Review: Charlotte & Emily: A Novel of the Brontës by Jude Morgan

Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontës by Jude Morgan
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, paperback
Publication Date: April, 2010
Category: Historical, General
Source: Library
Recommended by: Sam @ Tiny Library
I had a hard time finding this at first because in Great Britain the title is The Taste of Sorrow 

Description:
From an obscure country parsonage came three extraordinary sisters, who defied the outward bleakness of their lives to create the most brilliant literary work of their time. Now, in an astonishingly daring novel by the acclaimed Jude Morgan, the genius of the haunted Brontës is revealed and the sisters are brought to full, resplendent life: Emily, who turned from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination; gentle Anne, who suffered the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her; and the brilliant, uncompromising, and tormented Charlotte, who longed for both love and independence, and learned their ultimate price. 

My Thoughts:
First, a word about the title: Why? Why do they call these books different things in different countries? And why did they leave poor Anne off of the title in The United States? Sigh, poor Anne. 

I believe that this is the first Morgan book I’ve ever read. I do think that if I’d have read any of his other work I would have rushed out to find the rest immediately. This book was excellent

Oh that Brontë family! The awful boarding school, the spoiled drunken brother, the deaths of such young sisters…the tragedies never ended for them. Only Charlotte lived to be 40, and she outlived her 5 siblings by years. Were the novels they ended up publishing to be expected because of their bleak lives? Or is it a miracle that they were able to write at all? 

Keep in mind that this is a work of fiction, but it did bring the Brontë family to life for me. I enjoyed this very, very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction or in the lives of the Brontë sisters.

What Other Bloggers Thought:
Tiny Library
Readin’ and Dreamin’
Iris on Books

31 thoughts on “Review: Charlotte & Emily: A Novel of the Brontës by Jude Morgan

  1. Yay, you read it :)I agree with you about the title change – it's unnecessary and leaves out Anne, who does have her own role to play in the story. But I do like your cover better, so maybe it evens out.I want to read more by Morgan too, I might try his book about Shakespeare next.

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  2. Different covers for different countries tend to make me nuts too. But title changes? That's just silly! It makes it difficult to find certain books…I can't imagine authors like that? Well, I'm just glad I found this one 🙂

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  3. This sounds like a neat book! To be honest, I don't know much about their actual lives, so I think I'd probably look into that before reading it so I could compare fact with fiction.

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  4. I am always leery about reading fictionalized novels about beloved authors, and the Bronte sisters count among my most beloved of authors. This one might have me changing my stance on that though. Thanks for a great review!

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  5. Now I feel silly, this is The Taste of Sorrow? I guess that narrows down the list of Bronte books to read. Agreed – I'll never understand why they title books differently. If it's an issue of dialect or culture, just name the book something that will work generally. Glad you liked it. If they did write that way because of their lives then it feels awkward to say the books are favourites, yet in a way a nice tribute.

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  6. Poor Anne indeed. I found a huge compendium of Charlotte and Emily's novels at a secondhand book fair last month, 4 books in one huge volume, and not a word about Anne in the introduction, blurb or anywhere. She's still sort-of-canon rather than definite-canon.

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