Publisher and Publication Date: HQ. An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd. June 24th 2021.
Audience: Brontë fans.
Rating: Good to very good.
Michael Stewart takes the readers on a walking tour through Brontë country and weaves in the life stories of each of the Brontë family members in the process.
The book begins with Patrick Brontë and ends with Anne Brontë’s death (1849). Actually, the last chapter in this book is the background story of Shirley. Shirley is the last book published (1849) before Charlotte Brontë’s death (1855).
I have several thoughts:
1. Walking The Invisible is a book a Brontë fan will cherish. A person who is not a devoted fan of the Brontë clan will not be drawn to the book. It is a worthy book to add to a collection of Brontë stories and nonfiction accounts.
2. The front and back cover illustrations for the book is one of my favorites! I love it. Bravo!
3. I expected Walking The Invisible to focus on Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. I have been pleasantly surprised the book also shares the lives of the father, Patrick, and the son, Branwell. Branwell has been a little bit of a mystery for me. In the past, he came across as temperamental and troubled. I understand him a little better because of the new information and insight given by Stewart.
4. The writings of Patrick and Branwell are examined.
5. Through the eyes of Stewart I saw Haworth, the pub Branwell frequented, the school Emily taught, and Ponden Kirk.
6. I read several years ago the biography book Elizabeth Gaskell wrote about Charlotte Brontë . I am surprised the book is thought of by some people as an unfair view of the family especially towards Branwell. The book is titled, The Life of Charlotte Brontë . I’ve included the image of my edition below.
7. Walking The Invisible does not focus on a certain experience or memory for each of the Brontë family members. I consider this book to be a broad view touching on each of them.
8. I believe this is an impartial book (for the most part). However, Stewart does not like or agree with the book written about Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell.
9. The last part of the book is about five walking tours including delicious illustrations.
10. Walking The Invisible includes those who walk along with Stewart on a walking tour. I disliked this the most. I don’t know these travelers, I do not have an interest in them, and do not believe they add to the book over-all.