Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Naomi Jacobs

Second Committee Member

John R. Wilson

Third Committee Member

Melvin Johnson


It has long been acknowledged that Anne Bronte played a part in the saga of the imaginary world of Gondal, but more attention has been given to her sister Emily's role in creating the world. Each sister's Gondal poetry, however, is important: the poetry signals much about how each sister dealt with the world around her, demonstrates how adulty rather than childish Gondal became, and indicates how realistic each sister's "escapist" world actually was. Indeed, in grappling with their changing nineteenth centruy world, Anne clung to the hopeful remains of Romanticism while Emily blended and denied both Romanticism and Victorianism. Significantly, too, if Gondal was at all escapist, it was more successfully so for Anne, who, unlike her sister, could dream without nightmare. Overall, this study endeavors to discover that dialogue which surfaced through the sisters' reactions to their world, most notably through the very different views -- Emily's pessimistic and Anne's optimistic --such reactions encouraged on the same themes of children and dreams. It looks to unearth the very real hope and despair which surrounded the very "unreal" Gondal and its children and dreams.