Tuesday, August 31, 2010

...On this one work alone.

When the third edition of Jane Eyre by "Currer Bell" appeared in 1848, its author, Charlotte Bronte, added a note stating, "my claim to the title of novelist rests on this one work alone." Why she felt compelled to state the obvious has to do with her publisher's confusion over the identity of Currer, Acton, and Ellis Bell, that would be Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte.

For a brief period in the late 1840s, T. C. Newby believed he was dealing with one writer acting under three pen names. In fact, he was so sure, he used Jane Eyre to market Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Directly opposite the title page is an excerpt from a positive review of Jane Eyre under the heading "On Mr. Bell's First Novel," rather strongly suggesting that Currer and Acton were one in the same.



Come sort out the confusion yourself with the first edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Rare PR4162.T4), and the third edition of Jane Eyre (Val 826 B78S114).  And while you are looking, it would be a shame to miss the first edition of Jane Eyre (Val 826 B78S112).

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1 comment:

  1. We have written a follow-up blog post at http://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2012/12/by-author-of-jane-eyre.html

    Rauner Staff

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