Syrie James’s The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë: A Neo-Victorian Biofiction of Pride and Prejudice
Keywords:Syrie James, Charlotte Brontë, biofiction, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Syrie James’s The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë (2009) is a first-person narrative of the last ten years of the Victorian novelist’s life. It is a neo-Victorian celebrity biofiction, tending to the hagiographic. It draws on various biographies of Brontë, on her letters and on her autobiographical novels. Interestingly, it also evokes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a novel that Brontë famously disliked. The present article considers Secret Diaries within the parameters of neo-Victorian biofiction; it identifies parallelisms with Austen’s classic; it reassesses the relationship between Brontë and Austen; and, in doing all this, shows that the chronological scope of Neo-Victorianism is broad.
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