Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sunday, December 01, 2019 12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new book exploring the Brontës Cornwall connection:
Brontë Territories:
Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870

Melissa Hardie
Edward Everett Root (30 Nov. 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-1911454465

‘Actually... the Bronte girls got their literary talent from the Carne side, as their Aunt Elizabeth spun wonderfully wild and woolly tales of Cornwall. So there!’  Philip Carne

This new book explores the important maternal background of the great literary family. In highlighting the background of their Cornish mother and her family, it provides a major and fresh source of cultural understanding of the Brontё milieu. Surprisingly ignored until now, Cornish contextual networks and issues are shown to have been very significant in the creative evolution of the writers.
Place-histories of Yorkshire and Ireland have been exhaustively investigated as backdrops to Brontë writings. Largely unacknowledged, however, is the influential agency to their writings that Cornwall, as a mental and spiritual legacy, also offers. Their Cornish kin did much to mould and form capabilities, temperament, and literary concerns.
Born and bred in the town and district of Penzance at Land’s End, Maria (Carne) Brontë (1783-1821) died young at Haworth in Yorkshire, leaving her six children all under 10 years of age. Travelling far to take over the care of the children, her Cornish elder sister Elizabeth (Carne) Branwell (1776-1842) is also virtually ignored in Brontë history. Yet it was Elizabeth who would provide the general tenor, the daily routines and domestic rhythms for the family as children, adults, and creative beings.
This new illustrated study captures the whole milieu in which Maria, Elizabeth and their kinship circle grew up in Cornwall, known even then as a legendary and romantic place. In their everyday life were a number of journalists, travellers, poets, story-tellers, and published academics,  critically influential in their day. The legacies of story-telling, journal reading and direct participation in the life of books were vital.
This volume presents a full cast-list of possible participants in the lives of the constituent families. The focus pivots on the critically important period in which the Wesleyan Methodist emphasis on education and loving usefulness to family and society was to the fore, transforming the face of Cornwall into the Victorian period. In an age of revolutions – American, French and industrial – the Branwells, the Carnes, the Battens and the Fennells were laying new roads into the future.

Author’s note and acknowledgements. List of illustrations.  Introduction.
Part 1:  Place and time 
Living at the edge: the Penwith Hundred;
Creators of Penzance;
A legendary place: stories and storytellers;
And then came Wesley;
The everyday.
Part 2. ‘sisters and the cousins and aunts’.
The naming game: Identification and patterns;
Branwells with links: Bronte, Carne, H. Davy (PRS), Botterell, Fennell, Batten, Johns, Kingston, Pellew & Carthew Reynolds, Lovett (Chartist);
Carnes with links: Cock, Polwhele, Fox, Bolitho, Vyvyan, Southey, Thackeray, Coleridge, Davies Giddy Gilbert (PRS), Wesley brothers.
Battens with links: Cristal, Wollstonecraft, Malthus, G Dyer, Clapham Sect, L Stephen (V Woolf).
The John/Johns with links: Arundell, H Martyn (missionary), C Kingsley. Charles A Johns.
The Document register


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