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View Full Version : The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte



LadyWentworth
09-11-2007, 02:24 PM
Has anyone read this book? I have. If anyone else has, I am quite curious to hear your take on it.

AP Teacher
04-17-2008, 01:15 PM
The author is fishing for a way to make his own name as a novelist via tintilation and innuendo. Prove what you say, Mr. Tully. Exhume the bodies and have a DNA evaluation done.

Really!!:lol:

Silvia
04-17-2008, 02:09 PM
well, I actually haven't, but I heard about it. Is the author blaming Charlotte for the death of her brother and sisters?

aeroport
04-17-2008, 10:16 PM
Is it like a clever essay bashing her works, sort of like Twain's piece "James Fennimore Cooper's Literary Offences"?

LadyWentworth
04-18-2008, 01:00 AM
Wow! I posted this so long ago! I got to the point where I actually thought I was the only person anywhere who has read it. :p

Well, the author has basically taken real events from Charlotte's life and twisted them around. So, yes, in a way, he is accusing her as the reason for their deaths. Her husband (future, I guess I could say) is guilty and she helps him by keeping it secret. Of course, all the wrong that she does in this story is to gain something for herself and her career.

Well, seeing that I can now comment a little more on this, I will say a couple of things. First of all, the idea of the book as a story would be fine, if they were all fictional characters. If I could've looked at this from the point of view of this being an entire work of fiction (I am saying fictional characters, deaths, et.c.), I probably would've taken this a little more seriously. As the author was using real people and events, it just didn't do anything for me.

It is interesting how he brings up different facts and how he can twist and turn them around to make a person think that there is a chance something could've happened the way that he described. It is interesting that he can make a person think "OK. Maybe that is true". At the same time, though, it was all so absurd that I actually laughed out loud at some of his points. Come on now! There is NO reason to dig that deeply into something. Besides, where was his proof? This was purely based on theories that he created. Well, theories without even a little bit of evidence. Never once did he say that any of it was untrue. I just had a problem with him not saying that this book was written based on his opinions on the lives of the Brontes.

The narration was tiresome. I don't know if that was the worst part of the entire book for me! It is all told from the point of view the servant Martha Brown. She, of course, knew everything that was going on. She knew all of the secrets and she wrote them down for a deposition, which we are reading in the story. I was so annoyed with this her. I got to the point where I just wanted to scream to her "You think Charlotte is ugly and you hate her! How many more times do you have to make those two statements. Just shut up already!". The narration was very repetitve. I have a hard time dealing with writing like that.

I will be honest and say that I really didn't like the book at all. It is a fast read, though. I only recommend it to people who are very anti-Bronte (they seem to enjoy it!) or if someone wants a silly bit of reading to do.

I agree with you AP Teacher. I am happy to see that someone else who has read it feels the same way as I do about this book.

black butterffl
04-26-2008, 02:55 PM
i seriously never heard of this book, but why in hell did that writer accuse her, like for god's sake, why would she kill them?? plz can i ask for you to tell me about one of his theories?

Black Flag
10-13-2008, 12:53 PM
Besides, where was his proof? This was purely based on theories that he created. Well, theories without even a little bit of evidence. Never once did he say that any of it was untrue. I just had a problem with him not saying that this book was written based on his opinions on the lives of the Brontes.

Proof for murders allegedly committed in 1848-1852? Impossible. Feasible literary evidence? At least plausible, if looked at with an open mind. Just by the letters from Charlotte and others alone, which are quoted by the author of this book to back up his argument, it may be comfortable to believe that if the Bronte siblings weren't actually murdered outright, at least someone really didn't care whether they died or not. I'm speaking mainly of Emily and Ann.
There are too many "whys" left unanswered from various actions and non-actions documented in surviving letters.
No doubt, folks, three adult siblings (counting Branwell), dying within 8 months of each other of unknown or far too generalized causes is bound to raise some eyebrows — if not then, than now.

wessexgirl
10-13-2008, 01:11 PM
Proof for murders allegedly committed in 1848-1852? Impossible. Feasible literary evidence? At least plausible, if looked at with an open mind. Just by the letters from Charlotte and others alone, which are quoted by the author of this book to back up his argument, it may be comfortable to believe that if the Bronte siblings weren't actually murdered outright, at least someone really didn't care whether they died or not. I'm speaking mainly of Emily and Ann.
There are too many "whys" left unanswered from various actions and non-actions documented in surviving letters.
No doubt, folks, three adult siblings (counting Branwell), dying within 8 months of each other of unknown or far too generalized causes is bound to raise some eyebrows — if not then, than now.

Wow. What's the theory? The fact that 3 of the siblings died within 8 months of each other was tragic, but I didn't think it was suspicious. Wasn't there a typhus or cholera outbreak in their village and hasn't it been proved recently that it was a very dangerous place to be living, particularly at the parsonage? If people were of a frail nature, and hygiene wasn't brilliant, surely it's not beyond the realms of possibility that people will get sick and die. They hadn't got the luxury of the health service, clean water and medicines then.

Black Flag
10-13-2008, 04:35 PM
Wow. What's the theory? The fact that 3 of the siblings died within 8 months of each other was tragic, but I didn't think it was suspicious. Wasn't there a typhus or cholera outbreak in their village and hasn't it been proved recently that it was a very dangerous place to be living, particularly at the parsonage? If people were of a frail nature, and hygiene wasn't brilliant, surely it's not beyond the realms of possibility that people will get sick and die. They hadn't got the luxury of the health service, clean water and medicines then.

But within 8 months of each other? Why then, when they were adults, and not when they were weaker children? And their causes of death, by the by, aren't listed as either typhus, cholera or any other fly by night illness.

But the short time frame isn't even the point of the murder-theory in the book, it only opens the door of the reader's mind to take in information pointing to that.

Mind you, the book is fictional, in order to set down literary theories about how the deaths went down and fill in the gaps between excerpts from letters. A non-fiction book couldn't have done so, because it's only speculation — but compelling speculation.
Read the book. Even if you don't buy the theory, I doubt you will ever look quite the same way at Charlotte Bronte again.

wessexgirl
10-13-2008, 06:35 PM
But within 8 months of each other? Why then, when they were adults, and not when they were weaker children? And their causes of death, by the by, aren't listed as either typhus, cholera or any other fly by night illness.

But the short time frame isn't even the point of the murder-theory in the book, it only opens the door of the reader's mind to take in information pointing to that.

Mind you, the book is fictional, in order to set down literary theories about how the deaths went down and fill in the gaps between excerpts from letters. A non-fiction book couldn't have done so, because it's only speculation — but compelling speculation.
Read the book. Even if you don't buy the theory, I doubt you will ever look quite the same way at Charlotte Bronte again.

Some of the family did die as children. And those that survived into adulthood suffered ill-health throughout their lives. The fact that they had managed to last until then does not mean that because they died as adults, their deaths must have been suspicious as they had survived childhood.

Mr Brontë was also concerned about
sanitation, a necessary preoccupation of the
Victorians. As a result of his petition for pure
water, a Board of Health enquiry into the
sanitary conditions of Haworth found that the
mortality rate was on a par with the worst parts
of the London slums. The average life span was
25.8. The Brontë family managed marginally
less than this (their average was 25.2). They did
somewhat better than those around them in
terms of infant mortality, however, as all six
Brontë children lived well beyond the age of 6,
whereas more than 40% of children born in the
Parish of Haworth failed to reach that age.

http://www.ics.mq.edu.au/~chris/bronte/news03.pdf

If there was illness in the home, the close confines make it perfectly conceivable that they could die within 8 months of each other. Many authorities state that they died from consumption.

Manicqueen
10-14-2008, 03:26 AM
I cannot find the book in China.Who can tell me where I can read it?Thanks...

mona amon
10-14-2008, 03:45 AM
If there was illness in the home, the close confines make it perfectly conceivable that they could die within 8 months of each other. Many authorities state that they died from consumption. (wessexgirl)

I agree. And the death of a sibling could weaken the immune system, making them far more susceptible to consumption or whatever it was.

I haven't read the book either. I don't think my library will have it and I certainly won't buy a book that accuses my favourite author of killing her siblings! :flare:

Black Flag
10-14-2008, 12:09 PM
Again, the short time span between the deaths is NOT the issue. It only opens the door to possibilities IF people will have an open mind.

So...Will you have an open mind? Or will you not?

Black Flag
10-14-2008, 12:09 PM
I cannot find the book in China.Who can tell me where I can read it?Thanks...

I'd order it online on Amazon.com if I were you. :)

wessexgirl
10-14-2008, 04:53 PM
But within 8 months of each other?

Read the book. Even if you don't buy the theory, I doubt you will ever look quite the same way at Charlotte Bronte again.

Why would I want to change the way I think of Charlotte Bronte?
As you said, it's speculation and fiction.

Again, the short time span between the deaths is NOT the issue. It only opens the door to possibilities IF people will have an open mind.

So...Will you have an open mind? Or will you not?

You seem to be the one expressing surprise at the short time-span.

I do have an open mind. The fact that I don't buy into a novelists theory about CB being involved in the death of her siblings does not mean I am not capable of questioning. I just see this as a writer trying to make his mark, and fair play to him, it may be a good story. But it's just that, a story. Perhaps he's hoping to do a Dan Brown, and have the world believing his fiction. However, your comment about the way I would perceive CB afterwards is slightly worrying. Should she be tainted with the suspicion of being either a murderer, or an accomplice just for a wrter to make his name?

Black Flag
10-14-2008, 05:36 PM
No, I had only mentioned the short time span and then discussion followed about how it doesn't mean anything. My point is, you're right, it doesn't mean anything other than to open the door, so there's no reason to spend so much time on it.

Are you "worried", then, that you WILL look at Charlotte Bronte differently if you took time to read a book with an opinion that sways from the "official" version? I'm not here to argue one way or another.
The fact that no one would dare entertain the notion of the author making some thought provoking points for fear of the very possibility, however slight, of looking at Charlotte Bronte differently, is what is remarkable.
"Why would I want to change the way I look at Charlotte Bronte?" That's what I mean by having, or not having, an open mind, free from emotional attachment to a particular author.

Me? I am strictly neutral. I've read all of Charlotte Bronte's books, with the exception of Shirley (though I have read The Professor, which I understand is similiar) as well as Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Emily and Ann Bronte, respectively. I enjoyed all of those. But I have no such unswerving loyalty to Charlotte Bronte — or any other author for that matter — that would make me NOT read a book for fear of my own resulting conclusions.

manticore
01-10-2009, 09:45 PM
only just joined but see you are still posting.............. just re-read above book for curiosities sake........ and because I read anything about the Brontes Branwell in particular. Have to say even if you bear in mind that it's fiction it is a truly terrible book ! Thank God all are long dead or Mr Nicholls and Charlotte would be suing for libel! I always think that books like this who hijack an authors work (or in this case name) are really lazy and talentless! What did you think of it?::)

Black Flag
01-10-2009, 11:09 PM
I think you can see, or read, my position on the issue. The book, if nothing else, opens up discussion. Just keep an open mind, that's all. It's not enough to discredit the book based on simple Bronte worship and not be objective about it.

I'm glad that you, Manticore, have at least READ the damned thing before commenting on it.

sweetsunray
06-01-2009, 09:11 AM
Hmmm... just answering the argument of "having an open mind". As far as I know, it's up to an accuser to come up with evidence to back up his/her claim, and as long as there is none, there is no "have an open mind" rule for reader/listener. In fact, it is the opposite. Justice and the claim itelf is served better if the accuser has to convince a mind that ignores possibities for which there is no evidence. And when a "closed" mind is convinced then truth is served much better. That is why people are innocent unless proven otherwise.

So, those who regard Charlotte Bronte innocent by default do have the correct mindset. Why they even consider her innocent is irrelevant. She is by default innocent. From what is mentioned in this thread, there is no evidence, not even circumstancial. There is not even evidence that there was a murder. So, there is no justifiable argument to not think her innocent, no justifiable argument to think "but she may have been guilty".

All that is required from people with regards to accusations is acquaint themselves with the proposed evidence. Since there is no evidence (say those who did read the book), not even that murder occurred, there is no need for others to read the book in order to have an opinion on the accusation and believe CB to be innocent by default, although they are free to do so of course.

Veho
01-29-2010, 12:06 AM
Slightly off topic, but whenever I've read a quote from Charlotte Bronte, she always seems to be discrediting other authors' work, including her own sisters'.

soundofmusic
01-29-2010, 01:09 AM
:p It's alittle difficult to rely on anything the maid says after she told of the romp in the kitchen with Charlottes boyfriend jumping on top of her and "I felt the hardness of him"...:blush:

prendrelemick
01-30-2010, 08:36 AM
There is a growing theory that she then faked her own death and went on to commit the Whitechapel murders. - Hows that for an open mind?

wessexgirl
01-30-2010, 10:02 AM
There is a growing theory that she then faked her own death and went on to commit the Whitechapel murders. - Hows that for an open mind?

:lol::lol:

corneliajordan
06-13-2011, 08:06 PM
To be honest ive read this book and people seem to totally miss out, that Charles Coutts and his family were solicitors and he found an offical document that was signed by Martha Brown and his great great great grandfather James Coutts, also another solicitor Edmund Beasley, this story has not come out of thin air. How can people read this book and dismiss that, this is Martha Browns story, the only thing that James Tully has done is help Charles Couttes. We will never know what happend, but it is abit strange that Mr Bronte and Miss Aykroyd managed to live to an old age and his young heathly daughters who didnt have a history of illness die???