Bronte novella to get first publication

Sunday, March 16, 2003

— For many years, the kingdom of Angria has been known only to scholars who struggled through a manuscript crammed with tiny spidery writing.

Now, Charlotte Bronte's novella "Stancliffe's Hotel," set in a fictional land she and her brother created, will be published for the first time, shedding new light on one of Britain's most famous writers, Bronte scholar Heather Glen said Friday.

"I think it will change the way in which she's still seen, rather patronizingly, as a woman writer who wrote only about her own concerns," said Glen, who teaches at Cambridge University.

Written in 1838, when Bronte was 23, "Stancliffe's Hotel" is a series of ironic vignettes that debunk some of the manners and fashions of 1830s England, Glen said.

Edited by Glen, it will be published by Penguin in June and later this year in a volume with four other novellas set in the fictional kingdom of Angria, created by Charlotte and her brother Branwell.

The others have been published before, but Glen is editing them for the new edition. A U.S. publication date was not immediately available.

Bronte is best known for "Jane Eyre," the tale of a poor governess who survives traumatic events to marry the master of the house.