The Brontes: Wild Genious on the Moors

Juliet Barker


All I knew of Charlotte Bronte’s life, I read in Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography, written shortly after Charlotte’s death.  This book was an good antidote to that uneven, inaccurate in places, highly emotional book.

Starting with Patrick Bronte as a young man, and ending with the aftermath of Charlotte’s death in childbirth, the book is full of detail, derived from the in-depth research of the author. Coming in at 1100+ pages, it requires a commitment  on the part of the reader, one that is richly rewarded with the in-depth study of an unusual family.

It is well worth the time necessary to immerse oneself in the world of the Brontes.


Reader, I Married Him

Tracy Chevalier


I’ve been reading and re-reading Jane Eyre since high school, 50+ years ago, so my eye was caught by the title of this book. In it are 21 short stories by women inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. Sometimes the connection is very tenuous, almost indecipherable, sometimes overt, as in the short story Grace Pool Her Testimony. My favorite was The Self-Seeding Sycamore by Lionel Shriver. It doesn’t have a close connection to Jane Eyre, but Shriver’s writing is so delicious. it enjoyable on its own. It’s the only story I flipped back to find out who had written it, and I was please to find the name of one of my favorite authors.