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It might be thought that the Bronte sisters did not write much about the law in their novels, certainly in comparison to contemporaries such as Dickens or Collins or Gaskell. But they did. Beneath the surface of the Bronte canon, the law is everywhere; from spousal abuse and child custody in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, to illegitimacy and inheritance in Wuthering Heights, to insanity and confinement in Jane Eyre, to broader questions of public governance in Shirley. In its examination of these themes and many more, Law and the Brontes represents a significant and highly original contribution to the study, not just of the Brontes and the mid-nineteenth century 'woman's novel', but also the situation of women in nineteenth century English law and the debates which moved around its prospective reform.