I am currently reading Justine Picardie’s Daphne. I haven’t been that enthralled by a book in a long long time. Yesterday, I actually considered not going to work to be able to finish it. I believe there should be reading days alongside sick days, but this is for a different time and a different economy.
In a twist echoing his own life, the forgotten Branwell Brontë is the fourth main but invisible character of the book. I pride myself in being a Brontë fan. By the age of 16, I had read Charlotte and Emily and Anne. And yet, up until two days ago, I had no idea they had a brother.
According to Picardie’s narrative
“Branwell was disgraced because of the discovery of his scandalous affair with Mrs Robinson, who was not only married, but fifteen years older than her son’s tutor”
I’d like to think
Mike Nichols Charles Webb decided to name his Mrs Robinson from Branwell’s life. His book was published in 1963, Daphne du Maurier’s The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë, the biography which introduced him to the world was published in the UK in 1960.
Though this might just be a very out of character excès de romantisme.
PS: The picture is of Menabilly, du Maurier’s house and the original Manderley