The extraordinary creativity of the Bronte sisters, who between them wrote some of the most enduring fiction in the English language, continues to fascinate and intrigue modern readers. The tragedy of their early deaths adds poignancy to their novels, and in the popular imagination they havebecome mythic figures. And yet, as Patricia Ingham shows, they were fully engaged with the world around them, and their writing, from the juvenilia to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights , reflects the preoccupations of the age in which they lived. Their novels, which so shocked their contemporaries,address the burning issues of the day: class, gender, race, religion, and mental disorders. As well as examining these connections, Patricia Ingham also shows how film and other media have reinterpreted the novels for the twenty-first century.The book includes a chronology of the Brontes, suggestions for further reading, websites, illustrations, and a comprehensive index.