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

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408708309
    • Publication date:21 Apr 2016

The Brontës: A Life in Letters

By Juliet Barker

  • Hardback
  • £25.00

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: 9781408708316
  • Publication date: 21 Apr 2016
  • Page count: 464
  • 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
Constable

Glorious Goodwood

James Peill
Authors:
James Peill

Famous throughout the world as England's greatest sporting estate, Goodwood has been the home of English sport for centuries: from foxhunting to cricket, from shooting to horse racing, from golf to motor sports.Glorious Goodwood takes the reader on a historic journey starting in the eighteenth century with the escapades of the first Duke of Richmond (Charles II's illegitimate son), through the nineteenth century, up to the twentieth century with the Brussels and Scottish interludes and into the present day.The three hundred years that the book embraces chart the ups and downs of a great English aristocratic family and how they responded to the challenges life presented, both as people of their times and as innovators, always with a love of sport that they willingly shared with others.

Little, Brown

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History

Richard J. Evans
Authors:
Richard J. Evans
Center Street

Trailblazer

Dorothy Butler Gilliam
Authors:
Dorothy Butler Gilliam
PublicAffairs

Freak Kingdom

Timothy Denevi
Authors:
Timothy Denevi

Hunter S. Thompson is best remembered today as a caricature: drug-addled, sharp-witted, and passionate; played with bowlegged aplomb by Johnny Depp; memorialized as a Doonesbury character. In all this entertainment, the true figure of Thompson has unfortunately been forgotten.In this perceptive, dramatic book, Tim Denevi recounts the moment when Thompson found his calling. As the Kennedy assassination and the turmoil of the 60s paved the way for Richard Nixon, Thompson greeted him with two very powerful emotions: fear and loathing. In his fevered effort to take down what he saw as a rising dictator, Thompson made a kind of Faustian bargain, taking the drugs he needed to meet newspaper deadlines and pushing himself beyond his natural limits. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.This remarkable biography reclaims Hunter Thompson for the enigmatic true believer he was: not a punchline or a cartoon character, but a fierce, colorful opponent of fascism in a country that suddenly seemed all too willing to accept it.

Center Street

Death Need Not Be Fatal

Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald
Authors:
Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald

In his book, DEATH NEED NOT BE FATAL, McCourt explores the role death has played and continues to play in his life and in the world. From the dead babies and starving children in the Limerick of his childhood, to Angela's famous ashes, to the deaths of McCourt's brothers Frank and Mike - and McCourt's own impending demise - the Grim Reaper has been a constant companion and reminder of what is important, and what's not.McCourt writes that, as he draws closer to death, his perception of death has become crystal clear. When it occurs, he does not plan to pass away, pass on, or cross over. He's not going to make the supreme sacrifice or come to an untidy end; he is not going to be laid to rest, meet his maker, or go to his eternal reward. He is not going to breath his last, bite the dust, kick the bucket, or buy the farm; he's not going to turn up his toes, join the silent majority, become a landowner, take a dirt nap, push up daisies, play a harp, take a taxi, give up his ghost, feed the worms, enter the sweet hereafter, or shuffle off the mortal coil. He plans to die.

Hachette Australia

Hamilton Hume

Robert Macklin
Authors:
Robert Macklin

'You almost feel you are taking that trek with the party as Robert Macklin cites the obstacles - torrential river crossings, dense bush, the Snowy Mountains and more. Macklin covers Hume's public and private life, emphasising his affinity with the country and rapport with the Indigenous people, as well as providing a portrait of the evolving colony.' SYDNEY MORNING HERALDWhile English-born soldiers, sailors and surveyors have claimed pride of place among the explorers of the young New South Wales colony, the real pathfinder was a genuine native-born Australian. Hamilton Hume, a man with a profound understanding of the Aboriginal people and an almost mystical relationship with the Australian bush, led settlers from the cramped surrounds of Sydney Town to the vast fertile country that would provide the wealth to found and sustain a new nation.Robert Macklin, author of the critically acclaimed DARK PARADISE, tells the heroic tale of this young Australian man who outdid his English 'betters' by crossing the Blue Mountains, finding a land route from Sydney to Port Phillip and opening up western New South Wales. His contribution to the development of the colony was immense but downplayed in deference to explorers of British origin. HAMILTON HUME uncovers this brave man's achievements and paints an intriguing and at times shocking portrait of colonial life, by the author of the bestselling SAS SNIPER.'Robert Macklin calls Hamilton Hume 'our greatest explorer', and now that I've read this enthralling but at times shocking story, I totally agree.' ***** GOOD READING

Virago

Nothing Sacred

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter
Virago

Food And Loathing

Betsy Lerner
Authors:
Betsy Lerner

In FOOD AND LOATHING a bright, chubby girl believes that thinness is next to godliness and so attends one of the first meetings of Overeaters Anonymous in 1975. Her twenties are marked by yo-yo dieting, depressive episodes and a sadistic shrink. Then, just as her dream of being a writer is within reach, entering Columbia's prestigious MFA program, she spirals into a suicidal depression and lands for a six-month stay at New York State Psychiatric Institute. There a young resident helps her take her first steps towards selfhood, unravelling the self-loathing of an eating disorder coupled with a paralysing mood disorder. He also helps her confront a tragic family secret whose silence had enveloped an otherwise average Jewish middle-class family. FOOD AND LOATHING is a book about how people use food to narcotise, to love and to escape. It's about therapy - the good, the bad, and the down right destructive - and about every woman who spends too much of her life thinking about her weight and how she can forgive herself for living - and even learn to love.

Sphere

Born Survivors

Wendy Holden
Authors:
Wendy Holden
Hachette Audio US

The Light of the World

Elizabeth Alexander
Authors:
Elizabeth Alexander

A deeply resonant memoir for anyone who has loved and lost, from acclaimed poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander.In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander--poet, mother, and wife--finds herself at an existential crossroads after the death of her husband, who was just 49. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a re-energized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding, and acceptance, taking stock of herself at the midcentury mark. This memoir is about being strong when you want to collapse, being grateful when someone has been stolen from you--but mostly, it's about discovering the truth in life's journey: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Da Capo Press

So Many Roads

David Browne
Authors:
David Browne
Little, Brown

Jeremy Thorpe

Michael Bloch
Authors:
Michael Bloch

'A revealing, insightful and gripping biography of one of the most extraordinary people ever to lead a British political party' ObserverThe story of Jeremy Thorpe's rapid rise and spectacular fall from grace is one of the most remarkable in British politics. When he became leader of the Liberal Party in 1967 at the age of just thirty-seven, he seemed destined for truly great things. But as his star steadily rose so his nemesis drew ever nearer: a time-bomb in the form of Norman Scott, a homosexual wastrel and sometime male model with whom Jeremy had formed an ill-advised relationship in the early 1960s. Scott's incessant boasts about their 'affair' became increasingly embarrassing, and eventually led to a bizarre murder plot to shut him up for good. Jeremy was acquitted of involvement but his career was in ruins.Michael Bloch's magisterial biography is not just a brilliant retelling of this amazing story; ten years in the making, it is also the definitive character study of one of the most fascinating figures in post-war British politics.

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 in Agincourt 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.

Sphere

The Shop Girls: Rosemary's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour
Sphere

The Shop Girls: Betty's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour
Sphere

The Shop Girls: Irene's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour

For Irene, working in Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once she steps inside the elegant building - surrounded by beautiful dresses, sumptuous fabrics and glamorous accessories - the hardships and struggles of her own life are temporarily forgotten. Heyworth's is a magical place, where Irene and her friends - in their smart, simple black dresses - serve the fashionable elite of Cambridge, and glimpse lives of style and ease far beyond anything they had ever imagined. It is also a place where hard work and talent are valued, and where these young women can forge a successful career. Set against the backdrop of the closing years of the Second World War, and moving into the 1950s, The Shop Girls perfectly captures the camaraderie and friendship of four ambitious young women working together in a store that offered them an escape from the drudgery of their wartime childhoods. Each of the girls' stories will be individually published from July 2014 in fortnightly serialised ebooks, leading up to the release of the complete edition (with bonus material) in September.

Sphere

The Shop Girls: Eve's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour
Hachette Books

Kate

Katie Nicholl
Authors:
Katie Nicholl

Katie Nicholl, bestselling author and royal correspondent for The Mail on Sunday , gives an inside look into the life of the future Queen of England, Kate Middleton. Since becoming Duchess Catherine of Cambridge in 2011, Middleton has captivated royals fans around the world and now, Nicholl delivers the story of her early life, first romances, and love with Prince William. Nicholl will reveal new details on Middleton's initiation into royal life and, of course, her first pregnancy.

Back Bay

Love And Capital

Mary Gabriel
Authors:
Mary Gabriel
Virago

The Veiled Kingdom

Carmen Bin Ladin
Authors:
Carmen Bin Ladin

On September 11th 2001, Carmen Bin Ladin heard the news on the radio that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her brother-in-law's name would be linked to these horrifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to the victims in America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again. In 1974 Carmen, half Swiss and half Persian, married Yeslam Bin Ladin and found herself inside the complex and vast clan of Bin Laden, part of a society that at that point she neither knew nor understood. Carmen Bin Ladin's story takes us inside one of the most powerful, secretive and repressive kingdoms in the world.