Charlotte Bronte

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte

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Laura Joh Rowland

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The book...
Bedlam: The Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte by Laura Joh Rowland - click to order


1851. Victorian England enters its golden age of prosperity and worldwide power. Charlotte Brontë has revealed herself as the best selling author of Jane Eyre and is the toast of literary London. Yet she yearns for her true love John Slade, the dashing secret agent, whom she hasn't seen or heard from in three years. While researching topics for her next novel, she tours Bedlam, the notorious London insane asylum, and glimpses a wild, raving madman. It's Slade--or so it seems, even though Charlotte thought he was in Russia on assignment. When she goes back for a closer look, she learns that the madman has escaped and two nurses have been savagely murdered. Was the madman really Slade? Is he also the killer? Charlotte begins a search for Slade. It takes her from his superior at the Foreign Office, who says he's a traitor, to the slum of Whitechapel, where a murderer akin to Jack the Ripper stalks the streets, from Ireland to France, and from Bedlam and Newgate Prison to the Great Exhibition in London. She clashes with Queen Victoria and Wilhelm Stieber, the famous Prussian spy. Her quest leads her to the reunion of her dreams with Slade, and a stunning discovery: a secret that could determine the outcome of a war between England and Russia, its political rival--or destroy the world.

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Cover: The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte by Laura Joh Rowland - click to order

THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË, by Laura Joh Rowland (author of the Sano Ichiro mystery series) is an epic, world-at-stake thriller starring the legendary 19th century author and her equally famous family. It’s a tour of Victorian England from gutter to palace, featuring a hero who combines Mr. Rochester with Agent 007 and a villain whose devious schemes threaten the very fabric of the British Empire. Charlotte Brontë is plunged headlong into the sort of thrilling adventures and passionate romance she never actually experienced, but secretly craved. A March 2008 release from Overlook Press.*

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*If your copy of The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë
is missing a line of text at the bottom of page 67 , please click here.


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The making of...

       She was a Victorian parson’s daughter, from a remote English village, who wrote a best selling, notorious, and beloved novel.
       That’s what many people know about Charlotte Brontë, author of Jane Eyre.
       Not as many are aware that she lived a life as rich in adventure, romance, and tragedy as her famous novel.
       I happened upon her story years ago, by sheer accident. I was a premed student at the University of Michigan, struggling to keep my head above water in my chemistry, biology, and physics courses. My favorite study break was browsing the shelves in the library and reading books about subjects far removed from science. One day I picked up a biography of Charlotte Brontë. I was enthralled by her experience at a grim Victorian boarding school, her extraordinary siblings, her dramatic rise to literary fame, her late in life marriage, and her early, tragic death.
She was the ultimate yearning, romantic creative spirit       Life intervened. I never went to med school. (The fact that I preferred reading for pleasure to studying science probably had something to do with it.) Inspired at least in part by Charlotte, I eventually became a writer, although of books as unrelated to her as one could imagine. But I never forgot her. What particularly stuck in my mind was the thought that no matter how much adventure she’d experienced, she always craved more. She was the ultimate yearning, romantic, creative spirit. Many years into my career as an author, I decided that Charlotte would make the perfect heroine for a historical suspense novel. Thus was born The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë.
       As I wrote the book, I combined the rich material of her life with the political and sexual intrigue beneath the prim morality of Victorian England. I tried to give Charlotte the adventure she craved. The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë is my heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest authors of all time.

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The Reviews...


"Laura Joh Rowland not only evokes Victorian-era London with a sure hand in this detective novel, she creates a believable Charlotte whose intelligence, stubbornness, and wit recall Jane at every turn. Even more important, the mystery itself is particularly fine." (A-) Entertainment Weekly

"Rowland sustains a Gothic tone of peril and suspense and supplies bodice-ripping Victorian detail aplenty in this imagined life of the author from Haworth. . . Rowland's impressive, detailed descriptions of the sites and phenomena of Victorian England, particularly of London, give the narrative depth and compensate, perhaps, for some unlikely plot twists. Never mind plausibility, Rowland simply refuses to let readers lift their eyes from the page." – Minneapolis Tribune

"Rowland offers an attractive counterpoint in her portrayal of the Bronte clan and their family dynamics. A very Victor ian murder, the evils of British imperialism and a beloved novelist unite in this appealing literary mystery." – Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging mystery, author Laura Joh Rowland takes her character from her sheltered life in the village of Haworth to the palaces of London and beyond. . . Reader, she’s spunky and adventurous and a die-hard romantic all the way. She’s a heroine for our times." – New Orleans Times-Picayune

"The author of Jane Eyre plays sleuth in this enchanting historical from Rowland, acclaimed for her mystery series set in 17th-century Japan. Brontë fans will delight in Rowland's portrait of Charlotte, who closely parallels Jane both in personality and station. The men playing opposite Charlotte often echo the character of Edward Rochester, lending an enticing will-they, wo n't-they tension to the proceedings." – Publishers Weekly

"This delightful and sophisticated mystery transports readers through an era of Victoran mystery, with Charlotte Bronte leading the way. Rich historical details about the time period and the Bronte family, including Emily, Anne and Branwell, add great depth and authenticity. This is a must read for historical fans." – Romantic Times

"One of the first things we noticed about this book was that Ms. Rowland was truly apt at echoing Charlotte Bronte’s style in a most convincing way. . .An unputdownable and unforgettable secret adventure, much worth it for many reasons, not least for reaching the final sentence, which is pure gold. – Bronte Blog

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Missing Text

It has come to our attention that some copies of The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë are missing a line of text at the bottom of page 67. Many thanks to the readers who let us know about the problem, which we hope will be fixed in the next printing. Meanwhile, here are the missing words:

...   suburb. Its terraced Regency-era houses   ...

Bronte quote: The human heart has hidden treasures...


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