The Brontës in the World of the Arts: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Brontës in the World of the Arts

1st Edition

Edited by Sandra Hagan, Juliette Wells


270 pages

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Hardback: 9780754657521
pub: 2008-09-09
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pub: 2016-12-05
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Although previous scholarship has acknowledged the importance of the visual arts to the Brontës, relatively little attention has been paid to the influence of music, theatre, and material culture on the siblings' lives and literature. This interdisciplinary collection presents new research on the Brontës' relationship to the wider world of the arts, including their relationship to the visual arts. The contributors examine the siblings' artistic ambitions, productions, and literary representations of creative work in both amateur and professional realms. Also considered are re-envisionings of the Brontës' works, with an emphasis on those created in the artistic media the siblings themselves knew or practiced. With essays by scholars who represent the fields of literary studies, music, art, theatre studies, and material culture, the volume brings together the strongest current research and suggests areas for future work on the Brontës and their cultural contexts.


'Sandra Hagan and Juliette Wells have assembled a fine collection on the Brontës and the arts. Following on the groundbreaking work of Christine Alexander in The Art of the Brontës, the essays explore the Brontës’ practice and uses of the visual arts of drawing, painting, and engraving, but expand the range to include their knowledge of music, theatre, and social performance and its presence in their novels and poetry. Essential not only for the art of the Brontës, but also for understanding the development of nineteenth-century women’s professionalism as artists, authors, and musicians.' Linda Peterson, Yale University, USA

’…These mature discussions (supplemented with wonderful illustrations) extend scholarship on the Brontës and Victorian popular arts…Recommended.’ Choice

’The collection, though primarily addressed to an academic audience, would appeal to a broad spectrum of readers: Brontë scholars and enthusiasts, literary critics and historians interested in the arts in the nineteenth century, and those intrigued by artistic adaptations of the Brontës’ lives and works.’ Brontë Studies

’By juxtaposing studies of the Brontës' own artistic practice with contemporary artists' responses to it, this collection enables readers to see why, as well as how, the Brontës live on in the popular imagination… In addition to the breadth of its contributions, the other strength of this volume is in the depth and detail of its scholarly apparatus.’ Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature

’… give[s] readers a sense of the critical energy of Brontë studies and of the possibilities for future research. …The Brontës' 'world of the arts' has indeed become a bit more wordly, and we have Hagan and Wells to thank for that.’ Victorian Studies

'This compilation is a welcome addition to the number of "exceptional resources now available to scholars and readers who wish to investigate these interdisciplinary intersections" between the Brontës and various forms of art. Recommended for scholars and the wider reading public interested in Romantic and Victorian literature and the comparative arts.' Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Juliette Wells and Sandra Hagan; Educating 'the artist's eye': Charlotte Brontë and the pictorial image, Christine Alexander; Out of the picture?: Branwell Brontë and Jane Eyre, Richard J. Dunn; Anne Brontë's aesthetics: painting in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Antonia Losano; 'Some of your accomplishments are not ordinary': the limits of artistry in Jane Eyre, Juliette Wells; The hieroglyphics of Catherine: Emily Brontë and the musical matrix, Meg Harris Williams; Shirley's window on a musical society in transition, Juliette Wells with Ruth A Solie; It 'might gift me with a world of delight': Charlotte Brontë and the pleasures of acting, Anne W. Jackson; 'In this same gown of shadow': functions of fashion in Villette, Sara T. Bernstein; An uneasy marriage: Edmund Dulac, Lucy Snowe, and the illustration of Villette, Sandra Hagan; Jane Eyre's Other: the emergence of Bertha, Patsy Stoneman; Music of the moors: the voices of Emily Brontë and Cathy in song and opera, Linda Lister; Bibliography; Index.

About the Editors

Sandra Hagan is Professor of English at Vancouver Island University, Canada.

Juliette Wells is Assistant Professor of English at Manhattanville College, USA.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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