Tales of Angria” by Charlotte Bronte is a book comprised of five ‘novelettes’ connected with the imaginary kingdom of Angria and a couple of characters who appear, or are at least mentioned, in all five tales, such as ‘The Duke of Zamorna’and ‘The Earl of Northangerland.’
The first two tales are extremely difficult, and to put it more bluntly, nearly intolerable to read. The same characters go by so many different names that the reader is often left guessing as to who they are. One is not even sure who is narrating the tales.
The last three tales are sublime, the numerous characters richly and delightfully defined, and the storylines both easy and fascinating to follow. It is important to note that the tales are presented in the chronological order in which they were written. One is witness to the maturity of Ms. Bronte as she literally refines her craft over a period of a single year.
“Tales of Angria” is in no way comparable to Ms. Bronte’s masterpiece “Jane Eyre” and I would be remiss to recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely looking for something similar. What this book gives us is a rare glimpse into the creative and imaginary processes of one of the world’s greatest writers. For scholars of Ms. Bronte this is an absolute treasure trove. (less)