Monday, February 02, 2009

Tales of Angria!

A loyal Stevereads reader (who never comments - the Silent Majority, as it were) has pointed out, in response to my recent posting on Branwell Bronte, that something very close to a 'Works' of that talented, tormented young man has indeed been brought into print in an authoritative, attractive, and affordable version - naturally, by Penguin Classics. It's called Tales of Angria, and it contains several of the longer, more polished dark social comedies set in the titular imaginary land. I found the book at my local Barnes & Noble, and as you can see, it was filed under Charlotte Bronte, even though Branwell was the presiding genius and main creative force behind the Angria tales, as all three of his sisters - even including the headstrong and slightly imperious Charlotte - were the first to admit when they were alive.

So it's a wonderful thing that Penguin Classics has produced this volume, but in subsequent reprintings, they should have the courage to ignore all the various academic quibbles - and the pecuniary allure of associative selling - and put 'Branwell Bronte' on the cover instead of 'Charlotte Bronte.'

Not many things ever brought that family much happiness, but if they could come forward in time just long enough to see such a volume, they would cast off their genetic melancholy and clap their hands for joy. The sisters would, if anything, be happier to see it than Branwell would. Let's hope Penguin makes the change; and in the meantime, go to their website and order yourself a copy of this weird, enjoyable, and slightly heartbreaking glimpse of what might have been.


Sam said...

Thanks for this. And while we're on the theme: I've done the due diligence with Charlotte and Emily, but I've never read anything by Anne Bronte. Are her books (book?) also worth spending time with?

steve said...

Her two novels are WONDERFUL. Perpetually underrated, but how could they NOT be, when "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" were written by her sisters? - not by two women of different generations who happened to be in her direct family tree, but her SISTERS, each of whom wrote a towering masterpiece of English literature? But still, "Agnes Grey" and especially "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" are spitfire pieces of pure Bronte genius and well worth your time!