The Belgian Essays

Voorkant
Yale University Press, 1996 - 468 pagina's
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Venturing out of Yorkshire for the first time in their lives, the Bronte sisters Charlotte and Emily traveled to Brussels in 1842, and Charlotte returned for another visit in 1843. The journeys proved to be pivotal in both their writing careers. Under the tutelage of their brilliant teacher Constantin Heger, the young authors penned the twenty-eight essays (devoirs) collected for the first time in this volume. Each essay, presented in its original French, is accompanied by an English translation and commentary to establish historical and literary context. Where M. Heger made comments, they are reproduced in full. Nine of the essays have never been published before. Sue Lonoff offers a mine of information on the Brontes and their Brussels experience, exploring why the months in Belgium meant so much to the sisters and how their writing exercises affected their developing prose styles.

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - Philosophercat - LibraryThing

This book contains transcriptions of essays Emily and Charlotte Bronte wrote at a girl's boarding school in Belgium. This was a critical time in Charlotte's development as a writer, and many scholars ... Volledige review lezen

The Belgian essays

Gebruikersrecensie  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1842, Charlotte and Emily Bronte traveled from their father's home in Haworth to study at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels. There, under the tutelage of their teacher, Constantin Heger, the sisters ... Volledige review lezen

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Over de auteur (1996)

Charlotte Bronte, the third of six children, was born April 21, 1816, to the Reverend Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell Bronte in Yorkshire, England. Along with her sisters, Emily and Anne, she produced some of the most impressive writings of the 19th century. The Brontes lived in a time when women used pseudonyms to conceal their female identity, hence Bronte's pseudonym, Currer Bell. Charlotte Bronte was only five when her mother died of cancer. In 1824, she and three of her sisters attended the Clergy Daughter's School in Cowan Bridge. The inspiration for the Lowood School in the classic Jane Eyre was formed by Bronte's experiences at the Clergy Daughter's School. Her two older sisters died of consumption because of the malnutrition and harsh treatment they suffered at the school. Charlotte and Emily Bronte returned home after the tragedy. The Bronte sisters fueled each other's creativity throughout their lives. As young children, they wrote long stories together about a complex imaginary kingdom they created from a set of wooden soldiers. In 1846, Charlotte Bronte, with her sisters Emily and Anne published a thin volume titled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In the same year, Charlotte Bronte attempted to publish her novel, The Professor, but was rejected. One year later, she published Jane Eyre, which was instantly well received. Charlotte Bronte's life was touched by tragedy many times. Despite several proposals of marriage, she did not accept an offer until 1854 when she married the Reverend A. B. Nicholls. One year later, at the age of 39, she died of pneumonia while she was pregnant. Her previously rejected novel, The Professor, was published posthumously in 1857.

Emily Bronte, the sister of Charlotte, shared the same isolated childhood on the Yorkshire moors. Emily, however, seems to have been much more affected by the eerie desolation of the moors than was Charlotte. Her one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), draws much of its power from its setting in that desolate landscape. Emily's work is also marked by a passionate intensity that is sometimes overpowering. According to English poet and critic Matthew Arnold, "for passion, vehemence, and grief she had no equal since Byron." This passion is evident in the poetry she contributed to the collection (Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell) published by the Bronte sisters in 1846 under male pseudonyms in response to the prejudices of the time. Her passion reached far force, however, in her novel, Wuthering Heights. Bronte's novel defies easy classification. It is certainly a story of love, but just as certainly it is not a "love story". It is a psychological novel, but is so filled with hints of the supernatural and mystical that the reader is unsure of how much control the characters have over their own actions. It may seem to be a study of right and wrong, but is actually a study of good and evil. Above all, it is a novel of power and fierce intensity that has gripped readers for more than 100 years.

Bibliografische gegevens