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Sanctuary by Robert Edric
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A fictionalised story of Branwell Bronte, brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, told in the first person by Branwell. He and his sisters lived in Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire with their much respected father. His sisters were beginning to make a name for themselves with their poetry and novels. Branwell also wrote poetry but was a womaniser and drunk, spending all his money on his vices. His father and Charlotte tried to keep the debt collectors at bay and Branwell out of prison. This book paints a bleak and vivid picture of life in nineteenth century England. Life expectancy was short and poverty rife. Emily and Anne were both ill during the telling of this brief period of their lives and we learn in an afterword that Emily died aged thirty, Anne 29 and Branwell 31. Charlotte was 38 though their father lived till he was 84! A sad and moving tale, beautifully depicting a grim era.

If you like Robert Edric you might also like to read books by Jo Baker, Esther Freud and John Boyne.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

Sanctuary by Robert Edric

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover -finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the crushing disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes - allegedly kept secret from him - are only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life. Sanctuary is a lacerating and moving portrait of self-destruction. In it, Robert Edric has reimagined the final months of one of the great bystanders of literary history, and, in so doing, has shone a penetrating light on one of the most celebrated and perennially fascinating families in our creative history.


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Reviews

'A wonderfully edgy piece of wartime noir.'

- D.J. Taylor Independent

'Macabre twists keep the pages turning.'

- James Urquhart Financial Times

'A masterly, highly evocative, multi-layered tale.'

-Mail on Sunday (Eire)

'Fabulously atmospheric.'

-Bookseller

'Edric's world, though often unsavoury, is also curiously compelling. Lured into its shady precincts, you're unlikely to want to leave.'

- David Grylls Sunday Times

About the Author

Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (1985 James Tait Black Prize winner), A New Ice Age (1986 runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize), A Lunar Eclipse, The Earth Made of Glass, Elysium, In Desolate Heaven, The Sword Cabinet, The Book of the Heathen (shortlisted for the 2001 WH Smith Literary Award) and Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002). Cradle Song and Siren Song are the first books in the Song Cycle Trilogy, the final book, Swan Song, is now available from Doubleday.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Robert Edric

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Historical Fiction
Sagas and Romance
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ISBN

9780857522870

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