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The Brontës' writing community: family, partnership and creative collaboration

Braxton, Kimberly Jayne

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Authors

Kimberly Jayne Braxton



Contributors

Jonathon Shears
Supervisor

David Amigoni
Supervisor

Jordan Kistler
Supervisor

Abstract

In 1846 Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë published Poems under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. An immediate interest regarding the identity of these mysterious Bells emerged. With the publication of their novels the following year the Brontës established themselves not only as writers, but as a family of writers. The publication of Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë presents three sisters pacing around a table as they share their novels with each other. This scene became firmly embedded in the Brontë mythology. However, from their earliest reviews the interest in the Brontës as a family has threatened to eclipse their work. This thesis argues that by exploring the Brontës’ works critically we are better able to understand their collaborative group, and explore how they imaginatively interpreted the issues of family, community, partnership, and isolation. From within their writing community, two sets of partnerships emerge in the collaborative pairing of Charlotte and Branwell, and Emily and Anne. Partnership, rather than family, becomes the Brontës’ central focus as they use their work to process the dynamics of their own collaborative relationships. Throughout the thesis, I analyse critically overlooked resources by all four Brontë siblings, including their juvenilia, letters, diaries, devoirs, in addition to their poetry and novels, in order to demonstrate how their community affected every method of writing they adopted. In addition, this thesis applies collaborative structures to the Brontës in order to present and explore the evolution of their group. In this thesis, I present the Brontës’ writing community as integral to their development, but from within their community they each step forward as four unique, individual writers.

Citation

Braxton, K. J. (2019). The Brontës' writing community: family, partnership and creative collaboration. (Thesis). Keele University

Thesis Type Thesis
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2024
Additional Information Embargo on access until 19 February 2024 - The thesis is due for publication, or the author is actively seeking to publish this material.
Award Date 2019-03

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