The Life of Charlotte Brontë

The Life of Charlotte Brontë

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Gaskell was a friend of Bronte's and, having been invited to write the official life, determined to both tell the truth and honor her friend.

Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 3.90
  • Pages: 587
  • Publish Date: June 20th 2002 by Oxford University Press
  • Isbn10: 0192838059
  • Isbn13: 9780192838056

What People Think about "The Life of Charlotte Brontë"

the three sisters -Charlotte, Emily, Anne- were talented in writing, they first published their works under pseudonym, and after the success of their novels they revealed their true identities.

If you are interested in or are a student of Charlotte Bronte this is a must read.

In searching other books that she had written, I found that she had known and been a friend of Charlotte Bronte's, and was asked by Charlotte's father to write a biography of her after her death. Hence the beginning of reading "The Life of Charlotte Bronte". The first two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, died within a month of each other when they were 12 and 11 years old respectively. Charlotte became the older sister caring for her younger sisters, her aging father and for her chronically ill brother. Less then 3 months after Branwell died, younger sister Emily died from TB and grief at the age of 29. . The article is "Specific dates: the link between Jane Eyre, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Bible" and provides a fascinating link between the Bible Charlotte was so familiar with...

Patrick Bronte together with Charlotte's widowed husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, wisely realised that if they did not select someone to write about Charlotte's life, then someone who was not their choice would certainly do so. This biography gives a flavour of the times and certainly tells us a lot about Elizabeth Gaskell but get your Bronte facts elsewhere.

On several occasions in the book Gaskell mentions that Charlotte was not fond of Jane Austen for her preciousness, lack of depth, and sheltered life. Charlotte Bronte was a fascinating woman, who lived in a dark country.

So, despite the omissions, the softenings, the biases that Mrs. Gaskell wrote along with the truth, her Life of Charlotte Brontë is important, nearly as a primary source. In it are not only long excerpts from many letters (which can, of course, be found elsewhere) but also Mrs. Gaskell's own reports of conversations with Charlotte and clear descriptions of Haworth, the Rue d'Isabelle in Brussels, and other places that were so important to Charlotte's life and writing. Shelston's introduction is a bit more severe on Mrs. Gaskell than I thought justified (although I'm easily swayed by good writers) but I was glad of his argument that she was compelled to write this biography because she perceived Charlotte Brontë as a real-life version of one of her own heroines -- a moral paragon.

First of all, Gaskell makes heavy use of letters to and from Bronte to illustrate Bronte's life and character. This is good biography practice, of course, but it also lets you see just how much more intellectual Bronte had become by the end of her life. Because the book is made up mostly of recounted conversations and letters, Bronte's voice shines nearly as clearly as Gaskell's.