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“As far as she could see, her life was ordained to be lonely, and she must her nature to her life, and, if possible, bring the two into harmony. When she could employ herself in fiction, all was comparatively well. The characters were her companions in the quiet hours, which she spent utterly alone, unable often to stir out of doors for many days together.”
When Charlotte Bronte’s father asked Gaskell to write his daughter’s biography, his main concern was to preserve the legacy of Charlotte and present an authorised take on her life as opposed to the speculations and gossip in the yellow papers. Gaskell and Charlotte had met on just a few occasions, so the biographer had to do profound research to actually delve into her mysterious life. From Charlotte’s own notes to various letters she had access to, Gaskell is seen mapping through a range of sources to find out the truth of her life. Right from the first pages of the text, we can distinctly spot Gaskell’s artistic infusions of metaphors and the poetic descriptions of the setting as well as doing justice with the life of Charlotte Bronte. This biography is all that is needed for Bronte’s readers as well as the admirers of inventive stylistic takes in non-fictional writing.
Upon its publication in 1857, The Life of Charlotte Bronte quite predictably caused controversy, so much so that the biographer was threatened with a legal action. Exciting exploration into Charlotte’s life and the criticism which followed, this makes it a must read for Bronte students and fans.
The Hero Classics series:
A Room of One’s Own
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The Art of War
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave