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The Mother of the Brontës (Hardback)

When Maria Met Patrick

Local History Yorkshire and Humberside P&S History Social History Women of History

By Sharon Wright
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781526738486
Published: 8th July 2019


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National publicity!

As seen in The Observer, June 2019: 'Revealed; smuggling past of the Brontë sisters' grandfather.'

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At long last, the untold story of the mysterious Mrs Brontë.

They were from different lands, different classes, different worlds almost.

The chances of Cornish gentlewoman Maria Branwell even meeting the poor Irish curate Patrick Brontë in Regency England, let alone falling passionately in love, were remote.

Yet Maria and Patrick did meet, making a life together as devoted lovers and doting parents in the heartland of the industrial revolution. An unlikely romance and novel wedding were soon followed by the birth of six children. They included Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, the most gifted literary siblings the world has ever known.

Her children inherited her intelligence and wit and wrote masterpieces such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Yet Maria has remained an enigma while the fame of her family spread across the world. It is time to bring her out of the shadows, along with her overlooked contribution to the Brontë genius.

Untimely death stalked Maria as it was to stalk all her children. But first there was her fascinating life’s story, told here for the first time by Sharon Wright.

Evidence of [Thomas Branwell's] illegal business dealings was unearthed by Sharon Wright while researching a forthcoming book on Branwell’s daughter, Maria, who married the poor Irish curate Patrick Brontë. Maria died aged 38, leaving their six children in the charge of her sister, Elizabeth.

The Guardian 29/6/19

The research behind this book is clearly excellent and from the first there is a lot of detail and the chapters are well paced. It starts by dealing with Marias early family life in Penzance through her romance with Patrick, to her untimely death, as the mother of 6 small children in Haworth. The narrative is filled with little gems such as the precise book Maria bought on a shopping trip in 1810 and this helps the reader place Marias life in its wider context... All in all, I enjoyed this book very much and it adds much to the understanding of the Bronte story.

NetGalley, Rebecca B

Would recommend if you want to get a more in-depth look at the background of the Brontes.

NetGalley, Kaye Temanson

Okay, wow. This book was immensely difficult to put down, and way better than I'd dared to hope it would be. The writing was excellent, the scenes were brilliantly written. The characters were fleshed out wonderfully and brought to life on center stage for the reader. I have read anything that I could get my hands on about Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte. But now, the story of their mother has finally been unfolded by the masterful Sharon Wright. A definite recommend!

NetGalley, Stacie Tyson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This short biography shows Maria's legacy in her remarkable family, her literary aspirations, Evangelistic faith, and deep love for Patrick Bronte and their children... I enjoyed this engaging portrait of the Mother of the Brontes and it added to my understanding of this remarkable family.

NetGalley, Nancy A. Bekofske

For me, this book was very interesting. I have to admit that anything I learnt about the Brontes parentage revolved more around their father who outlived Maria and all of his children. It was great to see a book written with their mother in mind for a change.

NetGalley, Ruth Parker

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Mother of the Brontes by Sharon Wright is a delightful novel focussing on the mother, Maria Branwell the mother of what would be 3 of the most famous literary women in modern history, and her relationship and marriage to Patrick Bronte.

I, like many others, did not know anything about Maria, only her famous children. It is such a joy to read and learn about an enigma of the past and to finally add a light to a person that has been overlooked.

I came away from this novel knowing much more, not only of Maria herself, but also as to a basis of how Charlotte, Anne, and Emily were who they were. It was also so sad to know how short her life came to be, how untimely her death.

This was a fabulous read that I was able to complete in 2 days. A must for anyone that loves history and also British literature.

NetGalley, Rachel Fox

About Sharon Wright

Sharon Wright is an award-winning journalist and playwright. She was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and now lives in South West London with her family. She has worked as a writer, editor and columnist for leading national magazines, newspapers and websites. These include The Guardian, Daily Express, BBC, Disney, Glamour, Red and Take a Break. She is also the author of critically acclaimed plays performed in Yorkshire and London, including Friller about balloonist Lily Cove.

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