RYE, N.Y. – Most people cringed when they had to write an essay in school, but Rye resident Laura Inman always liked writing. After a nearly 20-year legal career she has returned to that passion, with her first published book coming out in August.
The Poetic World of Emily Bronte explores the Victorian-era author’s poetry, which Inman didn’t even know existed until she researched Bronte for a graduate school English literature paper on the classic Wuthering Heights.
The paper later was published by The Victorian Journal of Culture and Literature.
“I thought there must be a lot of other people who don’t know that as well since she’s only written one novel,” Inman said.
“And if you like her, you need something else. So I wanted to bring her poetry out of the shadows and make it more accessible to people.”
Inman, who moved to Rye in 1999, groups selected poems by theme and offers insights into each piece in her new book, which is already available on the Kindle.
“Once I knew more about her and had read a lot of her poems and could put it all into context I thought that they were fascinating and that there was a lot to be gotten from them and she was equally a poet as much as a novelist,” she said.
The mother of two boys – one just graduated Boden University and the other is a senior at Rye High School – previously wrote an unpublished novel about the last six years of Bronte’s life, Ellis Bell.
Inman said little is known about those years other than Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights, contracted tuberculosis and died.
“I thought it was ripe for some fictionalization because my take on it from an imaginary standpoint is probably as good as theirs from a biographical one,” she said.
“I just think they’re a fascinating family, those three brilliant sisters, the alcoholic brother about to ruin everything, the long suffering father in this remote parsonage in the cold.”
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Inman said she likes Rye because of its open space, parks and nature preserves, where she often walks her one-year-old Australian Shepherd.
She also keeps a blog (http://thelivingphilosopher.com/), where she posts essays, creative pieces, memoirs and short stories she has written.