A fascinating and thoroughaccount of Charlotte and Emily Bronte'sformative stay in Brusselsduring 1842-43The Brontes' time in Belgium, five years before they became best-selling authors, is the least-known episode of their lives, but is a fascinating and important one.
The book follows in the tracks of the sisters in Brussels, describing their life in the city: though the school where they came to study French has now disappeared, there is still a lot to be seen of the city the sisters knew; two of Charlotte's four novels ("Villette" and "The Professor") are also based on her spell abroad, which was pivotal to her both as a writer and personally, since she fell in love with her teacher Constantin Heger.
Charlotte's moving and harrowing letters to Heger a respectable married man are reproduced in full here and belie the common image of her as the motherly and strait-laced Bronte.
Also including maps of the period, extracts from Villette reflecting real-life experiences in Brussels and translations of the sisters' little-known "Belgian essays," what emerges is a complete portrait of a slice of literary history as well as a haunting evocation of a time and a place that came to haunt the Brontes themselves."
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 260 pages
- Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
- Publication Date: 12/12/2013
- Category: Biography: literary
- ISBN: 9780720615883