A more apt title for this psychobiography of Emily Brontë would be A Soulfood Chain. It argues, you see, for a strong connection between Emily Brontë’s artistic sensibility and her eating habits. The willowy, stubborn child of the moors who never loved, but who knew all about tempestuous passion and wrote about it in lyric poetry and Wuthering Heights, was anorexic. Or so biographer Katherine Frank has decided to claim.

Emily Brontë, like her sisters Charlotte and Anne, lived in her imagination. Even more so than they, she shunned contact with society and reveled in a life of cooking and cleaning for her widowed clergyman father at the rugged Haworth parsonage. She died at age thirty of the tuberculosis to which her family was prone (it claimed the lives of her siblings Maria, Elizabeth, and Branwell Brontë before her, Miss Frank reports.)

The Emily Brontë who...


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