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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Napoleon and the Spectre

Oh, hello! Virago Press? Hi, there's a little something you might want to look into- The Virago Book of Ghost Stories edited by Richard Dalby:

We have 31 stories here, all by women (as you would expect from Virago, even though the editor is a man) and almost all good. Indeed, there is only one utter dud, the first in the book, Napoleon and the Spectre by Charlotte Brontë; this is indescribably feeble and I am baffled by its inclusion.

Indeed, sir, I find myself quite baffled. Charlotte did not write 'Napoleon and the Spectre', it was one Branwell Bronte who is not a lady (forgive my ignorance on the subject- there could possibly be a novel out there about Branwell being a lady. You can never say for sure about these things).

My apologies but this was, honestly, the most fascinating or amusing Bronte item to come across the wire all week.


Anonymous said...

What are your sources? All mine point to it definitely having been written by Charlotte Brontë, including my copy of the Penguin Juvenilia that includes the story inside The Green Dwarf

Brontëana said...

I left most of my Bronte books behind when I came to University so I can't give you a direct answer, only that I'm sure that it was written by Branwell. Charlotte did collaborate with him so perhaps that might explain why it is included in her juvenilia. Napoleon was one of Branwell's characters in their 'plays', however.