The Three Brontës eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 276 pages of information about The Three Brontës.
by Branwell’s letters and his verse, which he published by way of vindication.  He could hardly have done Branwell a worse service.  Branwell’s letters give us a vivid idea of the sort of manuscripts that would be produced, in inn-parlours, from his hat.  As for his verse—­that formless, fluent gush of sentimentalism—­it might have passed as an error of his youth, but for poor Leyland’s comments on its majesty and beauty.  There are corpses in it and tombstones, and girls dying of tuberculosis, obscured beyond recognition in a mush of verbiage.  There is not a live line in it.  One sonnet only, out of Branwell’s many sonnets, is fitted to survive.  It has a certain melancholy, sentimental grace.  But it is not a good sonnet, and it shows Branwell at his best.  At his worst he sinks far below Charlotte at her worst, and, compared with Emily or with Charlotte at her best, Branwell is nowhere.  Even Anne beats him.  Her sad, virginal restraint gives a certain form and value to her colourless and slender gift.

There is a psychology of such things, as there is a psychology of works of genius.  Emily Bronte’s work, with all its faults of construction, shows one and indivisible, fused in one fire from first to last.  One cannot take the first seventeen chapters of Wuthering Heights and separate them from the rest.  There is no faltering anywhere and no break in the power and the passion of this stupendous tale.  And where passion is, sentimentalism is not.  And there is not anywhere in Wuthering Heights a trace of that corruption which for the life of him Branwell could not have kept out of the manuscripts he produced from his hat.

INDEX

Absolute, the, 16, 176. Agnes Grey, 39, 40, 49.  Augustine, St., 185.

Ballynaskeagh, 20. 
Balzac, 54, 120, 121, 163. 
Bassompierre, Pauline de, in
   Villette, 153-157. 
Being, 184. 
  —­ Parmenides on, 185. 
Birrell, Mr., 14, 20, 31, 41, 65. 
Blake, William, 175, 178. 
Branwell, Miss, at Haworth, 23,
   24.
  —­ —­ death of, 36. 
  —­ Maria, marries Rev. Patrick
   Bronte, 20.
  —­ —­ illness of, 23.
  —­ —­ death of, 23. 
Bronte—­
  Anne, 49-57.
    —­ 27, 28.
    —­ at Thornton, 20.
    —­ at Haworth, 20, 27, 33,
     39.
    —­ at Thorp Green, 33, 36,
     38, 50.
    —­ in London, 40.
    —­ character of 49-51, 55,
     56.
    —­ death of, 45.
    —­ diary of, 34, 168, 194. 
    —­ Poems of, 54-57, 188,
     246.
    —­ novels of, 39, 49-54.
    —­ and Branwell Bronte
     compared, 54, 246. 
  Charlotte, 57-167. 
  Charlotte at Thornton, 20.
    —­ at Haworth, 15, 16, 19,
     20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 31,
     37, 39, 46, 47, 69, 83, 94,
     103, 105, 165, 235, 236.
    —­ at Cowan Bridge, 24, 25,
     27, 236.
    —­ at Roe Head, 26, 27, 94,

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The Three Brontës from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.