This coming April 21 marks the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. The famous author of Jane Eyre was a complicated and talented woman whose internal struggles and passions influenced her novels. In Claire Harman’s new biography, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart, we learn about Charlotte’s life and her evolution as a writer. The biography has novelistic, descriptive writing and is very well researched. It’s an excellent book to read to learn more about not only Charlotte, but the entire Brontë family.
In addition, there are lots of recent Brontë inspired non-fiction and fiction titles to check out if you have an obsession with the family like some of us do. Here are just a few:
The Brontë Cabinet by Deborah Lutz - Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed.
The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay - When a rare-books dealer goes to England, she discovers more than just the famous writing haunts - she discovers how to love and be loved in today's modern world.
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye - Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. (LibraryReads Pick)
The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips - A reimagining of Wuthering Heights traces the multigenerational forces that shape the lives of a young Heathcliff, the Brontë sisters, and their brother.
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell - Meet Samantha Whipple, a descendant of the Brontë family, who arrives at Oxford to study literature, as her father did before her. She receives a copy of Jane Eyre - a volume that she thought was destroyed in the fire that took her father’s life. When a second Brontë novel belonging to her father turns up, she is convinced he has staged an elaborate treasure hunt for her promised inheritance. (LibraryReads Pick)
Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison Case - In a reimagining of life at Wuthering Heights through the eyes of the Earnshoaw's loyal servant, young Nelly Dean suffers heartache and betrayals at the hands of those she cherishes most and discovers what it is to know true sacrifice after a new heir is born, unleashing a reign of violence.
Re Jane by Patricia Park - Jane Re, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, takes a position as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter. But a brief sojourn in Seoul, where she reconnects with family, causes her to wonder if the man she loves is really the man for her as she tries to find balance between two cultures.
Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre edited by Tracy Chevalier - This collection of 20 original stories by today’s finest women writers - including Tracy Chevalier, Francine Prose, Elizabeth McCracken, Tessa Hadley, Audrey Niffenegger, and more - takes inspiration from the famous line in Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel, Jane Eyre.
All descriptions from Novelist.