Life of Charlotte Bronte   -     By: Elizabeth Gaskell
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Life of Charlotte Bronte

Penguin Books / 1998 / Paperback

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Product Description

Elizabeth Gaskell's Life appeared in 1857 to immediate popular acclaim among Victorian readers curious to discover more about the writer who had given Jane Eyre the subtitle, An Autobiography. In writing about Charlotte Bronte, whom she greatly admired, but whose novels she did not entirely like, Elizabeth Gaskell portrays the struggle of a woman artist for whom she had, until her late marrige, "foreseen the single life". The resulting work - the first full-length biography of a woman novelist by a woman novelist - almost single-handedly created the Bronte myth. As Elisabeth Jay discusses in her introduction to this new edition, Gaskell weaves facts, dates, characters and anecdotes with considerable art; her Charlotte Bronte was "an imaginative creation and, as such, took on a life of its own". The present text follows the controversial first edition throughout, while all the variations which appeared in the third edition have been recorded in an appendix.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1998
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0140434933
ISBN-13: 9780140434934
UPC: 051488014003
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Author Bio

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester’s Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister’s wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, traveled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Two years later she began writing for Dickens’s magazine, Household Words, to which she contributed fiction for the next thirteen years, notably a further industrial novel, North and South (1855). In 1850 she met and secured the friendship of Charlotte Brontë. After Charlotte’s death in March 1855, Patrick Brontë chose his daughter’s friend and fellow-novelist to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), a probing and sympathetic account, that has attained classic stature. Elizabeth Gaskell’s position as a clergyman’s wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial and completely professional. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia’s Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

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