by Tara Kingston
Greetings! I’m Tara Kingston, historical romance author and lover of all things Victorian. I’m fascinated by history through the ages, especially the bold, brilliant women who helped shape our world, and I’m delighted to be a monthly contributor to History Undressed. I’ll be sharing facts about daring women through history—some famous, some not so well-known, but all remarkable with their own unique contributions.
Today’s post takes a look at several well-known female writers of the Victorian era. Novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights endure as classics, and certainly have inspired many romantic fantasies. The authors who wrote tales such as these often used pseudonyms in order to present a more masculine persona and avoid scandal. Now for a look at some of these brilliant and bold Victorian authors.
Charlotte Brontë – The oldest of the legendary Brontë sisters, Charlotte Bronte published one of the best known gothic novels of all time, Jane Eyre, in 1847. The tragic love story between Mr. Rochester and governess Jane Eyre (complete with a mad woman in the attic…talk about an obstacle to true love!), endures as one of my very favorite novels.
Emily Brontë – Miss Brontë’s classic Wuthering Heights is one of my most all-time favorite novels. Originally published in 1848 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, Wuthering Heights remains a classic. Unsurprising, really…after all, who could ever forget the passion and tragedy of Heathcliff and Cathy?
Anne Brontë – The youngest of the Brontë sisters was an accomplished author in her own right, publishing Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1848 under the pen name Acton Bell. Like her sister Emily and brother Brantwell (both took ill and died in 1848), Anne Brontë’s life was cut short when she succumbed to illness in May 1849.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon – Following years as an actress using the stage name Mary Seyton, Mary Elizabeth Braddon became a successful and prolific author. Using the pen name M.E. Braddon, Mary Elizabeth Braddon penned melodramatic sensation novels with great success. Perhaps best known for her 1862 sensation novel, Lady Audley’s Secret, Mary Braddon also founded Belgravia magazine, a literary publication that included serialized novels, non-fiction, and poetry.
Louisa May Alcott – Miss Alcott’s classic Little Women, the story of four sisters coming of age during the Civil War, is perhaps her best known work. Adapted for the screen many times, the character Jo (based on Louisa May Alcott) has been portrayed by actresses including Katharine Hepburn, June Allyson, and Winona Ryder. Though best-known as the author of Little Women, Miss Alcott was a prolific writer. She published more than two dozen books and story collections, including Hospital Stories, inspired by her experiences as a Civil War nurse.
All photographs are in the public domain.
About The Author:
Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern belle-out-of-water in a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives her own love story with her real-life hero in a cozy Victorian. The mother of two sons, Tara's a former librarian whose love of books is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases. It goes without saying that Tara's husband is thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another set of shelves. When she's not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys cycling, hiking, and cheering on her favorite football team.
Connect with Tara at www.tarakingston.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTaraKingston
In a world where a man’s loyalty doesn’t depend on the color of a uniform, danger, intrigue, and passion are facts of life for the men and women of Tara’s Secrets & Spies series, historical romances set against the backdrop of the Civil War.