Re-Imagining the Brontë Sisters in Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës (2020) and Bella Ellis’s Brontë Sisters Mystery Series (2019–)


  • Maria Juko Independent Researcher



adaptation, biofiction, the Brontës, Rowan Coleman, detective fiction, Bella Ellis, feminism, graphic novel, Isabel Greenberg, neo-Victorian


Reconstructions of the Brontë sisters as exceptional women, worthy of empathy and admiration by twenty-first-century readers, increasingly rely on the entanglements of the sisters’ literary ambitions and limiting contemporary gender roles. By relying on visual and topical appeals in the form of graphic novels and detective stories, neo-Victorian adaptations of the Brontës further broaden the dimension of biofiction (and vice versa). As instances of popular literature, Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novel Glass Town (2020) and Bella Ellis’s (aka Rowan Coleman’s) Brontë Sisters Mystery Series (2019–) present creative approaches to and engagements with the Brontës, indicating that for a contemporary readership, interest in the authors as protofeminist characters proves to be just as important as interest in their literary oeuvre.