on 29 October 2010
From one of the stalwarts of the Bronte Society, this study is excellent as it deals with the facts only and avoids getting carried away with the unknown mystique of Emily. Much is gleaned from her background and her Irish roots, her probable state of mind when away from home and writing poetry, particularly at Law Hill. The lack of hard evidence has always created problems for biographers of Emily but Edward Chitham has really delved into almost every possible corner to discover what made this remarkable woman tick.
I would have enjoyed it tremendously if it weren't for the shocking frequent printing errors. Time and time again there is m instead of ir or I instead of l. It really was very distracting and so unprofessional. Poor Edward Chitham is surely embarrassed at such shoddy workmanship from the publisher, Amberely. I have written to ask them what on earth was going on when this excellent scholarly work went to press.
Sadly, I have noticed since the 1980s that printed books now contain errors. When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I can honestly say I never ever came across a single printing error in any book I read. I was a busy reader then, I can tell you.
What a sad reflection on our 'progressive' computer age that proof reading is now inadequate. One would have thought that computers would make the task easier, more efficient. This book shows how lamentable the situation is.
on 20 July 2011
Edward Chitham has produced a fine book on this enigmatic woman. His conclusions, while at times are necessarily speculative, are presented with sound explanations, and thankfully he does not descend into fanatasy. Conclusions drawn from Emily's poetry that can be interpreted as autobiographical pose great difficulties, as Mr Chitham rightly points out, but do need to be considered. As the previous reviewer pointed out, there are several annoying printing errors, but that notwithstanding, Mr Chitham has made a significant contribution to understanding a fascinating, probably unique, literary figure.
on 26 April 2012
This is a worthy attempt to extract all that can be known about the enigmatic Emily Bronte from the little concrete biographical material available. At times I felt the writer tried to read too much of a biographical nature into some of the poems by Emily and her siblings, which to me seem to be largely based on the fantasy characters and worlds they created - but then I'm no expert. I certainly feel I know Emily much better now thanks to this book - perhaps as well as it is possible to know her given the paucity of solid information to go on. I strongly recommend this book, with a couple of provisos. I am a confirmed Bronte fan, and I think you might have to be to really enthuse over a book which necessarily scrutinises at length so much minutiae. And I agree with the previous comments about the production standards. On an editorial level there is a certain amount of repetition which should have been picked up; and the proofing is simply dire, with numerous glaring typos.