Charlotte and Emily

Charlotte and Emily

Charlotte and Emily

Charlotte and Emily

Excerpt

This book is very carefully not fiction in any part. It attempts to trace and perhaps to probe the processes of genius. The lives of the Brontës are so well known, their fascinating story has been told and retold so many times, from so many points of view, while the body of their work is so small, so easy to read and reread, and, like their lives, has been the object of so much diligent research and so much critical scrutiny from so many angles, that it has seemed possible to follow the vital connective threads between life and work, and from one work to another, more closely and more surely than has been hitherto attempted.

I know the perils that beset the attempt. There is the peril of the romantic appeal, and the dramatic rearrangement of facts. There is the peril of assuming a condition that did not exist; and, in one that did exist, the peril of assuming that it affected Charlotte or Emily as it might the writer; and the peril of accepting the assumptions of previous writers. There is the peril of the pet theory, and the peril of making a crazy patchwork of quotations torn out of their context in letters, poems, or stories, to blanket one's hobby-horse. There is the peril of accepting the wrong authority in matters of fact: the mother of the Brontës, for example, was one of a large family -- how large? Mrs. Gaskell said five, Clement Shorter said seven, Virginia Moore said ten, and J. Hambley Rowe . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.