Author Exploration: The Bronte Sisters

Hi guys I hope you are all well. It is time for another author exploration post. Today I thought I would share my thoughts on the works of the Bronte sisters. I have read the majority of their books, I think, but I have read no poetry by any of the sisters. You probably all know of the Bronte sisters but if you don’t they comprise of three British sisters. The eldest was Charlotte Bronte, then Emily Bronte and the youngest was Anne Bronte. They lived during the 1800’s and between the three of them wrote 8 books (correct me if I’m wrong). I am a big fan of the sisters so I thought they would be perfect to be the topic of this author exploration. Let’s get started.
Charlotte Bronte:
  • Jane Eyre  ★ – first published 1847 – I have mentioned my love for this book before so I am going to keep this short :). It is one of my all time favourite classics. Jane is one of the all time favourite characters – her strength, her serenity, her intelligence and the journey of her growth is just a pleasure to read. The writing is wonderful. I think some would find the pacing a bit slow at times, but I personally never had this issue. For me it is engaging throughout and even when the pacing is slow the writing itself will keep you engaged. I also highly recommend the BBC TV adaptation starring Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson – it is so good. I personally think this is the best place to start, if you are new to Charlotte or the sisters as a whole.
  • Shirley  ★.5 – first published 1849 – I found this one hard to rate as I appreciated the book more than I actually enjoyed it. It is a pretty dense read. The feminism in this book is a pleasure to read but the lack of a driving plot meant that it does drag abit. I had to push myself to read it as time because of it. It is a slow read, but it is well worth the time for the themes present.
  • Villette ★.5 – first published 1853 – Again this was a bit mixed for me. You can clearly see her skill as a writer, but something about this just didn’t quite work for me. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it, but not as much as Jane EyreLucy Snowe is quite an intriguing character, but I didn’t really care about any of the other characters. It is quite dense and slow moving but nothing that you can’t get into within a few chapters. To me it felt abit inconsistent – which is interesting as this book is based around her own experiences so perhaps she had difficulty melding fiction with reality. The characters also seemed quite inconsistent at times as well. I found it to be a bit confusing at times, and it took me a while to get into it. Overall I enjoyed this but I also had a few issues with it.
  • The Professor – first published 1857 – unread
  • Emma – first published 1860 – unread

 

Anne Bronte:
  • Agnes Grey ★ – first published in 1847 – In my opinion this is an underrated classic. The story is straightforward and engaging.  The writing is wonderful, the characters are well written and Agnes is a great female protagonist. This book also touches on some interesting themes and I think this is a great place to start with classics or if you are new to the Bronte sisters.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall ★ – first published in 1848 – I think Anne is so underrated compared to her sisters. This book is definitely up there with Jane Eyre as one of my favourite classics – it may be my favourite book by all the Bronte sisters. The writing is phenomenal and the issues raised are so progressive for the time ( feminism, alcoholism, abuse). As I mentioned the writing is wonderful but it is also easy to read and it is engaging throughout.  Helen is an amazing female protagonist. I think this is a timeless piece of literature and I would highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of classics in general.

 

Emily Bronte:

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  • Wuthering Heights  – first published in 1847 – This book is definitely one that you will either love or hate. You won’t like any of the characters, especially the two main characters, but I think that showcases Emily’s skill at creating screwed up characters. It is a great look into human nature. So if you are the type of reader who doesn’t enjoy reading about unlikeable characters then this really is not the book for you and I would avoid it at all costs. However if you can appreciate unlikeable characters, than you need to check this book out. The setting of this books is one of my favourite things about it – I love the wilderness of the moors and it is a perfect backdrop to the story. However it did take me a little while to get fully engaged with the plot, so definitely try to make it past the first 100 pages or so.
I think it is safe to say I am a big fan of the Bronte sisters and I look forward to completing all of their books in the future :). Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall are definitely my two favourite books by these three authors. Let me know your thoughts on the sisters – what is your favourite book by them? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Author Exploration: The Bronte Sisters

  1. That edition of Jane Eyre (the grey floral one) is gorgeous. Somehow I’ve lived 23 years only reading Wuthering Heights, which I didn’t enjoy (I just thought the whole thing was creepy haha), so will definitely put these on my list! I used to live near Anne Bronte’s grave a few years ago actually, it’s in Scarborough.

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  2. Pingback: The Sunday Post #19| 23/04/2017 | Drink Coffee and Read books

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