The Visionary

Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848)

LibriVox volunteers bring you 18 recordings of "The Visionary" by Ellis Bell (Emily Brontë). This was the weekly poem for January 1, 2012.

The first 12 lines originally appeared in one of a large group of Gondal poems, the word coming from the name of a fictitious island kingdom in a fantasy created by Emily and her sister Anne. When Emily finally consented to have some of her poems published in 1846, along with those of sisters Charlotte and Anne, she selected parts of the Gondal poems and removed all reference to the fantasy land. However, this poem first appeared in a new, expanded edition of the sisters' poetry (in 1850, after both Emily and Anne had died) and was apparently derived as follows:

"The Visionary (October 9, 1845)
This poem is part of the same Gondal poem from which Emily carved "The Prisoner. A Fragment." Charlotte Brontë took lines 1-12 of Emily's original poem, "Julian M. and A.G Rochelle," and added 8 lines of her own. Thus, the positive ending in which the watcher has a spiritual experience is Charlotte's and the watcher may be seen as Emily rather than a Gondal character. In Charlotte's version, it is hard to explain the guiding light in the window of stanza 2."

This account is fully supported by other sources. So the poem, as it was published in 1850, is a combination of work by Emily and Charlotte. Charlotte is accused by critics of using a heavy hand in editing some of Emily's formerly unpublished poems for the 1850 volume. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)

Genre(s): Poetry, Multi-version (Weekly and Fortnightly poetry)

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 The Visionary - Read by AGB Abigail Bartels
Play 02 The Visionary - Read by DII Diana Majlinger
Play 03 The Visionary - Read by DL David Lawrence
Play 04 The Visionary - Read by DT Andee
Play 05 The Visionary - Read by EP loubet
Play 06 The Visionary - Read by FS fshort
Play 07 The Visionary - Read by GC Snapdragon
Play 08 The Visionary - Read by GHS Algy Pug
Play 09 The Visionary - Read by JBS JemmaBlythe
Play 10 The Visionary - Read by JCM Jason Mills
Play 11 The Visionary - Read by KG Kristin G.
Play 12 The Visionary - Read by KN Kasper
Play 13 The Visionary - Read by LAH Lee Ann Howlett
Play 14 The Visionary - Read by LLW Leonard Wilson
Play 15 The Visionary - Read by NLB NoelBadrian
Play 16 The Visionary - Read by PD 2thepiper
Play 17 The Visionary - Read by REF Rhonda Federman
Play 18 The Visionary - Read by RN ravenotation