The Brontës in Context (hardback)
Edited by: Marianne Thormählen, Lunds Universitet, Sweden
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.
Reviews so far
‘General readers will enjoy it as much as Brontë students and fans, and its careful avoidance of anything too topical or controversial will keep it fresh for years. Thormählen’s high-quality contributors, assembly of reliable facts and data, pertinent commentary, maps, illustrations, splendid chronology and further reading lists make it everything that one could wish for.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘The high quality of scholarship in combination with the clarity of the jargon-free writing make it a book accessible to all. Those new to the Brontës will receive a solid introduction; those familiar with the Brontë story will be surprised by new information and fresh insights. Much of the knowledge one gains over the years from reading many disparate books is gathered together into this one volume, helping the reader to develop a coherent and comprehensive understanding of this literary family’s life and historical contexts. I would recommend The Brontës in Context not only to those interested in the Brontës, but to anyone studying literature in the Victorian age. /—/ [It] will serve current and future generations of Brontë readers, students and scholars admirably; it will also prompt new avenues of study as readers delve deeper into the variety of issues that this volume covers. The Brontës in Context exemplifies the best writing, communicating not only information but also pleasure to the reader who enters its pages, ensuring that it will have a lasting contribution to make to the world of Brontë studies.’ Brontë Studies
‘Readers of The Brontës in Context will gain fresh insights into the writings of the sisters, and also how those writings relate to the concerns of their time and contribute to our understanding of the nineteenth-century mindset. Already my copy is getting thumb-marked, and I’m sure the book will be a valued handbook for years to come.’ Emerald Insight
All the seven Brontë novels are concerned with education in both senses, that of upbringing as well as that of learning. The Brontë sisters all worked as teachers before they became published novelists. In spite of the prevalence of education in the sisters' lives and fiction, however, this is the first full-length book on the subject. Marianne Thormählen explores how their representations of fictional teachers and schools engage with the intense debates on education in the nineteenth century, drawing on a wealth of documentary evidence about educational theory and practice in the lifetime of the Brontës. This study offers much new information both about the Brontës and their books and about the most urgent issue in early-nineteenth-century British social politics: the education of the people, of all classes and both sexes.The Brontës and Education, hardback The Brontës and Education, paperback