The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte: The Secret History of the Mysterious Events at Haworth

by James Tully | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 1841191310 Global Overview for this book
Registered by AgnesXNitt of Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on 9/22/2007
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13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by AgnesXNitt from Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Saturday, September 22, 2007
'The story of the lives of the Bronte family is as haunting and tragic as their novels: three sisters and an alcoholic brother shut up in the bleak and claustrophobic parsonage at Haworth.
Noted criminologist James Tully became fascinated by the inconsistances he found in the accounts of the lives and deaths of the Brontes, and soon became enmeshed in seeking out the mysteries at Haworth.
So dark and unexpected were the results of his researches, he decided to tell the story in the form which brings to the fore many disturbing questions:

How *did* three sisters in a remote parsonage know so much about the darker passions of love?

Did Charlotte's husband, Arthur Nicholls, have a relationship with Emily that resulted in her pregnancy?

Poet and artist, drug user and alcoholic - was Branwell also an expert blackmailer?

Was Anne poisoned to stop her revealing the truth about Emily's death?

All of which leads to one final question: Was there a cold-blooded and calculating murderer at the heart of the Bronte household?'

I read this book (in hardback edition) when I found it in my local library a couple of years ago. Recently I felt moved to read it again, but couldn't remember what it was called or who wrote it. Luckily, a very helpful BXer tracked it down for me and I got my own paperback copy. Other BXers have expressed an interest in reading this, so I won't give any more details other than Mr Tully has convinced me - Guilty!! As Sin!!
Posting a Ring offer on the Forums directly after logging this book :)

Journal Entry 2 by AgnesXNitt from Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Saturday, September 29, 2007
It's a ring, it's a ring, it's a ring!! Yay!!
Wow - 14 BXers want to see what alledged Skullduggery went on at Haworth. So, in the words of Pink and as quoted by Dame Shirley Bassey at Glastonbury and by Sam Tyler in 'Life On Mars' - 'Let's Get This Party *Started*'!
Ring order (last leg to be confirmed) is:

RosieWhippet, Cambridgehire, UK (UK only posting)
ZAS, Northampton, UK (Anywhere)
MidLifeCrisis, Cornwall, UK - Has Asked To Be Skipped
Cocobarks, Galway, Ireland (EU only)
Haugtussa, Stavanger, Norway (Anywhere)
LeishaCamden, Oslo, Norway (Anywhere)
Findabair, Oslo, Norway (EU)
Fiellu, Jyvaskyla, Finland (EU only)
Chich, Perpignon, France (Anywhere)
kotus123, Germany (EU only) (late entry to the ring!)
Bookworm-Lady, Madrid, Spain (EU only)
Boirina, Areia, Portugal (Anywhere)
Caridad, Miami Lakes, Florida, USA (probably to be skipped but please PM first. NE problems, please let me know.)
JennyC1230, Woodstock, Georgia, USA (US/Canada preferred)
LadyIndigo, nr. Orange, New South Wales, Australia (Intl, surface mail)
Taniazed, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia (Intl shipping)
Snufkin81, Cape Town, South Africa (Intl, surface mail)
Vamperstein8782, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, UK (UK only) - late entry!!
RosieWhippet, Fenstanton, UK (return for her Mum to read!)

And then home to me :)
Please, if this list order is a problem to anyone, please let me know. I've tried to be methodical and logical about the list - shocking for anyone who knows me!
If you decide not to read this book due to whatever reason, when you get the PM from the previous reader, please let them know immediately so the book can keep moving. If you decide before you get the PM, let me know and I'll post it on this JE.
Thanks for signing up!

Journal Entry 3 by AgnesXNitt from Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, October 04, 2007
Posting to RosieWhippet - all depending on the Royal Mail and their strike plan of course! Being sent from Brampton Village Post Office, to catch the 5pm ish post.
Happy travels O Book Of Hinting Insiduousness!
Let The Ring Begin (even if its starting very close to home ;)!)

Journal Entry 4 by rosiewhippet from Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Coueey-Loueey!!! Got the book cheers. Will probably start it next week as I have just started a Jill Mansell book 500p but I am on over 100p now so shouls finish soon. Also I will hijack the book for a non-Bookcrosser!...my mum!!! Of course she is going to won't to read it!!! Don't worry though, I won't hold onto it for too long!

Rosiewhippet. x

Journal Entry 5 by rosiewhippet from Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 29, 2007
Have just finished reading this book and it was fantastic. I knew it would be and it was. The author certainly put a very good case together and very believable. The only thing was that in place you had to put it down and go and do something else and come back to it. This was because there was just so much information to take on board!!

AgnesXNitt - If possible can you add my name to the end again as I was going to give it to my mum to read but she has been away for 3 weeks looking after my sick uncle in Netheravon. So if possible can I borrow it again!!!??

Rosiewhippet. x

Journal Entry 6 by rosiewhippet at RAF Wyton Post Office in RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (11/1/2007 UTC) at RAF Wyton Post Office in RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom

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On the way to Zas.

Journal Entry 7 by ZAS from Thrapston, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Sunday, November 04, 2007
Recieved this morning, looks totally excellent and am looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 8 by ZAS from Thrapston, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 22, 2007
I really enjoyed this, and I must say its very plausible. It would be interesting to know just how much is provable and how much is supposition, but parts of it certainly convinced me! I think this is one I'm going to have to buy for my own collection. Pming midlifecrisis today so that I can send it on, Thanks AgnesXNitt!

Journal Entry 9 by Cocobarks on Monday, December 03, 2007
Received today by post. Will read this week.
Thanks.

Journal Entry 10 by wingHaugtussawing from Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Sunday, March 09, 2008
The book arrived safely today.

Journal Entry 11 by wingHaugtussawing from Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Well - I didn't really like the book that much. I had really high expectations of the book, both because the topic was fascinating and due to the reviews of the previous readers.

The topic was interesting, and I did find the idea of the dark secrets at Haworth fascinating. Nevertheless I felt that the book dragged on and that it repeated itself till it became quite boring. I didn't really get any sympathy with either Charlotte or Martha. I just kept questioning myself how they could 'not tell!' Thus I would have prefered the book to be a hundred pages shorter...

Even so I'm glad that I've read the book as I did find the topic interesting.

I'll get the book off to LeaishaCamden later on this week.


Journal Entry 12 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Monday, April 14, 2008
This arrived in the mail from Stavanger today. :-) Interesting that it's gotten some varied reviews; I'm really looking forward to reading this. I have a few other rings & rays ahead of it (they travel in packs!!) but I will get to it as soon as I can. Thanks for sharing, AgnesNitt! I'll journal again when I've read the book.

Journal Entry 13 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Thursday, June 05, 2008
Finally got around to starting on this book yesterday.

Didn't get very far yet, but looks very promising so far!! :-)

Journal Entry 14 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Monday, June 23, 2008
I finished this book on Sunday, June 15th. I'm so sorry for taking so long with this book - time's gotten away from me, and I have a big BookCrossing project going on at the moment which has been distracting me recently - but finally I am getting around to it. :-)

This was an enjoyable read, which made me interested in learning more about the Brontë family, and also in reading more of the sisters' books. Up till now I have only read Jane Eyre and I only know the general facts of their lives. But this book certainly made it all sound very interesting ;-) and I'm sure I will be looking into it more now.

So much for the story ... that was what I really enjoyed about the book, I found it entertaining and, as others have mentioned too, quite plausible. As far as I know. :-) The characters were rather annoying, a lot of them ... but that's not to say that they weren't convincing. Real people, as I'm sure we all know, can often be both annoying and stupid and irrational at times. :-)

The main thing that IMO weakens the book is the language. I found the book entertaining, but not in any way believable as a document from the period (which it purports to be). This was actually rather disappointing as I had hoped the author would have made more of an effort ... but alas, no. There are words and phrasings that are just all wrong - the perfect example: 'job' is used in several places, as in 'she was afraid of losing her job', when an actual 19th-century servant would have used 'place' - and there are NOWHERE near enough commas. :-) That sounds rather petty I suppose, to be picking on little things like that, but the devil is in the details. And because of the grammar and some other details in the language used in this book, it fails utterly to convince me of even the possibility of it being a genuine document. Unfortunately.

But the book was certainly entertaining and interesting, and overall definitely a worthwhile read. Thank you for sharing it with us, AgnesNitt!!

I'll be passing the book on to Findabair later this week.

Again, sorry for taking so long, thank you for your patience!! :-)

Released 11 yrs ago (6/25/2008 UTC) at Handed over in person in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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I'll be giving this to Findabair when I see her tonight. Hope she'll enjoy the book! And thanks again, AgnesXN, for your patience. :-)

Journal Entry 16 by Findabair from St. Hanshaugen bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Thursday, June 26, 2008
I got the book from Leisha last night and have already started reading, as I hope to finish it as soon as possible

Thanks for letting me participate in the bookring on such a short notice, Agnes!

Journal Entry 17 by Findabair from St. Hanshaugen bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, June 29, 2008
So I finished this book yesterday, and an interesting read it sure was. However, I have to say I didn't really like it.

I thought the writing was rather flat, for one thing, and I didn't really care much for Martha's fate. Also, after Branwell, Emily and Anne died, I thought the plot lost pace and became a lot less interesting. Additionally, there were inconsistencies that made the book less believable; for instance, Martha says early on that she doesn't know what a novel is (p. 39), but this seems unlikely to me since she served in the Brontë household for however-many years and is educated enough to write her deposition herself.

My main objection, however, is the way the book is done. I'm probably too much of a stuffy academic concerning this; I would have preferred either a non-fiction book or a straight-forward novel that makes no pretence of being true. At the very least I would have liked a note from the author, James Tully that is, and not the fictional author Charles Coutts, about which parts are generally accepted information about the Brontë's lives, which parts are his own research and which parts are speculation. At least there is a short bibliography.

Anyway, in spite of my negative comments here, I *am* very glad to have read this book, so thanks again for letting me participate on short notice!

Fiellu is on holiday at the moment and asked me to delay sending the book to her before July 3rd, so I'll hang on to it until then.

Journal Entry 18 by Fiellu from Joensuu, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on Tuesday, July 08, 2008
This book arrived just today. Gladly I'm not currently reading anything so can start on this straight away. Thanks Findabair for posting and AgnesXNitt for sharing the book. It seems very interesting.

Journal Entry 19 by Fiellu from Joensuu, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on Monday, July 28, 2008
It took quite a long time for me to finish this book due to having a lot to read at work. But I'm glad I finished this as the plot was quite capturing. I'm not too familiar with the history of the Brontë family so this book was especially enlightening. I was a bit confused at first by the way that the book was written and I was not sure in the beginning weather to believe the story or not. Yet in the end the evidence did seem quite convincing. The book also gave a good idea of how things were in England during the 19th century.

Will post forward as soon as I get the details from the next person in line.

Journal Entry 20 by chich from Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Sunday, August 03, 2008
Book received yesterday, thanks for passing it on Fiellu & thanks for sharing AgnesXNitt:) Just finished another book this morning so I'll get right on to this one;-)

Journal Entry 21 by chich from Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Wednesday, August 06, 2008
What an interesting read! I found it all very plausible but I think it would have been nice to know what facts were fiction and which ones were real. The only "real" problem I had with this book is that it really dragged on and on and became quite repetitive, as said by Haugtussa. Still, I'm glad I had a chance to read this book, which was really interesting;-)

Thanks for sharing AgnesXNitt:-)

I've already PMed kotus123 for her address and will send her the book as soon as she gives it to me.

Updated August 18: I haven't yet heard from kotus123 despite PMing several times and posting an ISO message in the BookRing forum. As agreed with AgnesXNitt, kotus123 will be skipped if she doesn't respond by tomorrow, August 19.

Journal Entry 22 by chich from Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Book sent to Bookworm-lady today, enjoy!




Entry #30 for the 2008 Keep Them Moving Challenge.

Journal Entry 23 by wingBookworm-ladywing from Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, September 05, 2008
I picked it up from the post office last Wednesday.
Thanks for sharing yet another great book, AgnesXNitt, and thanks for making sure I received it, Chich!
Quite intriguing, looking forward to reading it...

Journal Entry 24 by wingBookworm-ladywing from Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, November 14, 2008
Currently reading it... Quite provocative, so far!
Will let my friend Boirina know she will receive it soon!
Eva

Journal Entry 25 by wingBookworm-ladywing from Madrid, Madrid Spain on Thursday, November 20, 2008
Very, very good...
A lot of research must have got into this.
You might agree or not with the author's theories, but everything is perfectly explained, even some of Charlotte's unexplaine actions or comments in letters.
Having been to Haworth myself (twice), I really enjoyed this account.
Thanks for sharing, it will soon be on its way to Boirina...

Journal Entry 26 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Postal release, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (11/26/2008 UTC) at Postal release, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

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Sent to Boirina this evening.
Enjoy!
Eva

Journal Entry 27 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Thursday, December 11, 2008
The book is here with me!

Thanks a lot for sharing it with us!

Journal Entry 28 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Sunday, January 11, 2009
The book left for JennyC1230 last Thursday.

Thanks for the opportunity to read it.

Journal Entry 29 by JennyC1230 from Woodstock, Georgia USA on Friday, January 16, 2009
This book came in the mail today. I will read it next and contact the next person in line for an address.

Thanks for sharing AgnesXNitt and boirina for passing it on to me. :-)

Journal Entry 30 by JennyC1230 from Woodstock, Georgia USA on Thursday, January 22, 2009
I just couldn't get into this book. I read about 75 pages in 3 days, which is dismal for me. It should have been interesting, it had mystery, crime, family, drugs, alcohol, lovers, blackmail, famous authors, etc. but I could not sit down and read more than a few pages at a time. Sorry! Thanks for giving me the chance to read it AgnesXNitt!

I have LadyIndigo's address and will be mailing this to her soon...

Journal Entry 31 by JennyC1230 from Woodstock, Georgia USA on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Planning to mail on Jan. 28th to LadyIndigo. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 32 by wingLadyIndigowing from Orange, New South Wales Australia on Friday, February 13, 2009
thanks jennyc1230
the book has arrived safely in the land down under

looks really interesting

;-)

Journal Entry 33 by wingLadyIndigowing from Orange, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 01, 2009
an interesting account of what may have happened...
tho i did find the writing style unbelievable - the language used by martha and coutts is very similar and i would expect marked differences in their languaging given their occupations and the timing of their stories (200 years apart)

so if all this really happened it certainly puts a new spin on the brontes writing

i have been participating in a bronte reading group - we are up to our last book this month - agnes grey

i expected to read more about the other published bronte works in this book, as martha brown allegedly worked for the family during the entire period the books were published

i am going to reread wuthering heights to see if there is in fact a marked variance in style after the first three chapters - but then again if charlotte spitefully edited the book after emily's death, i may not find that difference...
i will also seek to read mrs gaskill's biography

Journal Entry 34 by wingLadyIndigowing from Orange, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 01, 2009
i have attempted to contact the next reader taniazed, without success - her profile does request that she be skipped, but i thought i would check anyhow to see whether her circumstances have changed

so i have now received snufkin81's address and will post to her in south africa before the weekend

thanks agnesxnitt for sharing this interesting account
;-)

~ edited to add that the book was posted to snufkin81 3 april ~

Journal Entry 35 by AgnesXNitt from Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 04, 2010
Oh dear, oh dear. This book is officially lost. Somewhere it lies waiting to be found en-route from Australia and South Africa...
Perhaps it got lost in the postal system.
Perhaps it has been snatched by nefarious hands.
Perhaps it is having an adventure somewhere.
I can't believe it made it sooooo far down the listing before it lost its way.
Perhaps there is still a glimmer of hope - lets all hope so.
And if not, let us bend our heads in silent prayer for the loss of a good book... :(

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