Charlotte Bronte's Works, with Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte's Works (in 6 vols.)
London: Robert Riviere & Son, [N.D.].
London: Robert Riviere & Son, [N.D.]. Temple Press Edition. Finely bound by Riviere & Son in half calf over cloth, with ornate gilt to spines. Top edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Measuring 170 x 105mm and collating complete with frontis, half title, and full title to each volume. A Near Fine set, with some minor marks to closed text blocks of several volumes and small bump to the crown of Shirley. In all, a lovely, square example of these important feminist novels.
The moorlands surrounding Haworth Parsonage "had a profound influence on the writing of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte...at their home the children created a rich imaginary world. Any books that came their way were eagerly devoured, and they produced their own books as well" (Bronte Society). As the sisters rose to adulthood, their novels began to focus on the complex emotional lives of women from all walks of life -- from orphans to governesses to heiresses -- but with the greatest emphasis on those whose educations and livelihoods most reflected their own. With clear-sightedness, they used their knowledge of gendered, economic, and social constraints to develop their best material. Again, the moorlands of their upbringing affected their writing. Anne's work was like a still day before a storm. And "if Charlotte's novels keep up a stiff wind, Emily's one novel is a thunderstorm. Their characters...have such a gust of life that they transcend reality" (Dean). Publishing under gender neutral pseudonyms of Currer Bell, Ellis Bell, and Acton Bell, the three talented authors were able to release their works to the public without the kind of critcism that fell on women of the time. It was with the publication of Anne's second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, that the women were forced to reveal their true identities when an unscrupulous publisher attempted to use Currer Bell's name to sell another, less successful author's works. The literary fame that came with the Brontes' revelation led only to a short lived happiness, as all three died at early ages. Yet their legacy remains in the rich literary work they left behind, which continues to inspire scholarly attention as well as a range of popular interpretations and reimaginings. Near Fine (Item #5819)