered the qualities and spirit of the Brontë novels that, in any appraisal of the writings, it is as difficult as it is undesirable to separate them. The fault is not in the eager willingness to interweave the realities of the Brontës' personal history with their creative and imaginative work, but with the injection, arbitrarily and conclusively, of critical ideas into the meaning and character of both the facts of personal history and the imaginative representations of the authors.

The general reader who has read the Brontë novels--and who hasn't?--seeking enlightenment about them and their authors, is more often than not confused by this welter of interpretations and explanations. He wants to know about them, but is discouraged from learning when confronted with the tangle of subtleties that must be unwound before reaching an understanding of the Brontë genius.

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