[DWJ] Swithering Depths (was Titles (was

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Jun 14 08:25:18 EDT 2006

Paul wrote:
>> I have a (fairly idle) theory that the Bronte sisters, managed to
>> qualify as Great Literature collectively; that, as a family of
>> writers, they exert a fascination that any one of them might not have
>> achieved alone.

and Margaret commented:
>Sounds like a pretty good theory to me. Certainly no one would ever have
>heard of Branwell if he hadn't been related to Emily, Anne and
>Charlotte. And there's a certain Gothick fascination about the story of
>all those gifted children growing up in that desolate vicarage on the
>edge of the moors.

Or the story of all those neurotics growing up in a quite ordinary village
and in similar circumstances to everyone else of their social standing and
condition at the time, if one happens to look at it that way...  The
daughters of the local CofE parson are not going to be isolated etc unless
they choose to be; if there were no people there, there would not be a
parsonage either because what would  be the point of one if it had no
parish or parishoners?  They just wanted to be martyred about things.  If
it was so awful, why did they get frantic and have nervous breakdowns if
they were ever required to go away from the place?

The Official Version of their early lives is a pleasingly Gothick fantasy,
I agree.  :-)  In fact it mirrors what happens in Swithering Depths, in
that as in that book, the village and its inhabitants have simply been
written out of the story as not being convenient if the plot is to work at


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