Publication Date: 2016 (first published 2003)
Publisher: Penguin Little Black Classics
Charlotte Bronte wrote this collection of stories for her and her siblings eyes only, so it is hard for me to know how to review it because I feel like this is just the bones of a story and she definitely would have put together a more cohesive story if she knew it was going to be published. In fact, it was only published by Penguin in 2003 and Charlotte wrote this book when she was 22, in 1838. Jane Eyre, her most famous work of art, was published in 1847. So, Stancliffe Hotel was also Charlotte figuring her writing style out by writing stories about a fantasy world, Angria, she (and possibly her sisters too) had created.
This book is by no means well written but I was impressed by how well certain themes are still resonating with us today. One instance being the first chapter of the story where our narrator, Charles Townshend, goes to visit a friend and finds him high on opium. Another one, that particularly struck a chord with me, since I read this book at the beginning of June, was a crowd gathers to protest their Duke and he brings in people to violently put an end to it. It is incredible that a book written in the early 1800’s is still so closely mirroring the world we live in basically 2000 years later.
I would only recommend this book to you if you are already a fan of Charlotte Bronte and are interested in discovering the world of Angria. You might also enjoy this book if you are a lover of classics and just enjoy the written word from back then. My favorite thing about classics is seeing the slice of life from so long ago and also being able to compare/contrast that to our modern times.