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My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Bronte Myth

The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Knopf;(January 13, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0375412778

myth[1]

From Publishers Weekly

Even in their lifetimes, the Bronte sisters—Charlotte, Emily and Anne—were remarkable figures whose literary reputations were often shrouded in a web of myth and lies that to some degree still endures. In this volume, Miller, a literary critic and former deputy literary editor of The Independent, presents a markedly intelligent "metabiography" that sorts through these half-truths to give a fresh, original portrait of three exceptional writers. Celebrated by some of their 19th century readers as literary heroes and castigated by others as reckless and immoral, the Brontes defied conventions even as they tried to live within them: "revolutionizing the imaginative presentation of women’s inner lives" even as they cultivated the social persona of "the modest spinster daughter." Miller traces the trajectory of their careers, particularly Charlotte’s, from their childhood games to the stunning success of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Drawing on a wealth of letters and scholarly works, Miller succeeds in carefully revealing how the rumors that portrayed the Brontes as gothic creatures, saints and martyrs became more important than the women’s novels, "covering and supplanting," as Henry James said, "their matter, their spirit, their style, their talent, their taste." Miller touches on everyone from Elizabeth Gaskell, whose famous Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857) "marked the birth of the Brontes as cultural icons," to Ted Hughes, and thus illuminates not only the lives of the sisters, but the significance and import of their work. Ultimately, such literary reclamation is what Miller is after: to clear up the clutter of history, to bring to light the genius and artistry of the novels and to let the Brontes speak for themselves.

I’m afraid I can’t say that this book impressed me.  

True I did learn some things about the Bronte’s..but that is fairly simple to do since I know nothing.  However……………… with every 30 page chapter I read I swore I was going to quite reading…but I would try one move just in case.  Slowly I go thru the book.

There are many fascinating things you might learn about the Family of the Brontes..and you will undoubtedly find some of that in this book.. but I have to tell you that I feel as if this book was written to get everyone to read Mrs Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte called “The Life of Charlotte Bronte”…I think that title was quoted 2 or 3 times on every page of this book! 

And so… if you want to know about the entire family of the Bronte’s my advice is to find another book!

Please don’t get me wrong… I did learn things of their lives, but I couldn’t get over the overwhelming feeling it was written to get people to read the very old Biography written by Mrs Gaskell’s.  It was either that or it was just that every piece of information in this book was retrieved from Mrs Gaskell’s book!

As for me.. I am glad it’s over !   It may take me a while to read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights even though I have the books. 

6 Comments:

Blogger Becky said...

It doesn't sound like a *fun* way to learn about the Bronte family. And learning shouldn't be so un-fun. I have yet to read the Gaskell biography of Charlotte Bronte, though it is on my should-read-sometime-soon list, but I did enjoy the FICTIONAL Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James.

I love, love, love Jane Eyre. It is one of my favorite novels. And I really don't care for Wuthering Heights :)

I hope your next book is much, much, much better!!!

8:49 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

Sounds like rather an academic sort of a book. I haven't read any books about the Bronte sisters (despite the fact their mother was from Penzance.) But like Becky I've read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering heights and *loved* Jane Eyre. I would read that again and probably will sometime, but not Wuthering Heights... too hysterical and depressing!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Oh,that's a sad way to talk about their myth, to refer to Mrs Gaskell's biography! you'd think the author would know there has been current and new research done on the Brontes!!! I'm slowly, sooo slowly, reading The Brontes by Juliet Barker. It's a massive book. Very well written, though. Starts with the father,Patrick Bronte. LIke Cath and Becky, I have read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, and I really like Jane Eyre.

Thanks for saving us time with this review of the book!

5:20 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Becky:.. yes I hope my next "classic" or about a "classic" is better !!

Cath: glad to hear you liked Jane Eyre I'm sure I've seen a movie or two but never read the book..and yes I can see why Wuthering Heights would be depressing ..even the movie was

Susan I learned some things but everything seemed to be related back to Gaskills book...it was like a book to advertise a book! sheesh lol

5:51 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Sounds like one to skip. I think you are right. It is better to read Jane Eyre!

6:53 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

kathleen: sounds like a good idea!

6:58 PM  

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