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Thread: The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte

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    The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte

    Has anyone read this book? I have. If anyone else has, I am quite curious to hear your take on it.

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    Thumbs down The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte

    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!!

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    Registered User Silvia's Avatar
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    well, I actually haven't, but I heard about it. Is the author blaming Charlotte for the death of her brother and sisters?

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    Registered User aeroport's Avatar
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    Is it like a clever essay bashing her works, sort of like Twain's piece "James Fennimore Cooper's Literary Offences"?

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    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.

    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.

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    Registered User black butterffl's Avatar
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    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?

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    Windthatshakesthebarley Black Flag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyWentworth View Post
    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.
    "Friends stab you in the front" --Oscar Wilde

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Flag View Post
    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.

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    Windthatshakesthebarley Black Flag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    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.
    "Friends stab you in the front" --Oscar Wilde

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Flag View Post
    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 Brontė 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 Brontė 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
    Brontė 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.

  11. #11
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    I cannot find the book in China.Who can tell me where I can read it?Thanks...

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    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!
    Last edited by mona amon; 10-14-2008 at 03:55 AM.

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    Windthatshakesthebarley Black Flag's Avatar
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    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?
    "Friends stab you in the front" --Oscar Wilde

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    Windthatshakesthebarley Black Flag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicqueen View Post
    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.
    "Friends stab you in the front" --Oscar Wilde

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Flag View Post
    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?

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