La Biblioteca del Vascello Editions, by Robin Publishing, has been promoting since February another work translated and curated by me, professor Maddalena de Leo.
In this new book, I’ve collected four little-known and engaging stories written by Charlotte Brontë and published under the title Juvenilia. Two of these stories are quite long – like short novels- and these four little gems open up the doors of the earlier- but nonetheless strong and passionate- writings of this amazing English writer.
As you probably already know, I’m a renowned Brontë scholar and enthusiast, and I’ve been translating into Italian Charlotte’s early writings for almost twenty years, since when they were little- known even in their original language. In 2016, I’ve translated and curated two more works by Charlotte for L’Argolibro Publishing (Storie di Geni e di Fate) and Ripostes Publishing (I Componimenti di Bruxelles), and this last book completes the trio. For the first time translated into Italian, I introduce the wonderful story of Caroline Vernon, along with three fascinating stories from the Angrian saga: Lily Hart (unpublished), Il Segreto (The Secret), and Henry Hastings (these two have been published before, but they are now out of print and can’t be easily found). All the stories are preceded by a very exhaustive introduction.
Caroline Vernon is the last story from the Angrian saga, and marks the passage between Charlotte’s early writings and her artistic maturity. Divided into two parts, this long story – almost a short novel- tells about the life of the Earl of Northangerland’s daughter who, at his father’s will, changes her existence from a tranquil and isolated life in the countryside with her mother, to a life in the most elegant Parisian parlours where she has to affirm her place in society. Young Caroline will then be attracted by the beguiling behaviour of her cynical godfather, the Duke of Zamorna, unwittingly becoming her prey.
Lily Hart is an adorable love story set in Africa, written by Charlotte in 1833, while working with her brother Branwell on the military stories of the Tales of Angria. This adorable tale describes the secret affair of the the Marquis of Fidena who, under false pretences, marries a poor girl form a lower social class.
In Il Segreto (The Secret), the protagonist is a young and beautiful woman in love, who becomes weak and fearful, and doesn’t hesitate to contravene her husband’s orders without him knowing. Conversely, in Henry Hastings there’s a new female protagonist who is stubborn and inflexible, and who’s able to face love temptations, anticipating the arrival of the most famous and incredible character created by Charlotte, the unforgettable Jane Eyre.
MADDALENA DE LEO