[DWJ] Defending the Brontes

Judith Ridge Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au
Wed Jun 14 21:21:26 EDT 2006

On 14/6/06 10:25 PM, "minnow at belfry.org.uk" <minnow at belfry.org.uk> wrote:

> 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?

OK, I have always been a Bronte girl, so I have to leap to their defence

If one considers the parish they lived in, how likely was it that there were
anything in the way of peers for them to socialise with? As in middle-class,
highly-educated young women like themselves? In an isolated rural parish? As
middle-class PKs in that time and place, they'd have hardly been taking tea
and discussing Byron with the local working-class parishioners.

>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?

Well, the first time any of them went away, two of them died... The  older
sisters, Maria and Elizabeth. Fairly traumatic for Charlotte and Emily, who
were with them, and only 8 and 6 at the time. Enough to make one an
agoraphobic, I would imagine!

It's one thing to not fancy a person's writing, but I am so terribly tired
of character assassinations of writers, even long dead ones.


Judith Ridge
Assistant Editor (Acting)
The School Magazine
Celebrating 90 Years‹1916-2006
Curriculum K-12 Directorate
NSW Department of Education and Training


PO Box 1928
Macquarie Centre NSW 2113

+61 2 9889 0044
+61 2 9889 0040 (fax)

This message is intended for the addressee named and may contain
privileged information or confidential information or both. If you
are not the intended recipient please delete it and notify the sender.

More information about the Dwj mailing list