Cover Image: The Brontë Family

The Brontë Family

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Member Reviews

This book is short but well written and concise. However I would only recommend it to someone with little previous knowledge of the Brontes as I felt it was mainly rehashing previous works. The Brontes are always fascinating but I won’t be adding this one to my collection.
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I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

<i>The Bronte Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses</i> is a biography of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and, to a lesser degree, their brother Branwell. 

If you know only the bare basics of the Bronte family history (the Haworth parish, three sisters, orphaned by their mother and elder sisters, their clergyman father, the sisters wrote and published novels, died very young), this is a good primer to begin an adventure with the Brontes. Kenyon covers the most important facts, streamlining the unhappy (and often horrifying, to the modern mind) family history into an orderly narrative. She touches upon the most important milestones (the Cowan Bridge school, the Roe Head school, working as governesses for various families, education in Belgium, publication of novels, death of Branwell, Emily, and Anne, Charlotte's popularity, her marriage and death).

However, if you have already read something more substantial about the Brontes, it is unlikely you will learn much new from this biography. Unfortunately, Kenyon doesn't go into much detail regarding the sisters' experiences, even though sometimes the detail would be called for (for example, the continuing presence of Miss Wooler, Charlotte's teacher and mentor, may surprise the readers who have not already known about her importance in Charlotte's life). The sisters, as described on page, do not appear particularly differentiated from each other-- Charlotte is perhaps portrayed as a little more driven than the two others, Anne more patient, Emily more difficult (cf. the description of her final illness); it would have been interesting to get more sense of who they were as people. 

All in all, Kenyon's book is compelling due to the subjects of her story much more than the actual writing. If you enjoyed this book, I encourage you to seek out more biographies of the Brontes; if you didn't-- well, actually, I encourage you to do the same, as there is a true wealth of material and detail that may change your opinion on the Brontes.
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This was a really interesting read. It is incredibly well written non-fiction that reads like a story instead of a collection of facts and thats how I like my non-fiction. I have long been a fan of the Bronte sisters and have read a great deal about them, so what I really enjoyed about this look at the family was the peek into the life of Branwell. I didn't know how much I didn't know about him. I was again struck, as I often am when reading about the Bronte sisters, by the strength of will and character of Charlotte. She had to watch each of her siblings die and support her father through their deaths yet she persevered and lived an incredible life despite the myriad of challenges before her. I would definitely recommend this to any Bronte fans.
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The Bronte sisters are always referred to as a collective unit and it is hard not to think of them that way. The author of this book did extensive research on the women as individuals and wrote about how each sister was influenced by her other siblings, including their brother.  This book was a very interesting read and definitely proved that these women are just as interesting as individuals as they are as a collective unit.
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This book is build on a strong historical foundation with most of the story coming from letter written to and from the family. The book gives a vivid picture of the life of Charlotte Brontë and her family. Though tragic at times, the story of the Brontë family is inspiring.  The book gives insights into what made the Brontës who they were and how they poured themselves into the books they wrote.  I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for this honest review.
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Kenyon's concise but comprehensive biography of the Brontes' lives provides a unique perspective into the genesis of the talented family.  In describing their interrelationships, educational and social backgrounds, Kenyon highlights some sources of their inspiration and proffers insight into the personalities each member.  Of course, the focus is on Charlotte, Emily and Anne; but the book includes information on the other siblings and their father as well.  The reader is left with a distinct sense of how these ground-breaking authors emerged to challenge convention and create a continued source of inspiration that is still appreciated to this day.
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A short but interesting history of the fascinating and tragic Bronte family, this book by Karen Kenyon would work well as an introduction to the subject. While she does cover the family history, it is not in any great detail. That being said, I did enjoy the book and the story it reveals intrigued me . As a fan of all the Brontes I had a basic knowledge of their story, but I definitely learned more by reading this book. It is a very human tale, and is simply told, not in a dry academic way, so it is a very accessible read.
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This was lovely - I didn't know much about the Brontes, and I was worried this would turn out to be a pretty dense read, Actually, it read more like a story in and of itself. It was interesting (I definitely enjoyed learning more about their early lives and what drew the sisters into becoming such amazing authors - as well as Branwell, and how that affected their novels too). 

Not only has it reaffirmed my love for the Brontes, but it's given me so much insight into their novels. The context behind each book, especially Jane Eyre, possibly one of my favourite novels of all time, added so much to my enjoyment - the critical reception of Wuthering Heights for example. But, overall, I did really enjoy this, especially as a first biography of the family.
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I quite liked how the author presented the lives of the Bronte family. It was my first time reading  about the literary legends personal lives and I came out pretty knowledgeable about them.
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I had no idea there were so many sisters or the amount of tragedy this family had to endure! So Sad! To be young and famous under a false name is bad enough but then to endure such loss just seemed so unfair. I wish they had had time to write more . Excellent book
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If you read and loved the books written by the Brontë sisters you should also read this one. It offers interesting details about the sisters' lives and how their own hardship influenced their works. A must-read for a Brontë aficionado as well.
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It's hard to believe that such works came out of such short, troubled lives. So much sadness and illness couldn't stop their innate talent though. Amazing.
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The Brontë Family is a work of nonfiction. I'm a big fan of the Brontë sisters, so much so, that I even chose Charlotte Brontë as a subject for a research paper. This biographical piece paints a broad picture of the entire Brontë family. I learned pieces of information that I had not known before reading. For example, the fact that Charlotte was shortsighted. Also, I enjoyed how Kenyon depicted the Brontë sisters' attitudes towards children. Kenyon's work was easy to read and understand.
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