Monday, February 27, 2012

About the Brontes

Margot Livesey, who visits 3/20, writes about the Bronte siblings in The Millions this week....

"Judging by the dresses on display at the Bronte Museum, Charlotte Bronte was less than five feet tall but, like her famous heroine Jane Eyre, she was the opposite of meek. When she was ten years old her brother, Branwell, appeared at her bedroom door with a box of toy soldiers he’d just been given by their father. Charlotte immediately seized a soldier and named him the Duke of Wellington. Her sisters, Emily and Anne, followed suit, naming their soldiers Gravey and the Waiting Boy. Together the four siblings appointed themselves the Genii and dispatched the soldiers to the Glass Town confederacy in Africa. Later Emily and Anne developed the country of Gondal while Charlotte and Branwell created Angria. All four wrote about these imaginary kingdoms. Their passionate juvenilia, much of it according to the Bronte Museum Guide repetitive and poorly spelled, paved the way for the novels we cherish." More.