Thursday, 24 April 2014

Early Brontë

Non-fiction - review
Published in The Saturday Review, 10th June 1933
690 words
(First read 24/04/2014)

EFB reviews Legends of Angria, a collection of Charlotte Brontë's juvenilia about the fantasy world she created with her brother Branwell, and which obsessed her to such a degree that "her contributions to it exceeded in length the whole of the work which made her a classic in English literature."  Fred sums up:
What of the intrinsic merit of these stories?  It may be said at once that if the manuscripts [...] had been found in some spider-webbed cupboard, [...] and that if their authorship was unknown, they would never have been fully deciphered, [...] nor would they have even found a publisher.  But they were known to be by Charlotte Brontë, and that made all the difference.  [...]  [Though they] chiefly illustrate the faults of Charlotte's classical work (or even because of that), they are immensely interesting.  The fire is there, and that passionate devotion for her art, but she was learning still, and she could not yet confine and curb the fire so that it glowed with the intense white heat of Jane Eyre and Villette: it flares and smokes and makes a great to-do, but the incandescence is lacking.
The whole thing can be read online here.

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