The Oxford Companion to the Brontes aims to provide both comprehensive and detailed information about the lives, works, and reputations of the Brontes - the three sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, together with their father and their brother Branwell - all of whom were published writers. It is the first time so much information relating to the family has been gathered together in an A-Z reference book. The story of the Brontes has become the stuff of myth: three women living on the wild Yorkshire moors, writing works of weird and wonderful genius. Charlotte Bronte claimed that her sister Emily's novel Wuthering Heights was 'hewn in a wild workshop'. Inspired by a deep love of nature and an intensely private imaginative world it certainly was, but Emily's novel, like those of her sisters, is engaged with 19th-century issues and debates. The Brontes lived in a thriving woollen-mill town and participated in local activities - the church, education, concerts, elections, exhibitions. They devoured the latest newspapers and journals, and kept abreast of politics. Their reading was wide and eclectic. A central purpose of the Companion is to evoke the milieu in which they lived and worke
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