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Book Title: Gondal's Queen: A Novel in Verse|
The author of the book: Emily Brontë
Date of issue: March 19th 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 547 KB
Edition: University of Texas Press
Read full description of the books Gondal's Queen: A Novel in Verse:
In Gondal’s Queen, Fannie Elizabeth Ratchford presents a cycle of eighty-four poems by Emily Jane Brontë, for the first time arranged in logical sequence, to re-create the “novel in verse” which Emily wrote about their beloved mystical kingdom of Gondal and its ruler, Augusta Geraldine Almeda, who brought tragedy to those who loved her.
Thanks to previous publications by Ratchford, the imaginative world of Gondal is well known not only to Brontë scholars but also to general readers. Only in the present book, however, with Emily’s lovely poems restored to the setting which gave them being, can the full impact of this extraordinary literary creation be realized.
The life story of Gondal’s Queen, from portentous birth to tragic death, is set in a world compounded of dark Gothic romance and Byronic extravagance; yet out of it emerges not only a real country of wild moor sheep and piercingly beautiful nights but also the portrait of a real woman, whose doom was wrought not by the stars but by the clashing complications of her own nature.
In A.G.A. (the appellation most usually applied to the Queen), Emily Brontë created a personality, not a puppet reciting lovely lines. And Ratchford, in reconstructing her story, has re-affirmed the dignity, beauty, and richness of Emily’s poetry.
Gondal’s Queen is the end of a long trail of research and literary detection which has led Ratchford to all known Brontë documentary sources. This quest was originally stimulated by curiosity over a tiny booklet signed, “C. Brontë, June 29th, 1837,” in the Wrenn Library at the University of Texas at Austin. Ratchford’s intense and astonishingly fruitful interest in the Brontës had its origin in her attempt to unravel the fascinating puzzle presented by this little book, which seemed to be merely a series of childish vignettes held together by “a shadow of a common character” and a “tendency toward a unified plot.”
Bit by bit, Ratchford assembled clues from manuscripts and obscure publications until the significance of the play world of the Brontë children began to emerge. In spite of the fact that the Brontës had been the subject of the liveliest literary speculation since their deaths, it remained for Ratchford to establish the importance of their juvenile writings to the later writings of Charlotte. In successive publications she presented the accumulating evidence. For a time her curiosity was centered on Charlotte and the group, but it finally became focused on Emily through a manuscript journal fragment which fortunately came to hand.
Unlike Charlotte, Emily left no prose works from her childhood. But it is apparent from journal entries and birthday notes written by Emily and Anne (whose shared creation Gondal was) not only that the two younger Brontës lived in and sustained daily an imaginary world which had evolved from the earlier play of the four children together, but also that they had written separately voluminous histories and “novels” about it. Of Emily’s vast Gondal literature, only a small body of verse has survived, poems originally intended for no eye but her own and possibly Anne’s. But it is clear that Gondal was not only Emily Brontë’s childhood dream world but also the major preoccupation of her adult creative life.
Read information about the authorEmily Jane Brontë was a British novelist and poet, now best remembered for her only novel Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature. Emily was the second eldest of the three surviving Brontë sisters, being younger than Charlotte Brontë and older than Anne Brontë. She published under the masculine pen name Ellis Bell.
Emily was born in Thornton, near Bradford in Yorkshire to Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell. She was the younger sister of Charlotte Brontë and the fifth of six children. In 1824, the family moved to Haworth, where Emily's father was perpetual curate, and it was in these surroundings that their literary oddities flourished. In childhood, after the death of their mother, the three sisters and their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë created imaginary lands (Angria, Gondal, Gaaldine, Oceania), which were featured in stories they wrote. Little of Emily's work from this period survived, except for poems spoken by characters (The Brontës' Web of Childhood, Fannie Ratchford, 1941).
In 1842, Emily commenced work as a governess at Miss Patchett's Ladies Academy at Law Hill School, near Halifax, leaving after about six months due to homesickness. Later, with her sister Charlotte, she attended a private school in Brussels. They later tried to open up a school at their home, but had no pupils.
It was the discovery of Emily's poetic talent by Charlotte that led her and her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, to publish a joint collection of their poetry in 1846, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. To evade contemporary prejudice against female writers, the Brontë sisters adopted androgynous first names. All three retained the first letter of their first names: Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell, and Emily became Ellis Bell. In 1847, she published her only novel, Wuthering Heights, as two volumes of a three volume set (the last volume being Agnes Grey by her sister Anne). Its innovative structure somewhat puzzled critics. Although it received mixed reviews when it first came out, the book subsequently became an English literary classic. In 1850, Charlotte edited and published Wuthering Heights as a stand-alone novel and under Emily's real name.
Like her sisters, Emily's health had been weakened by the harsh local climate at home and at school. She caught a chill during the funeral of her brother in September, and, having refused all medical help, died on December 19, 1848 of tuberculosis, possibly caught from nursing her brother. She was interred in the Church of St. Michael and All Angels family capsule, Haworth, West Yorkshire, England.
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