The Brontes

The Brontes have fascinated readers for generations; since their first publications. How were these girls (!) from some obscure county parsonage able to produce such powerful works? How were they writing at all? Who were these audacious sisters? They have a truly astonishing story.

If you want to read other novels by the Bronte sisters, here are your choices:

  • Charlotte – Villette; Shirley; The Professor
  • Emily – Wuthering Heights
  • Anne – Agnes Grey; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

villette  wuthering heights  agnes grey 

If you want to read about the Bronte sisters:

the bronte sisters

The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Emily, Charlotte, and Anne by Catherine Reef, 2012, 231 p.

This group biography is written for a young adult audience but it is highly readable. It describes the lives of the Bronte sisters, their at times heartbreaking and turbulent lives and the oppressive times they lived in. The biography offers insights into the sister’s novels and poetry, and includes archival images. Told as narrative nonfiction, it is, according to Kirkus, a “solid and captivating look at their lives.”

If you want to read about Charlotte Bronte:


The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell, 1857

Mrs. Gaskell was a friend and contemporary of Charlotte Bronte’s. She completed Charlotte’s biography two years after her death in 1855. It is a vivid and sensitive account of a remarkable woman’s life, really designed as a defense and vindication of the woman. Being a contemporary, Gaskell was able to interview those who knew Bronte and also had access to her letters. The biography is a descriptive and evocative account.

For more information on the Brontes, check out this interesting site provided by the Bronte parsonage museum.


There is also practically a whole genre of “Bronte fiction.” These books are historical fiction or biographical novels. They blend elements of the Bronte’s lives both real and imagined, while trying to maintain historical accuracy.

the taste of sorrow

The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan, 2010, 464 p.

This fictionalized biography deals with the baffling explosion of genius in one family from an isolated, provincial village in Yorkshire. The Brontes come to life in Morgans moving and vigourous story. A compelling read. Morgan also wrote Charlotte and Emily: Novel of the Brontes.

becoming jane eyre

Becoming Jane Eyre by Shelia Kohler, 2009, 234 p.

While at story of the Bronte family, at the heart of this book is Charlotte. Beginning in 1846 it centres around Charlotte writing Jane Eyre, unraveling connections between the author and the title character. It is sensitive, intelligent, and engaging, told through multiple perspectives. Becoming Jane Eyre received a starred review from Kirkus.


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