Sunday, February 28, 2021

Review of "Charlotte Bronte before Jane Eyre," by Glynnis Fawkes

 Review of

Charlotte Bronte before Jane Eyre, by Glynnis Fawkes ISBN 9781368023290

Five out of five stars

Excellent biography in graphic novel form

 I have long been a proponent of education in whatever form it takes. Whether it be in textual, comic book or in the form of a graphic novel. In this book the graphic novel form is used to describe the life of Charlotte Bronte before she became a published novelist. It is very well done.

 Not only does it portray the struggles of families due to regular deaths from disease and other ailments, the economic plight of women in the early nineteenth century is described. Charlotte’s father recognized that his daughters needed to be educated and he did what he could, sending them off to school. However, even with education, jobs such as being a teacher/governess were fraught with problems. The children often did not have the slightest interest in learning, only in being difficult. All three of the Bronte sisters were writers and initially started out with poetry, using aliases so that readers would not know that they were female.

 While the dialog is not verbatim concerning what the Bronte girls said, it has to be very close. The tone is that of a nineteenth century young woman and they sound very much like their writings. One of the best attributes of a biography is that when dialog attributed to the subject is not being quoted, it sounds like them. In other words, they could have said it.

 This is one of the most educational graphic novels I have ever encountered. It captures the life and struggles of nineteenth century women in general and Charlotte Bronte in particular.

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