Geography book annotated by the Brontës

Book/Manuscript notes/Illustration/Image

Description

English

This delightful book contains a wealth of information about world geography in all its social and physical aspects and it is easy to understand its appeal to the Brontë children, who owned this copy. The list of questions and the exercises at the back of the book have been well used and there are pencil marks beside most of the entries, perhaps indicating correct answers. Inside the front and back covers and on the fly-leaves there are sketches of grotesque figures and random jottings in both pencil and ink; these are typical of the Brontë children.

Real places and imaginary places

More interesting and more unusual, however, is the gazetteer of places at the end of the book which has been heavily annotated by either Emily or Anne. Between the printed names of real places listed in alphabetical order one of them has entered in pencil places to be found in the imaginary world of Gondal. Thus, for instance, between the printed entries for ‘Eurestenburg; a principality of the Grand Duchy of Baden and’ and ‘Gareta; a celebrated town of Naples’ there is a pencil insertion in miniscule script: ‘Gaaldine a large Island newly discovered in the south pacific’. The book is thus an important source for Gondal names as well as providing evidence of the blurring between fiction and reality which was such a feature of the Brontës’ lives.

Credit: Juliet R V Barker, Sixty Treasures (Keighley: Brontë Society, 1988)

Full title
A Grammar of General Geography
Format
Book / Manuscript notes / Illustration / Image
Creator
Rev J Goldsmith , Emily Brontë
Held by
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Usage Terms
Free from known copyright restrictions
Shelfmark
Bonnell 45

Related articles

Walking the landscape of Wuthering Heights

Article by
John Bowen
Theme: 
The novel 1832 - 1880

Situating Emily Brontë in her hometown of Haworth – a small Yorkshire mill town surrounded by moors – Professor John Bowen reflects on the representation of landscape in Wuthering Heights.

Melding fantasy and realism in Wuthering Heights

Article by
John Bowen
Theme: 
The novel 1832 - 1880

Professor John Bowen explores the intertwined nature of fantasy and realism within Emily Brontë’s novel.

Related collection items

Related people