Brontë’s Mistress * L’amante di Brontë
When Anne Brontë went to work as a governess for the Robinson family, her brother Branwell soon followed to teach the family's only son. But he took a shine to Mrs Lydia Robinson, who was 15 years older than him, and they allegedly had an affair.
This novel is about what might have happened between the two, and it's told by Mrs Robinson herself.
I love the Brontës, especially Anne, and so I had to read this.
I loved it, it's beautifully written and Lydia feels very real. She is a "regular" woman, with qualities and flaws, her heart burns but she can only be her passionate self with Branwell, as when it comes to her family and peers she must dim her inner light and just be "proper".
It wasn't easy to be a woman, and a wife, in Victorian England, and many young women who were full of life ended up dimmed and feeling depleted. This could be the story of many of them.
I have read many books so far this year, but only few I really loved and this is one of them. I was sorry to say goodbye to Lydia and the Brontës when the novel ended, and I hope Austin will write other novels about the Brontës. If she does not, I will certainly look forward to anything else she'll choose to write.