The Brontes in Brussels
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Sachbuch / Biographien, Autobiographien
Five years before becoming best-selling authors, in 1842 Charlotte Brontë (1816-55) and her sister Emily (1818-48) arrived in Brussels to improve their languages. Emily stayed for a year, Charlotte for two. Although this is a little-known episode of their lives, it is a fascinating one. Two of Charlotte's four novels Villette and The Professor were based on her time in Belgium, which was pivotal for her both as a writer and personally, since she fell in love with her married teacher Constantin Heger. This book describes the sisters life in Brussels and provides information on places with Brontë connections. Although the Pensionnat Heger school where they stayed has gone, there is still much to be seen of the city they knew. In 1913 Charlotte's highly emotional letters to her teacher were donated by his descendants to the British Museum and on publication caused something of a scandal. Since then those with an interest in the Brontës' literary achievements have been intrigued by this influential period in their lives. The book includes a wealth of illustrations and maps, extracts from Villette demonstrating how the novel reflects Charlotte's experiences in Brussels, translations of four of the sisters French essays and of Charlotte's moving letters to her teacher and a Brontë walking tour with maps and historical information on the Brontës' Brussels. For anyone who takes an interest in the life and work of the Brontës' or who appreciates the literary associations of places, this is a compelling read.
emily bronte, belgium tour, literary biography, charlotte bronte, travel, wuthering heights