We’re less than one week from the 200th birthday of the great Anne Brontë, so I’m thrilled to say that my new book to mark this occasion, ‘Crave The Rose: Anne Brontë At 200’ is available right now from its publisher Valley Press, based in Anne’s beloved Scarborough, from Amazon or by ordering from your local book shop (even better if it’s an independent bookshop of course).
I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I’m really pleased with this book and as I know there are lots of Anne fans reading this book, I thought I’d briefly share details of Crave The Rose. It contains things never seen in a Brontë book before, and thanks to the team at Valley Press it looks absolutely beautiful too.
My book is in three sections, the first of which is a mini-biography of Anne Brontë over the course of nine chapters. Each chapter opens with an Anne Brontë poem that is relevant to that part of her life, and this biography contains new information that has come to my attention since I wrote ‘In Search Of Anne Brontë‘ five years ago.
The middle section looks at a recently discovered essay by Anne Brontë which has never appeared in a book before. The essay is included in full, and I also explain where the essay was found, how it was verified that Anne was the author, and why I believe that these are the final words that Anne Brontë ever wrote.
The final section also contains things that can be found in no other Brontë book, as we take a walk back to the nineteenth century archives and hear first person accounts of people who met the Brontës face to face in their everyday lives. It gives us real insight into what the Brontës were like, and many of the accounts are incredibly moving – and often very surprising too.
I hope you will enjoy reading ‘Crave The Rose: Anne Brontë At 200’ as much as I enjoyed writing it. Next Friday there will be a birthday post to mark Anne’s big day itself, and I may see some of you at Brontë 200 events in Bradford on Friday and Scarborough (I hope to be there on Sunday). For now I leave you with ‘The Narrow Way’, Anne’s magnificent poem which contains the title words to my new book:
‘Believe not those who say
The upward path is smooth,
Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way
And faint before the truth.
It is the only road
Unto the realms of joy;
But he who seeks that blest abode
Must all his powers employ.
Bright hopes and pure delights
Upon his course may beam,
And there amid the sternest heights,
The sweetest flowerets gleam; –
On all her breezes borne
Earth yields no scents like those;
But he, that dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
Arm, arm thee for the fight!
Cast useless loads away:
Watch through the darkest hours of night;
Toil through the hottest day.
Crush pride into the dust,
Or thou must needs be slack;
And trample down rebellious lust,
Or it will hold thee back.
Seek not thy treasure here;
Waive pleasure and renown;
The World’s dread scoff undaunted bear,
And face its deadliest frown.
To labour and to love,
To pardon and endure,
To lift thy heart to God above,
And keep thy conscience pure, –
Be this thy constant aim,
Thy hope and thy delight, –
What matters who should whisper blame,
Or who should scorn or slight?
What matters – if thy God approve,
And if within thy breast,
Thou feel the comfort of his love,
The earnest of his rest?’