Oblivion: The Lost Diaries of Branwell Brontë is both a compelling reconstruction of the life of the famous literary sisters’ often-misunderstood brother and a dramatic, sweeping portrayal of a century in rapid transition to modernity. It is a meticulous, loving tribute to the language, structure and themes of the Brontës’ own works, as de la Motte at times weaves the very words of their correspondence, novels and poems seamlessly into his lively narrative.
Oblivion traces Branwell’s meandering journey across the north of England, from the Fells of the Lake District to the ocean cliffs of Scarborough, from the smoky streets of industrial Halifax to the windswept moors above Haworth, encountering such notables as Hartley Coleridge and Franz Liszt. Through him we meet poets, sculptors, booksellers, prostitutes, publicans, railway workers, farmers, manufacturers and clergymen; through his experiences we contemplate the ineffable but fleeting ecstasy of sex, the existence of God, the effects of drugs and alcohol and the nature of addiction itself, the desire for fame, and the bitter resentment of artists and intellectuals who feel unappreciated by an increasingly materialistic, mechanised society.
This sprawling story is a moving, thought-provoking page-turner that seeks not only to understand the roots of Branwell Brontë’s tragic end but also to unearth the striking similarities of character between him and his now-famous sisters.
Date Published: 2022-07-21
Catalogue Number: VP0195
Number of Pages: 800
Cover and text design: Peter Barnfather
Cover illustration: Lindsey Tyson
Commissioning editor: Jamie McGarry
Copy editor: Sarah Meaney
Author photo: Megan Parham
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