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The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects

Deborah Lutz

326 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393240088 / ISBN 13: 9780393240085
Published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2015
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Brontė Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine ...

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Edition: 1.

About this title

Synopsis:

The compelling story of the Brontes is told through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed at the parsonage in Haworth. From Charlotte s writing desk and the manuscripts it contained to the brass collar worn by Emily s dog, Keeper, each object opens a window onto the sisters world, their fiction, and the Victorian era. By unfolding the histories of the things they used, the chapters form a chronological biography of this interknit family. A walking stick evokes Emily s solitary hikes on the moors and the stormy heath itself a character in Wuthering Heights. Charlotte s bracelet containing Anne and Emily s intertwined hair gives voice to her grief over their deaths. These possessions pull us into their daily lives: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their stubborn efforts to make a mark on the world."

Review:

"A passionate, intelligent, and stylish book. Deborah Lutz works a kind of magic around the Brontes' possessions and evokes their lives, works, and legacies more vividly than ever. A brilliantly original study that all Brontë lovers will want to read." -- Claire Harman, author of Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World "The most mundane object carries a lifetime of experience within it. Daily life, and the objects of daily living, can speak to us, if we are willing to listen. Deborah Lutz has listened to what the Brontës' possessions tell us, and produced an original, enlightening and acute reading of these original, enlightening and acute women's writings." -- Judith Flanders, author of The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London "What an impressive web of detail, housed within compact and elegant sentences! This jeweled book--an act of intricate divination--brings the Brontës to life by performing a magical investigation of the objects surrounding them. Deborah Lutz exercises a dowser's wondrous rigor; with erudition, deep feeling, and an almost mystical sense of an inanimate object's communicativeness, she pioneers a new way of looking at detritus and keepsakes, and a new way of writing biography." --Wayne Koestenbaum, author of My 1980s & Other Essays

"...full of illuminating and original insights, bringing aspects of the Brontë's lives into sharp focus for the first time."

--Literary Review

"Lutz makes connections that are effective and often full of enjoyable speculation...In looking at the Brontës through their most precious possessions, Lutz lets us sneak a peek at their inner lives as well as their outer ones, in a sympathetic and informative way."

--The Independent

"That vaguely platitudinous tagline does little justice to the world Lutz manages to conjure in this astonishing project, which is brimful of meticulous details, observant asides and anecdotes. The various items (including letters, walking sticks and twined bracelets of hair) are gathered like talismans, and duly perform some sort of magic, transporting readers into the domestic life of the Brontës. Lutz immerses us in their mundane material reality and distils an understanding of their work that is almost always illuminating and unexpected...This is a fine book, rich, immersive and illuminating, glowing with the life of the Brontës and their wild genius."

--Times Higher Education

"a dynamic, powerful and very accessible book...Deborah Lutz's frankness about her own fascination and her willingness to leave space for other people's fascination with the "three weird sisters", as Ted Hughes (himself fascinated) calls them, makes this wonderfully fresh and insightful biography simultaneously an act of resurrection and of mourning."

--Times Literary Supplement

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