A Frosty Morning JMW Turner

A Frosty Morning JMW Turner
A Frosty Morning is one of my favourite Turners. With thanks to Tate Britain

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Who was this man whom they say discovered the Brontes?

Charlotte described him as pale, mild, stooping man of about fifty.

We know, or can infer, that his schooling brought him into contact with boys who would go on to careers as significant thinkers and writers. We know that his social group included or was close to some of the most exciting thinking of his time. He grew up close to theatre land and both had a great love of theatre and a deep knowledge of it. Yet, his emergence into the public view was from a position as a book keeper, and it would seem not a very good book keeper.

But who really was he?

My new book sets out to trace whence he came and whither he went to find the characteristics that enabled him, among many far more eminent, to recognise a groundbreaking shift in the English novel.