Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bronte Studies Journal Review

In January 2013, Vol. 38 of the Brontë Studies Journal included Bob Duckett's review of Charlotte Brontë's Thunder. This is a prestigious journal on all things Brontë that has been publishing continuously since 1895.

Bob Duckett has been managing editor of the journal, past president of the Brontë Society, and reference librarian at Bradford University. He would be considered an excellent authority/expert to assess the merits of my claim. Thankfully, his encouraging review suggests that my theory may be worth a look. Below are excerpts.

Editorial by Amber M. Adams BRONTË STUDIES Volume 38, Issue 1, pages iii-iv

'Our Reviews Editor, Carolyne Van Der Meer, has coaxed interesting reviews on varied topics from old hands. The longest and most exceptional review is that of Michele Carter’s Charlotte Brontë’s Thunder: the Truth Behind the Brontë Sisters’ Genius by Bob Duckett. In this book the author examines Brontë texts in enormous detail; her results seem unbelievable, but all are supported by meticulous and thorough research. The Brontë boat may well be rocked — and we should welcome such innovative alternative thinking.'

Here are a few of the reviewer's comments:
1)      Carter’s knowledge of Masonic imagery and vocabulary does add greatly to a greater understanding of the novels. This feature is, itself, interesting, amazing even, but the more serious point, the reason why Charlotte was so secretive, was her wish to expose the corruption and crimes associated with the freemasons of Haworth.

2)      After some three hundred pages, I felt somewhat sated with Carter’s triple whammy of Charlotte’s secret authorship, her amazing anagrams, and her accusations of Masonic wrong doings. I needed time to reflect, but more revelations kept coming to light which kept me going to the end of this fascinating detective story. Many of the revelations are quite shocking.

3)      Clearly this book will raise a myriad of questions, but the depth of the author’s research; the breadth of her resources; her impressive grasp of Haworth’s social and economic history; her unrivalled knowledge of freemasonry; her enviable grasp of English jurisprudence . . . and her deep immersion in the Brontë corpus, makes it a book worthy of serious study. Michele Carter has made us a bold challenge.
© 2013 Maney Publishing
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After many years of research, writing, and an effort to present my case, this review was a wonderful result and a welcome relief. Thank you, Bob Duckett.


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