There has been no shortage of work on Charlotte’s juvenile writings. Mrs Gaskell was aware of their existence, but not of their significance. Mr Nicholls took them with him back to Ireland, and then Clement Shorter and T.J. Wise got hold of them. This led to the manuscripts being widely scattered and a whole series of unsatisfactory printed editions being issued. Only in the last few years, largely thanks to the labours of Dr Christine Alexander, have Charlotte’s juvenilia been sorted out, and we can soon look forward to proper editions of everything Charlotte wrote.1


Yellow Hair Early Story Violent Passion Portrait Painter Shadowy Figure 
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  1. 1.
    This chapter is heavily indebted to C. Alexander, The Early Writings of Charlotte Brontë (London 1983). The forthcoming edition of the juvenilia will no doubt make the issue of the juvenilia clearer, in particular helping to settle the question of their literary merit.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    W. Gerin, Charlotte Brontë: The Evolution of Genius (Oxford, 1966) pp. 87–92 exaggerates the division between the brother and sister, and in general Branwell’s prose writings, still to be deciphered, have had a poor press, although his poetry is better than that of Charlotte.Google Scholar

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© Tom Winnifrith 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Winnifrith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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