The Life of Charlotte Bronte (Penguin Classics)
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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.
sitting-room also, and to go there whenever I was not engaged in the school-room. This, however, I cannot do. In the day-time it is a public room, where music masters and mistresses are constantly passing in and out; and in the evening, I will not, and ought not to intrude on M. and Madame Héger and their children. Thus I am a good deal by myself, out of school-hours; but that does not signify. I now regularly give English lessons to M. Héger and his brother-in-law. They get on with wonderful
beginning of her correspondence with Mr. Aylott. Now, however, when the demand for the work had assured success to ‘Jane Eyre,’ her sisters urged Charlotte to tell their father of its publication. She accordingly went into his study one afternoon after his early dinner, carrying with her a copy of the book, and cone or two reviews, taking care to include a notice adverse to it. She informed me that something like the following conversation took place between her and him. (I wrote down her words
presses too heavily; so let me see your dear face, E., just for one reviving week.’ But she would only accept of the company of her friend for the exact time specified. She thus writes to Miss Wooler on October the 21st: — ‘E—— has only been my companion one little week. I would not have her any longer, for I am disgusted with myself and my delays; and consider it was a weak yielding to temptation in me to send for her at all; but in truth, my spirits were getting low —prostrate sometimes —and
had no personal objection; but as a nominee of the Vicar he would not be received. He therefore retired, with the declaration that if he could not come with the approval of the parish, his ministry could not be useful. Upon this the attempt was made to introduce Mr. Redhead. ‘When Mr. Redhead was repelled, a fresh difficulty arose. Some one must first move towards a settlement, but a spirit being evoked which could not be allayed, action became perplexing. The matter had to be referred to some
substituted for ‘the house’ (2nd edn). m Paragraph break introduced here. n Paragraph break introduced here. p Paragraph break introduced here. q Paragraph break introduced here. CHAPTER VII a Sentence altered to continue: ‘a large portion of Miss Brontë’s correspondence with her’. An insertion is then made, as follows: This she has been induced to do by her knowledge of the urgent desire on the part of Mr. Brontë that the life of his daughter should be written, and in compliance