Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë—faced with an ailing father and an alcoholic brother—pursue independence through art in this graphic vision of the lives of three legendary writers.

Despite their family’s stormy fortunes, the Brontë sisters resolved to write. To thwart the nineteenth century’s double standards, they took the names of men, becoming the Bell brothers. Their works incited controversy and speculation, while at home, the sisters contended with the rages of Branwell Brontë, their self-destructive sibling. Manuela Santoni presents a time before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were known as literary masterpieces, when winds shook the Brontë house and determination held it together.


Manuela Santoni is an illustrator and a cartoonist from Rome, Italy. Passionate about graphic novels and comics, Santoni works as a freelancer, creates books for children, and publishes her online comic Nowhere Fast at Verticomics.


Sisterly bonds are eternal.

Kirkus Reviews

Santoni reimagines the lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë in an uneven fictionalized group biography that dramatizes snippets of the sisters’ writing careers and family struggles. As the siblings set about trying to save themselves from an impoverished future, they clash with one another—over matters of the heart and whether to publish their writing—and with brother Branwell, who has an alcohol and opium dependence. Their success, which Santoni inflects with feminist overtones, accelerates Branwell’s disintegration in this telling. Loose linework and a high-contrast b&w palette lend themselves well to the gothic subject matter, portraying dramatic scenes of crows and churchyards alongside the family’s tense exchanges. Exercising creative license with historical fact, Santoni (Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper) portrays the family through a Wuthering Heights–leaning lens.

Publishers Weekly

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