Book review: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte, 1848

It is quite rare for me to open a classic Victorian novel and have almost no idea what it is going to be about. But that was the case here – I have somehow avoided television and radio adaptations, reviews, blogposts etc – and the kindle edition even removes the clues provided by the blurb and illustrationsContinue reading “Book review: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte, 1848”

Book review: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte (2)

Written in 1846, although not published during her lifetime, The Professor is a largely autobiographical account of Charlotte’s two years teaching in Belgium. Her attempt to narrate the story through a male character is at best a mixed success. There is, as with Villette, a degree of wish fulfillment, as the romance is successfully concludedContinue reading “Book review: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte (2)”

Supplementary: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte – inadvertent smuttiness?

Here’s a fun game for anyone finding 19th century romantic literature just a little too slow – “spot the subconscious sexual metaphor”. These novels invariably put young men and women in the prime of their lives in close proximity, and despite every attempt to restrain their sexual impulses, it just can’t help bursting through. Usually natureContinue reading “Supplementary: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte – inadvertent smuttiness?”

Book review: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

There’s a Darwinism in play which determines whether novels continue to be read after the author’s death and the passage of a few decades. Authors that were once widely read and popular turn out over time to be of interest to only a very specific audience, and do not translate well into later periods. AsContinue reading “Book review: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte”