& Nicolson, 1990: ISBN: 0-297-81040-5
Juliet says: "I compiled this book while working as the curator and librarian of the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The idea came from Victorian and Edwardian commonplace books in general and, in particular, from an early twentieth-century yearbook, or diary, in the Parsonage library which featured a quote from the Brontës’s works for each day of the year. As the Brontës were meticulous in dating everything they wrote, I thought a more evocative and interesting version would – as far as possible – quote from a piece actually written on that particular day. Julia Bickham did some delightful line drawings to illustrate the book which fitted perfectly with the concept. I loved the cover she did too, my only objection being that, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the publisher decided to go for a pink background. The Brontës! – pink!!!"
What the cover says: Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have made the Brontë name immortal, but many of the Brontës’ writings remain largely unknown. The Brontë Yearbook is a unique collection which takes in each member of the Brontë family. It introduces their prose, poetry, letters and diary entries as a book of days, reflecting the magical quality which has made the Brontës eternally popular. Each quote appears, in a diary format, on the day it was originally written.
The Brontë Yearbook is a vivid portrait of that most remarkable literary family. The Brontës’ daily lives are here before us in their own words: the quiet pleasures of their beloved home at Haworth Parsonage; the frustrations and unhappiness of the sisters in their employment as governesses; the excitement of literary success and recognition; the pain of separation and untimely death. But Juliet Barker dispels the popular misconception that the Brontës were a tragic family, dogged at every step by death and disaster. Their own writings show them as a family unusual only in their extraordinary ability to create such powerful and elemental tales.
More than fifty stunning black and white drawings have been specially commissioned to complement the text of The Brontë Yearbook. They emphasize the seasonal variations of Haworth’s wild moorland setting which provided the Brontës with a continual source of inspiration and encouraged them, as children, to create their own imaginary worlds. This covetable book will bring hours of pleasure to all those who love and admire the Brontës.
Links: Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth & Brontë Society: www.bronte.org.uk