* du Maurier uses a novelist's skill to portray this 'unknown' Bronte
As a bold and gifted child, Branwell Bronte's promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of his sisters.
Daphne du Maurier concentrates all her biographer's skill on the shadowy figure of Branwell Bronte, and no reader could fail to be intensely moved by Branwell's final retreat into laudanum, alcohol - and death
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, educated at home and in Paris, and lived for much of her life in her beloved Cornwall, the setting for many of her novels. Most of her novels have been bestsellers and many have been made into films. She is considered one of the most accomplished novelists of the twentieth century.