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The Brontës and Religion


  • Page extent: 300 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.545 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 823/.8093823
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PR4169 .T47 1999
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Brontë, Charlotte,--1816-1855--Religion
    • Christianity and literature--England--History--19th century
    • English fiction--Women authors--History and criticism
    • English fiction--19th century--History and criticism
    • Women and literature--England--History--19th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521661553 | ISBN-10: 0521661552)

This is the first full-length study of religion in the fiction of the Brontës. Drawing on extensive knowledge of the Anglican church in the nineteenth century, Marianne Thormählen shows how the Brontës' familiarity with the contemporary debates on doctrinal, ethical and ecclesiastical issues informs their novels. Divided into four parts, the book examines denominations, doctrines, ethics and clerics in the work of the Brontës. The analyses of the novels clarify the constant interplay of human and Divine love in the development of the novels. While demonstrating that the Brontës' fiction usually reflects the basic tenets of Evangelical Anglicanism, the book emphasises the characteristic spiritual freedom and audacity of the Brontës. Lucid and vigorously written, it will open up new perspectives for Brontë specialists and enthusiasts alike on a fundamental aspect of the novels greatly neglected in recent decades.

• The first full-length study of an important and neglected topic in Brontë studies • Reinterprets the novels in the context of extensive research into nineteenth-century Anglican debates on doctrinal, ethical and ecclesiastical issues • Clearly and vigorously written, with a useful bibliography providing guidance on further reading


Introduction; Part I. Denominations: 1. A Christian home in early nineteenth-century England: Evangelicalism, Dissent and the Brontë family; 2. Charlotte Brontë and the church of Rome; 3. An undenominational temper; Part II. Doctrines: 4. The Brontës in the theological landscape of their time; 5. God and his creation; 6. Faith and redemption; 7. This life and next; Part III. Ethics: 8. Forgiveness and revenge; 9. The enigma of St John Rivers; Bibliography; Index.


'For those seeking a solid and scholarly guide to these writers in the religious context of their time this is an excellent book … it is the kind of writing which will endure and remain valuable for many years to come.' Theology

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