Monday, 11 February 2013

Bronte sisters

I am preparing a talk for next week on the Bronte sisters and Scott. Charlotte Bronte: "For fiction, read Walter Scott and only him – all novels after his are without value." You can see I am going to enjoy the preparation and my presentation centres on Scott's influence on their work.

Coming to their work afresh...I wander how many of their modern reviewers can claim to have grown up with five sisters in a Vicarage and have Irish descent. As I can. Having five girls in a house together seems to encourage outsiders to think there must be a kind of madness, a destructive creativity, a Wuthering Heights or Virgin Suicides.

But instead what I think of is strong female role models.

The two elder Bronte girls died young but the women in their sister's books do what they must to survive. Northern girls who speak out.

I look forward to a week or so in their company again.

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