Author: Manuela Santoni
Genre: Graphic Novel, Biography
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë–faced with an ailing father and an alcoholic brother–pursue independence through art in this graphic vision of the lives of three legendary writers.
Despite their family’s stormy fortunes, the Brontë sisters resolved to write. To thwart the nineteenth century’s double standards, they took the names of men, becoming the Bell brothers. Their works incited controversy and speculation, while at home, the sisters contended with the rages of Branwell Brontë, their self-destructive sibling. Manuela Santoni presents a time before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were known as literary masterpieces, when winds shook the Brontë house and determination held it together.
Emily, Anne, and Charlotte Brontë are three famous sisters who wrote in the 1800s. They had to look after their aging father and their alcoholic brother, while trying to make a name for themselves. The sisters ended up publishing under male pen names before revealing their identities.
The Brontës had tragic lives. They lost their two oldest sisters and their mother before they were ten years old. All of the siblings died as young adults, under the age of forty. Their brother, Branwell, was addicted to drugs and alcohol, so his sisters had to look after him as well as their father. I read a few reviews of this book and many people criticized it saying that it was so tragic and inaccurate. Some of the timelines may have been changed to fit into the story, but the Brontës did lead lives full of tragedy, which was reflected in their gothic novels.
The illustrations in this graphic novel were in black and white. The images were simply drawn without a lot of detail. I would have liked to see more detailed drawings. However, the simplicity and harsh black lines reflected the dark nature of the lives of the Brontë family.
I enjoyed this graphic novel biography of the Brontë sisters.
Thank you Graphic Universe for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni
Why She Wrote by Lauren Burke, Hannah K. Chapman, and Kaley Bales (illustrator)
Have you read Brontë? What did you think of it?