Bronte Sisters set

It’s been a while since I posted about my book collection.

The Novels of the Bronte Sisters

The Novels of the Bronte Sisters

Set: The Novels of the Sisters Bronte; 12 volume set. This is a complete set of the finished seven novels by the Brontes — Villette, Shirley, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall are two volumes each — plus the famous biography of Charlotte Bronte by her friend and fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.

Authors: Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Anne Bronte, and Elizabeth Gaskell

Publisher: John Grant, Edinburgh

Publication Date: 1905

Acquired: $60 for the set, purchased at a flea market in Rowley, MA. It was hard for me to spend that much money, but after some internet research, I’m starting to feel a little guilty… because I think I got a major steal.

Comments: I have mixed feelings about grouping the Bronte Sisters’ works in a set or as a literature course. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense: their novels have similar themes, the settings are influenced by places they grew up together, they gave each other support and feedback on the first few novels. On the other hand, I always feel like they get dismissed to some extent when they are lumped together–as if any of the books could have been written by any of the sisters. You, dear reader, know that’s not true. Each sister had her own obsessions, perspective, and distinct writing style.

Still, it does make some sense to group them, and it was exciting to see a set–although I was not surprised such a thing existed, I had never personally seen it before. This set is a muted red color, with pretty gold lettering and a flower symbol on the spine. Very ladylike. The set is in decent condition; the bottoms and some of the inside pages have age spots, but everything is intact and the spines are in good shape.

Spines of a few of the books

Spines of a few of the books

Each book has one or two illustrations. I was expecting scenes from the books, but instead these were illustrations of the supposed “originals” of various characters or settings in the novels.

Title Page for Agnes Grey

Title Page for Agnes Grey

A portrait of Charlotte Bronte's best friend Ellen Nussey, supposedly the "original" for the character of Caroline in Shirley

A portrait of Charlotte Bronte’s best friend Ellen Nussey, supposedly the “original” for the character of Caroline in Shirley

A lovely set, and I think it’s worth way more than I paid for it! Antiques Roadshow?

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