Romancing Miss Bronte


In this compelling novel of historical fiction, Juliet Gael portrays the poignantly courageous lives of literature’s most famous sisters and reveals how Charlotte Brontë transformed her heart’s loss into one of the most enduring literary works of all time – Jane Eyre.

For Charlotte, two years of study in Brussels offered everything her heart desired: independence, a taste of the continent and its sophistication, but most of all a chance to blossom under the guiding hand of a brilliant but married professor. When Charlotte’s feelings, stoked by the professor’s seductive attentions, grow obsessive, she flees back to England with her crushed hopes and the guilty secret of an adulterous love.

Now, it is 1845, and she is back home in the desolate Yorkshire moors, duty-bound to a blind father and an alcoholic brother, watching her dreams unravel. With her sisters Emily and Anne, she conceives an ambitious plan to earn a little money: they will publish. Returning to the imaginary worlds that had been their solace since childhood, the sisters craft novels quite unlike anything written before. Against a backdrop of domestic chaos, they go about their business in utmost secrecy, writing under pen names and deftly spiriting manuscripts back and forth to publishers under the noses of unsuspecting family and friends.

Charlotte’s Jane Eyre becomes an overwhelming literary success, catapulting her into the spotlight of London’s fashionable literary scene, and into the arms of her new publisher, George Smith, an irresistibly handsome young man whose interest in his fiercely intelligent and spirited new author seems to go beyond professional duty. Just as life begins to hold new promise, unspeakable tragedy descends on the obscure little parsonage, throwing London and George into the distance and leaving Charlotte to fear that the only romance she will ever find is at the tip of her pen. Then, amidst a landscape of loss and faded illusions, a most unlikely hero emerges.

Romancing Miss Brontë is a moving portrayal of an extraordinary woman whose life and work articulated our deepest human longing: to love and be loved in return.


“Biographers have long examined the emotional life of Charlotte Brontë, as revealed in her novels… But the emphasis here is on Charlotte’s unrequited love, first for her French professor and later for her publisher, and the man whose love for her grows over the years… Gael sprinkles Charlotte’s actual letters into this portrayal of the poverty and isolation of the Brontë family, and the tragedies that beset it, in language that seems true to the times. A moving view of a literary giant and the emotion that fueled her work.” – Booklist

“…Romancing Miss Brontë is nothing short of perfect. I loved every page and hated for the book to end. The author’s impeccable research and her excellent prose are a dynamite combination and made the tragic life of Miss Brontë immensely readable and extremely interesting.” – Jani Brooks, Romance Reviews Today

“This was a novel that offered me everything I love best about reading, and that gave me a feeling of immense pleasure every time I opened its pages.” – Bookphile’s Book Blog

“I loved this book. Since we will never have new Austen or Brontë, we need more books like this — novels that embody good writing, good story-telling, and the utter readability of real literature.” – Mrs. O’Dell Reads

“It’s a beautiful story, and a heartbreaking one. Well-written, well-executed, it is a splendid read, full of vigor and life and beautiful words.” – The Crowded Leaf