Monday Musings | Are You #TeamAusten or #TeamBronte?

Bronte Penguin Classics Oxford Classics

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken to a lot of book lovers and whenever the subject of Jane Austen and any of the Brontes come up, there’s almost always a debate between Team Austen and Team Bronte. (For the record, I’m Team Bronte, as you might have guessed from the photo above.)
I find this so fascinating because, more often than not, people do have a strong preference between the two. Now, I’m not saying that Bronte fans actively dislike Austen and vice versa, but I do find a divide between the two camps and I wonder why that is. (Even when thinking about it myself, I am clearly identify that I really like the Brontes and always felt like Austen was hard to get through, with the exception of Northanger Abbey.)
It’s been a while since I’ve read an Austen novel so I can’t pinpoint the differences between authors — I can’t even explain how it is that I’ve loved every single Bronte novel that I’ve read, no matter which sibling wrote it– so I’m hoping you can help me out here!
Do you have a clear preference between Austen and the Brontes? Why do you think there’s such a divide?

19 thoughts on “Monday Musings | Are You #TeamAusten or #TeamBronte?

  1. The Paperback Princess says:

    Such a classic divide. I wrote a post about this near the beginning of my blogging days wondering why we couldn’t all get along? The Brontes and Austen aren’t even similar. They didn’t write at the same time. I don’t understand why they are all lumped together to fight for supremacy. I suppose it’s because they were all unmarried women. But seriously, they are SO different.
    Ten years ago I would have said that I was an Austenite all the way. But I’ve since come to appreciate the Brontes – even though I do no love them all equally. Anne Bronte is my favourite, then Charlotte (but only for Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette, no thank you) and honestly, Emily’s Wuthering Heights has never done it for me. I think you have to be a certain kind of teenager to appreciate the insanity of that one.So dramatic.
    I think you need to give Austen another chance. I’ve read all of her books multiple times and there isn’t one of them that I don’t love for some reason. The girl on girl crime in Sense and Sensibility is incredible, the commentary on a certain kind of society in P&P, Emma’s narcissim, Northanger Abbey laughing at the gothic novel, Persuasion’s slow burn and Mansfield Park…that’s the one that I still have to work on.
    All this post has really done is make me want to start re-reading P&P again. I’m the person that has multiple copies of all Austen’s books…
    But really, we should all read all of them – Austen and Bronte- because they are classics for a reason.

    • Karen says:

      Haha! Reading your comment has made me want to give Austen another try! I have to say, I LOVED Villette… maybe even more than any other Bronte novel. Another confession: I’ve never read anything by Anne – eek!

      • The Paperback Princess says:

        WHAT? KAREN! You can’t just SKIP Anne! I need you to put The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on your list RIGHT NOW. And then read Agnes Grey. Like, now. People always skip Anne.
        And you definitely need to read Austen again. I think Persuasion would probably appeal to you now and honestly the Sense and Sensibility has some amazing girl on girl crime. The Steeles are MEAN GIRLS.

  2. Cherry says:

    I had no idea there was a divide at all, though I feel like Austen is more popular (just from my experience) as everyone seems to love Pride & Prejudice (me included). I don’t think I could ever pick a team lol. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre opened the door to classics for me in high school and ever since I’ve been enamored by her writing and her sister’s. But I have also read (almost) all of Jane Austen’s novels and loved them greatly. I think both women are inspirational and amazing authors ❤ I could never pick between the two haha.

  3. majoringinliterature says:

    I really like the Brontes, although if you pressed me I’d definitely say I prefer Austen. I think Austen and the Brontes are often placed in opposition because their books appeal to very different aspects of human personality. Austen always favours reason and rationality, whereas the Brontes were much more interested in passion and fierce emotion (particularly Emily and Charlotte). Charlotte Bronte actually criticised Austen in her own lifetime, saying she didn’t have any passion or ‘feeling’, so maybe she’s a bit to blame for the whole thing too!

  4. char83 says:

    I haven’t read all of the Bronte’s books. I am currently reading Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Otherwise, I have read Agnes Grey and Vilette (so just Anne and Charlotte). I have read all of Jane Austen. Each author is completely different. I have enjoyed everyone that I have read.

  5. Denise says:

    I remember thinking this even as a naive teenager. I think I felt a bit uncultured for not liking Austen and justified it by saying I liked the Brontes instead. Since then, I have discovered a third way, which is George Eliot.

  6. DoingDewey says:

    I’m definitely team Austen 🙂 I’ve read everything Austen’s written and after reading Jane Eyre, I don’t have any particular desire to read more of the Brontes’ works. It’s not entirely fair to say the Brontes aren’t my favorite though, given that I’ve not read much of their work!

  7. Milliebot says:

    I’m team Austen, but really only becuase I’ve read all her work. The only Bronte piece I’ve read is Jane Eyre, which i found a bit boring. Not to say i couldn’t be on both teams, I’d just need to read more. ..

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