Advanced

The Brontë Novels as Historical Fiction

Thormählen, Marianne LU (2015) In Brontë Studies 40(4). p.276-282
Abstract
The article looks at the Brontës' reasons for setting the action of their novels in the past, from the late-18th-century setting of "Wuthering Heights" to the twenty-year backdating of "Agnes Grey". The bulk of the article, however, deals with Charlotte Brontë's condition-of-England novel "Shirley".



Like other well-known nineteenth-century novelists, including Dickens and Thackeray, the Brontë sisters wrote fiction set in the past. Indeed, the main action in all their novels is backdated by at least one generation. This article explores reasons for the three writers’ respective choices of temporal framework, looking at works by all of them in the historical contexts to which they supposedly belong. The bulk of the... (More)
The article looks at the Brontës' reasons for setting the action of their novels in the past, from the late-18th-century setting of "Wuthering Heights" to the twenty-year backdating of "Agnes Grey". The bulk of the article, however, deals with Charlotte Brontë's condition-of-England novel "Shirley".



Like other well-known nineteenth-century novelists, including Dickens and Thackeray, the Brontë sisters wrote fiction set in the past. Indeed, the main action in all their novels is backdated by at least one generation. This article explores reasons for the three writers’ respective choices of temporal framework, looking at works by all of them in the historical contexts to which they supposedly belong. The bulk of the analysis is devoted to the only Brontë book that may be called a condition-of-England novel, Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley. The paper addresses the stereoscopic properties of the action in that novel, Luddism prefiguring Chartism. Showing how past and present coalesce in the book’s portrayal of Yorkshire and Britain, this paper supplies an outline of what, to Charlotte Brontë, made Britain great. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Brontë, historical novel, Jane Eyre, politics in literature, Shirley
in
Brontë Studies
volume
40
issue
4
pages
276 - 282
publisher
The Brontë Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961662262
ISSN
1474-8932
DOI
10.1080/14748932.2015.1127654
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
90e3bd22-842a-4bd7-956f-98226c196a96 (old id 8618725)
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14748932.2015.1127654
date added to LUP
2016-02-11 08:59:42
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:46:51
@article{90e3bd22-842a-4bd7-956f-98226c196a96,
  abstract     = {The article looks at the Brontës' reasons for setting the action of their novels in the past, from the late-18th-century setting of "Wuthering Heights" to the twenty-year backdating of "Agnes Grey". The bulk of the article, however, deals with Charlotte Brontë's condition-of-England novel "Shirley".<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Like other well-known nineteenth-century novelists, including Dickens and Thackeray, the Brontë sisters wrote fiction set in the past. Indeed, the main action in all their novels is backdated by at least one generation. This article explores reasons for the three writers’ respective choices of temporal framework, looking at works by all of them in the historical contexts to which they supposedly belong. The bulk of the analysis is devoted to the only Brontë book that may be called a condition-of-England novel, Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley. The paper addresses the stereoscopic properties of the action in that novel, Luddism prefiguring Chartism. Showing how past and present coalesce in the book’s portrayal of Yorkshire and Britain, this paper supplies an outline of what, to Charlotte Brontë, made Britain great.},
  author       = {Thormählen, Marianne},
  issn         = {1474-8932},
  keyword      = {Brontë,historical novel,Jane Eyre,politics in literature,Shirley},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {276--282},
  publisher    = {The Brontë Society},
  series       = {Brontë Studies},
  title        = {The Brontë Novels as Historical Fiction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14748932.2015.1127654},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2015},
}