Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Using several literary, critical, and biographical sources, Weaver of Dreams: The Girlhood of Charlotte Brontë, by Elfrida Vipont (full name, Elfrida Vipont Brown Foulds), provides the young reader with a chronologically arranged, personable, and historically informed biography of Brontë’s formative years. Each chapter highlights an important event in Brontë’s early life. Chapter I focuses on her fateful move to Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. Subsequent chapters reveal other important influences and events in her life: her mother’s death, her father’s library, schooling at Cowan Bridge, sororal and familial friendships, and her early literary endeavors. Chapter 12 concludes the biography with Brontë leaving Roe Head school at the age of sixteen.

An epilogue briefly describes Brontë’s later life: publication with her sisters under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; the success of her novel Jane Eyre (1847); and the deaths of her mother Maria, her brother Branwell, her sisters Emily and Anne, and, finally, Charlotte Brontë herself.

Thus, Vipont’s Weaver of Dreams shows the unfolding drama of Brontë’s early life and provides a glimpse at the successes and tragedies that eventually befell her and her family. Vipont’s research included several biographies of Brontë and her family. She also drew on the vast collection of Brontë literary and personal material housed at Haworth Parsonage. The placing of Brontë’s poetry before the contents page and a suggested reading list after the epilogue frame the biography overall.