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Release: Immediate

New UI Press anthology examines the Brontës

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An anthology published by the University of Iowa Press is shedding new light on the Brontës, one of the most famous families in English literature.

"The Brontës: Interviews and Recollections," edited by Harold Orel, collects 40 selections from books and periodicals -- many of them never reprinted before in their entirety -- which cast light upon the personalities and activities of the Rev. Patrick Brontë; his son, Branwell; and his three daughters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne.

Selections include pieces by William Makepeace Thackeray, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the Brontës themselves.

How a family living in a small and remote community was able to produce some of the most heartfelt, original, and striking literature of the 19th century -- classics including "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre" -- is a question that has long interested fans of the Brontë family.

Much of what is known about the family has come not from the Brontës themselves but from local tradition, inhabitants of the places associated with them, friends and acquaintances, journalists, other novelists, publishers, and even the most casual of visitors to the Haworth Parsonage. Because this extraordinary family left such sketchy documentation, the testimonies in the new anthology helps satisfy curious readers and scholars.

Harold Orel is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Kansas. His publications include works on Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rebecca West. He is the editor of "Gilbert and Sullivan: Interviews and Recollections" (Iowa, 1994).

"The Brontës: Interviews and Recollections" is available at bookstores nationwide for $24.95 clothbound. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling

(319) 384-3807 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: