How I Met the Brontës

My first encounter with the Brontës occurred in the late 1990’s when visiting a bookshop offering a going-out-of -business sale. Several books previously declined were revisited because of price markdowns. One of these, Gooberz, a work with a twin souls theme by Linda Goodman (author of Sun Signs and Love Signs)  explored again. Even with a discount, this book I decided, isn’t not for me. Suddenly a peak experience occurred during page turning in it. Words printed on a preface page electrified me!

There I read “But this I know: the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master – something that, at times, strangely wills and works for itself.” Charlotte Brontë. This text, I later learned came from Charlotte Brontë’s “Editor’s Preface to the New Edition of Wuthering Heights” – an 1850 edition of Emily Brontë’s novel published by Smith, Elder & Company, London. Charlotte’s “Editor’s Preface” attempted to exonerate, to explain how her sister, Emily – a simple soul – came to write such a dark, violent work as Wuthering Heights.

Until discovering Charlotte’s words I’d never met the Brontës. An urgent need to learn all about them followed. Eventually came three crossings of the Atlantic to visit the Haworth, West Yorkshire, England parsonage where the Brontës lived and wrote.  Randall



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