The Life of Charlotte Brontë

The Life of Charlotte Brontë

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Overview

Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of her close friend Charlotte Brontë was published in 1857 to immediate popular acclaim, and remains the most significant study of the enigmatic author who gave Jane Eyre the subtitle An Autobiography. It recounts Charlotte Brontë's life from her isolated childhood, through her years as a writer who had 'foreseen the single life' for herself, to her marriage at thirty-eight and death less than a year later. The resulting work - the first full-length biography of a woman novelist by a woman novelist - explored the nature of Charlotte's genius and almost single-handedly created the Brontë myth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140434934
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1998
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 420,519
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

ELIZABETH GASKELL was born in London in 1810. She married a minister, and her literary output was substantial and completely professional. Many of her works are available in Penguin Classics, including NORTH AND SOUTH, SYLVIA'S LOVERS, and WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. She died suddenly in 1865. ELISABETH JAY has taught and lectured at various universities in Great Britain and the USA, and is currently Head of Westminster College, Oxford. Her books include FAITH AND DOUBT IN VICTORIAN BRITAIN.

Table of Contents

1. Mr. Brontë afflicted with blindness, and relieved by a successful operation for cataract; 2. State of Charlotte Brontë's health at the commencement of 1847; 3. The 'Quarterly Review' on 'Jane Eyre'; 4. Commencement and completion of 'Shirley'; 5. 'Currer Bell' indentified as Miss Brontë at Haworth and the vicinity; 6. An unhealthy spring at Haworth; 7. Visit to Sir J. and Lady Kay Shuttleworth; 8. Intended republication of 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Agnes Grey'; 9. Miss Brontë's visit to Miss Martineau, and estimate of her hostess; 10. Remarks on friendship; 11. Miss Brontë visits Scarborough; 12. The biographer's difficulty; 13. Letters to Mrs. Gaskell on writing fiction, &c.; 14. Mourners at the funeral.

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The Life of Charlotte Brontë 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
bookseller525 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book, and I sank into the book as if I were sinking into the most comfortable of cushions.I don't think it held many surprises for me, other than that her life was even more tragic and lonely than I'd imagined. My heart ached for her as she experienced so very many losses in her life. It was obvious that Mrs. Gaskell was a fan of her work, and a friend. I enjoyed all the little personal observations and details so much! I also really enjoyed the snippets of Charlotte's personal correspondence. I felt that these helped give a bit of additional insight into what kind of person she was.I feel I did gain a lot of insight into what made Charlotte Brontë tick; for instance, her reaction to the criticism of Jane Eyre, and how she came to write Shirley, (which I have yet to read! And I call myself a fan! *Hangs head in shame.*.) There were many times, though, that I was aware that Mrs. Gaskell was writing Ms. Brontë's life while wearing a pair of rose-colored glasses. That didn't bother me a bit, because I probably was reading it through the same pair of tinted glasses! I will reiterate how much I loved this book! I'm sure I'll read it again in the future. It's the kind of book that I will be able to turn to again and again; each time gaining something new.I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
nordie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First published not long after Bronte's death - Gaskill was a contemporary and a friend - the first edition suffered controversy, as many of the people referenced were still alive, and some objected to their inclusion. This edition is the 1st edition, with plenty of detail in the appendix to detail the differences with the changed 3rd edition.Volume 1 details Bronte's younger years; with much contextual narrative as to both the Yorkshire people's personality type and that of the immediate family; the death of some of her siblings, and her mother at an early age; the solitude the family seemed to prefer and the ill health they all seemed to suffer from. The education is also covered - Charlotte's early schools giving inspiration for Lowood in Jane Eyre for instance. Time is also spent in Brussels learning French and German and provides yet more inspiration for those Bronte girls who were there (e.g. for "The Professor" and "Vilette".) [I am disappointed that this edition does not provide translation of those passages in French for those of us whose French is weak!]Volume 2 was much more interesting for me. This is the time that Jane Eyre (along with Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey) is published. Less input now from Gaskell, with much of the Volume II provided by letters written by Bronte herself, and shows to some extent how she deals with the fame of having written such a book as Jane Eyre, along with dealing with all the gossip about whether the Bell family are male or female. At the same time she has to deal with her three remaining siblings dying in relatively quick succession (
esoldra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As with all family friends there is some degree of bias in a story that they will tell pending on who they preferred in the family. I have read a good number of biographies on the Bronte sisters and Gaskell's does portray a poor representation of the father of the Bronte Sisters and this is based on personal dislike as opposed to fact. But on the flip side of this you get a context and a tone that you do not from other Bronte biographers, in that Gaskell personally knew Charlotte, knew her sisters and had experience of her life at the Parsonage, and for that reason it is essential reading for those wanting an insight into the life at the Parsonage. As those who visit the Parsonage on literary pilgrimages know there is very much a lack of detail in the museum itself and even fewer helpful guides. So prior to visiting the Parsonage this is an ideal companion.
jaimjane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. Not too many reach the "classic" stage.
rozmarins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It`s said to be the best biography of Charlotte Bronte and her family written by her friend. Maybe it`s true, but it`s definitely not the best of biographies. Book seemed flat. I suppose its advantage is disadvantage at the same time. Elizabeth knew Charlotte and was able to get letters from other Charlotte`s friends and talk with people who had met her, but at the same time Elizabeth couldn`t or didn`t want to tell more things about Bronte family`s life `cause many people where still alive and couldn`t like what she could write.
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Interesting and informative. I didn't have issues with the scan, just a few minor annoyances. I especially enjoyed the foreword.
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