Review: Emily Bronte: A Life in 20 Poems By Nick Holland



Emily Jane Brontë was born in July 1818; along with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, she is famed as a member of the greatest literary family of all time, and helped turn Haworth into a place of literary pilgrimage. Whilst Emily Brontë wrote only one novel, the mysterious and universally acclaimed Wuthering Heights, she is widely acknowledged as the best poet of the Brontë sisters – indeed as one of the greatest female poets of all time. Her poems offer insights to her relationships with her family, religion, nature, the world of work, and the shadowy and visionary powers that increasingly dominated her life.

Taking twenty of her most revealing poems, Nick Holland creates a unifying impression of Emily Brontë, revealing how this terribly shy young woman could create such wild and powerful writing, and why she turned her back on the outside world for one that existed only in her own mind.




Cold in the earth — and the deep snow piled above thee,

Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only love, to love thee,

Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover

Over the mountains, on that northern shore;
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
That noble heart for ever, ever more?

Cold in the earth – and fifteen wild Decembers

From these brown hills have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee

While the world’s tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lightened up my heaven,

No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee.

But when the days of golden dreams had perished,

And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion –

Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine; 


Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?
Remembrance by Emily Bronte


If anyone is curious about Emily Bronte then getting to know certain aspects of her life through her gorgeous poems is a genius way to write about her.  Nick Holland is the best writer to do it. His research is always precise and his passion for the Bronte family shines through. A Yorkshire man himself, what better place to start? 

If you are hoping to find sisters Charlotte, Anne, and brother Branwell they're here too! 
Along with so much more. I don't want to ruin it for anyone but its also such a beautifully produced book in design and manner.

I hope folks will read it and enjoy it for themselves.

Thank you for my review copy, The History Press

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