Juliet Barker - The Brontës: A Life in Letters - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £25.00
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408708316
    • Publication date:21 Apr 2016

The Brontës: A Life in Letters

By Juliet Barker

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The definitive collection of the Brontes' letters, selected by the unrivalled authority on the family.

The Brontë story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Brontës themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate.
Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Brontës has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity.
Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Brontë's devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence.
The Brontë letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Brontës to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.

Biographical Notes

Born in Yorkshire, Juliet Barker was educated at Bradford Girls' Grammar School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where she studied history. Widely acclaimed for setting new standards of literary biography, she is also an expert on chivalry and the world authority on medieval English tournaments. Her books include The Brontës,Conquest and the bestselling Agincourt. In 1999 she was one of the youngest ever recipients of an honorary Doctorate of Letters,awarded by the University of Bradford in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literary biography, and in 2001 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is married,with two children, and lives in the South Pennines.

www.julietbarker.co.uk

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781408708309
  • Publication date: 21 Apr 2016
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Little, Brown

The Brontes: A Life in Letters is exhilarating because it is a portrait of six extraordinary people in their
own words . . . Barker's interpolations are not numerous but pithy and to the point

— Express
An immersive experience in understanding how the sisters worked together to give their storytelling genius to the world — Toronto Star
Little, Brown US

Sting-Ray Afternoons

Steve Rushin
Authors:
Steve Rushin

Steve Rushin's childhood featured Bic Pen spitball launchers, Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles, light sabers and Schwinn bikes, and a father whose job was selling 8-track tapes for 3M. In STINGRAY AFTERNOONS, he uses the objects of '70s America to tell the story of a father, and a family that seems right out of That '70s Show -- and begins to go its own ways at the dawn of the '80s.A rare talent able to blend the laugh out loud funny with tender moments, Rushin invites readers into his childhood. His observations of America during this period -- its litterbugs, leaded gas, and cultural rebirth -- add up to a powerful memoir and a poignant look at a family that you'll want to share with every child of the '70s you know.

Virago

What Language Do I Dream In?

Elena Lappin
Authors:
Elena Lappin
Abacus

Blood And Fire

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

An uneducated youth, William Booth left home in 1849 at the age of twenty to preach the gospel for the New Methodist Connexion. Six years later he founded a new religious movement which succeeded to such a degree that the Salvation Army (which it became) is now a worldwide operation with massive membership.But that is only part of Booth's importance and heritage. In many ways his story is also that of the Victorian poor, as he and his wife Catherine made it their lives' work to battle against the poverty and deprivation which were endemic in the mid- to late 1800s. Indeed, it was Catherine who, although a chronic invalid, inspired the Army's social policy and attitude to female authority. Her campaign against child prostitution resulted in the age of consent being raised and it was Catherine who, dying of cancer, encouraged William to clear the slums -- In Darkest England, The Way Out. Roy Hattersley's masterful dual biography is not just the story of two fascinating lives but a portrait of an integral part of our history.

Abacus

A Yorkshire Boyhood

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

It was not until he was dead and I was forty that I realised my father was once in Holy Orders,' Roy Hattersley tells us in the opening pages of A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD; so setting the tone for an elegant, continually surprising book.A somewhat precocious only child, Roy grew up surrounded by protective, ever-anxious adults, equally determined to expose him to books and to shield him from germs -- second-hand books were decontaminated by a sharp session in the oven. Uncle Ernest, a timber merchant's clerk celebrated for his skill at 'fretwork and the manipulation of Indian clubs'; a ten-year feud with the next-door neighbours; unwavering devotion to Sheffield Wednesday - all the pleasures and pangs of northern working-class childhood are magnificently evoked as Roy Hattersley takes us through the hardships of the Thirties and the Blitz; and into the 1940s, the 11-plus examination and Grammar School.Completely updated, A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD is an autobiographical essay of unusual wit, eloquence and candour.

Abacus

Who Goes Home?

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley
Abacus

John Wesley: A Brand From The Burning

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

John Wesley led the Second English Reformation. His Methodist 'Connexion' was divided from the Church of England, not by dogma and doctrine but by the new relationship which it created between clergy and people. Throughout a life tortured by doubt about true faith and tormented by a series of bizarre relationships with women, Wesley kept his promise to 'live and die an ordained priest of the Established Church'. However by the end of the long pilgrimage - from the Oxford Holy Club through colonial Georgia to every market place in England - he knew that separation was inevitable. But he could not have realised that his influence on the new industrial working class would play a major part in shaping society during the century of Britain's greatest power and influence and that Methodism would become a worldwide religion and the inspiration of 20th century television evangelism.

Little, Brown

Theft by Finding

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris
Basic Books

Toussaint Louverture

Philippe Girard
Authors:
Philippe Girard

Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. Born into bondage in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, he witnessed first-hand the torture of the enslaved population. Yet he managed to secure his freedom and establish himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own.In Toussaint Louverture , Philippe Girard reveals the dramatic story of how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman to revolutionary hero. In 1791, the unassuming Louverture masterminded the only successful slave revolt in history. By 1801, he was general and governor of Saint-Domingue, and an international statesman who forged treaties with Britain, France, Spain, and the United States,empires that feared the effect his example would have on their slave regimes. Louveture's ascendency was short-lived, however. In 1802, he was exiled to France, dying soon after as one of the most famous men in the world, variously feared and celebrated as the Black Napoleon."As Girard shows, in life Louverture was not an idealist, but an ambitious pragmatist. He strove not only for abolition and independence, but to build Saint-Domingue's economic might and elevate his own social standing. He helped free Saint-Domingue's slaves yet immediately restricted their rights in the interests of protecting the island's sugar production. He warded off French invasions but embraced the cultural model of the French gentility.In death, Louverture quickly passed into legend, his memory inspiring abolitionist, black nationalist, and anti-colonialist movements well into the 20th century. Deeply researched and bracingly original, Toussaint Louverture is the definitive biography of one of the most influential people of his era, or any other.

Constable

Lucky Lupin

Charlie Mortimer
Authors:
Charlie Mortimer

Lucky Lupin is a poignant yet light-hearted story of survival against the odds, based on Charlie Mortimer's life with HIV/Aids during the early years (1984-1996), when there was neither treatment nor cure. Using a combination of good luck, gallows humour, Fray Bentos pies and copious quantities of Solpadeine, Charlie survived not only the illness but the hysteria that accompanied the so-called 'gay plague'. Anyone infected became a social pariah; had the local launderette got word of his illness they wouldn't have washed his sheets but burnt them. Whilst taking full responsibility for the consequences of his behaviour - 'The fact is you don't get AIDS from watching telly' - Charlie initially took to the sofa and prepared for death, but, in time, he found the inner strength required to confront his fatal diagnosis, becoming, among other things, an antiques dealer and contemporary art collector.With blistering and often hilarious candour Charlie also recounts his childhood where he developed a passion for cars, cultivated by his adventurous mother 'Nidnod', his dizzying array of careers and somewhat curious domestic arrangements including the 'adoption' of a bank robber for twelve years. He also confronts head on his experiences of coming to terms with confused sexuality, addiction, epilepsy and clinical depression before finding lasting contentment.Praise for Dear Lupin:'As well as being the funniest book I've read in ages, it's also extremely touching. A delight then, on every front.' The Spectator 'Very, very funny.' Sunday Times'Wry, trenchant, often extremely funny, but also charmingly forbearing and forgiving.' Country Life

Grand Central Publishing

The Light of the World

Elizabeth Alexander
Authors:
Elizabeth Alexander

In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of the intimacy they shared, grappling with the resulting void, and finding solace in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into rich, lucid prose that universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is both an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares about what matters most, this book is required reading.

Running Press Adult

When They Were Boys

Larry Kane
Authors:
Larry Kane
PublicAffairs

The Next Pandemic

Ali Khan, William Patrick
Authors:
Ali Khan, William Patrick
Da Capo Press

How to Be a Man

Chris Kornelis, Duff McKagan
Authors:
Chris Kornelis, Duff McKagan
Running Press Adult

Detroit Hustle

Amy Haimerl
Authors:
Amy Haimerl

Journalist Amy Haimerl and her husband had been priced out of their Brooklyn neighbourhood. Seeing this as a great opportunity to start over again, they decide to cash in their savings and buy an abandoned house for 35,000 in Detroit, the largest city in the United States to declare bankruptcy. As she and her husband restore the 1914 Georgian Revival, a stately brick house with no plumbing, no heat, and no electricity, Amy finds a community of Detroiters who, like herself, aren't afraid of a little hard work or things that are a little rough around the edges. Filled with amusing and touching anecdotes about navigating a real-estate market that is rife with scams, finding a contractor who is a lover of C.S. Lewis and willing to quote him liberally, and neighbours who either get teary-eyed at the sight of newcomers or urge Amy and her husband to get out while they can, Amy writes evocatively about the charms and challenges of finding her footing in a city whose future is in question. Detroit Hustle is a memoir that is both a meditation on what it takes to make a house a home, and a love letter to a much-derided city.

PublicAffairs

I Swear I'll Make It Up to You

Mishka Shubaly
Authors:
Mishka Shubaly

An odyssey of family, heartbreak, violence, punk rock, brokenness, broke-ness, sex, love, loss, drinking, drinking, drinking, and an unlikely savior: distance running.A misfit kid at the best of times, Mishka Shubaly had his world shattered when, in a twenty-four-hour span in 1992, he survived a mass shooting on his school's campus, then learned that his parents were getting divorced. His father, a prominent rocket scientist, abandoned the family and their home was lost to foreclosure. Shubaly swore to avenge the wrongs against his mother, but instead plunged into a magnificently toxic love affair with alcohol.Almost two decades later, Shubaly's life changed again when a fateful five-mile run after a bar fight inspired him to clean up his life. And when he finally reconnected with his estranged father, he discovered the story of his childhood was radically different from what he thought he knew. In this fiercely honest, emotional, and self-laceratingly witty book, Shubaly relives his mistakes, misfortunes, and infrequent good decisions: the disastrous events that fractured his life his incendiary romances his hot-and-cold career as a rock musician meeting his newborn nephew while out of his gourd on cough syrup. I Swear I'll Make It Up to You is an apology for choices Shubaly never thought he'd live long enough to regret, a journey so far down the low road that it took him years of running to claw his way back.

Hachette Audio

Naked

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris

PublicAffairs

First Ladies

C-SPAN, Susan Swain
Authors:
C-SPAN, Susan Swain

A look inside the personal life of every first lady in American history, based on original interviews with major historiansC-SPAN's yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image , featured interviews with more than fifty preeminent historians and biographers. In this informative book, these experts paint intimate portraits of all forty-five first ladies,their lives, ambitions, and unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. Susan Swain and the C-SPAN team elicit the details that made these women who they were: how Martha Washington intentionally set the standards followed by first ladies for the next century how Edith Wilson was complicit in the cover-up when President Wilson became incapacitated after a stroke and how Mamie Eisenhower used the new medium of television to reinforce her, and her husband's, positive public images.This book provides an up-close historical look at these fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the White House, sometimes at great personal cost, while supporting their families and famous husbands,and sometimes changing history. Complete with illustrations and essential biographical details, it is an illuminating, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring read.

Little, Brown

England, Arise

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker

The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what everyday life was like for ordinary people living in the middle ages. The same highly successful techniques she deployed inAgincourt and Conquest will this time be brought to bear on civilian society, from the humblest serf forced to provide slave-labour for his master in the fields, to the prosperous country goodwife brewing, cooking and spinning her distaff and the ambitious burgess expanding his business and his mental horizons in the town.The book will explore how and why such a diverse and unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda which, had it been implemented, would have fundamentally transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. The book will not only provide an important reassessment of the revolt itself but will also be an illuminating and original study of English medieval life at the time.

Abacus

Barrel Fever

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris
Piatkus

George Michael

Rob Jovanovic
Authors:
Rob Jovanovic

George Michael is an enigma. While he is one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, he also fiercely protective of his privacy. From the formation of Wham! In 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. His music formed the soundtrack to the 1980s and he achieved all of this despite growing up in a dysfunctional family where his father openly proclaimed that George had no talent. Wham! Split in 1986 but Michael went on to greater things as a solo artist. Along the way he has been embroiled in several controversies, but in a refreshing change to other superstars, he has been happy to address his issues head-on in the media. A court case with Sony; an arrest in a Los Angeles public toilet; minor run-ins over class-C drugs; and traffic offences in London. Rob Jovanovic's new biography of George Michael tackles the issues that formed the superstar today and his place as a cultural icon. It also for the first time analyses Michael's musical output and groundbreaking videos, right up to his triumphant 2006 tour, the first in 15 years as Michael returned from the music wilderness.