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The Brontës, By Juliet Barker

Reviewed by Emma Hagestadt

Every age has its Brontë interpreters from Mrs Gaskell and Winifred Gerin to Jane Sellars and Lucasta Miller.

It was Juliet Barker's 1994 biography, however, that most dramatically reclaimed the sisters as flesh-and-blood human beings – giving wild romantic Emily, love-sick Anne, and "poor" Charlotte long needed makeovers.

Now revised and updated, Barker's new edition takes into account important new developments in Brontë studies - in particular throwing new light on Branwell's juvenilia, and re-dating key manuscripts.

Yet more touching are the few pieces of original material to emerge, including a letter from Charlotte describing her wedding dress, and a note from the Bishop of Ripon comforting Patrick Brontë on the death of his sixth and last child.

Belfast Telegraph


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