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Grasper, Keeper and Flossy: The Brontë Family Dogs in Fact and in Fiction

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Title: Grasper, Keeper and Flossy
Subtitle: The Brontë Family Dogs in Fact and in Fiction
Subject Classification: Humanities, Arts, Literature and Literary Criticism 
BIC Classification: DSK, DSBF, BGL
BISAC Classification: HIS015060 , BIO007000, HIS054000
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: April 2024
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-80441-218-3
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-80441-219-0


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Details of the lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë at Haworth Parsonage in 19th Century Yorkshire, England, are well-known. But what about the dogs with whom they shared their home; Grasper, Keeper and Flossy? And what about the dogs in their novels? There are in fact nineteen named fictional dogs, at least one in each of the seven novels. Many of these fictional dogs can be seen as counterparts of the actual ones, in terms of breed, appearance or behaviour.

This book looks at the three Brontë family dogs in three different ways. The first is what we know about these dogs from letters and other sources, sticking strictly to actual evidence – textual and visual. The second is what we can infer about the family dogs, and how Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë may have seen them in terms of their sentience, agency and cognition, from their many counterparts in the novels (in particular Wuthering Heights). The third is how the three family dogs, via their fictional counterparts, appear to have shaped the Brontë fiction in terms of plot, characterization and metaphor (again in particular in Wuthering Heights).

This unique book’s examination of the Brontë family dogs and their influence on the sisters’ fiction will be of interest to scholars and students of Victorian literature worldwide, and anyone with an interest in the lives and novels of the Brontë sisters. 


Author: Dr. Jane Sunderland is Honorary Reader in Gender and Discourse, Dept. of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, UK


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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