Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre

Glynnis Fawkes. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-368-02329-0
Fawkes’s lively biography of Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) depicts the formation of a writing life with wit and insight. The three Brontë sisters, along with their brother Branwell, spend much of their loss-riddled childhood co- authoring the dramatic saga of a fantasyland, Glass Town, in and around Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. As young adults, their storytelling anchors their experiences as Charlotte receives poor treatment at school, chafes under her work as a governess, and—along with her sisters—faces the realities of getting published as a woman writer. One of the joys of Fawkes’s slender volume is that Charlotte does not suffer in noble silence; she is openly ambitious, even resenting what teaching steals from her creative life. Though some of the portrait’s strengths can be attributed to the subject herself—this book relies heavily on her letters and poems—Fawkes is a deft and economical editor. With sure-handed, irreverent illustrations, she captures life on the windswept moors and masters the art of Victorian side-eye. Her Charlotte Brontë is as smart, brooding, and rebellious as Jane Eyre, and her volume offers an accessible introduction to and an elaboration on the Brontës’ work. Ages 10–14. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/30/2019
Release date: 09/24/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-1-368-04582-7
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