The Life of Charlotte Brontë- Elizabeth Gaskell

593 Sidor


The biography ‘The Life of Charlotte Brontë’ by her friend and contemporary Elizabeth Gaskell was first published in 1857 to great acclaim and remains a fascinating insight into the life of the ‘Jane Eyre’ author. It contains Gaskell’s own personal recollections through her friendship with Charlotte, as well as excerpts from letters and beautiful descriptions of the Yorkshire landscape. It follows Charlotte’s life through from her lonely childhood and difficult schooldays, to her literary career, marriage and death barely a year later. Though a revealing account of Charlotte’s life and experiences, Gaskell held back on many of the more sensational details so as to avoid affronting a Victorian audience, such as Charlotte’s infatuation with a married man, and the shocking ill-treatment the Brontë sisters received at school. A must-read for fans of both Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell.

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) is an enduringly popular and highly regarded English novelist. Born in Chelsea, London, Elizabeth was sent to live with her aunt in Knutsford, Cheshire after her mother died, a place which would provide inspiration for some of her most popular works, including ‘Cranford’. A sociable and lively young woman, Elizabeth married Minister William Gaskell in 1832 and settled in Manchester. An industrial hub and the scene of much political and social change, her time in Manchester influenced much of her writing. Her first novel, ‘Mary Barton’ focussed on the appalling and impoverished living conditions of those living in Northern industrial cities and was a huge success, sparking the interest of notable figures such as Charles Dickens, who invited Elizabeth to contribute to the periodicals he edited. An active humanitarian, her works dealt sympathetically with the plight of the poorest in society, and she did not shy away from controversial topics such as prostitution and illegitimacy. A close friend of Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth also wrote a highly acclaimed biography of the author in 1857. Some of her best known and most loved novels include ‘Cranford’, ‘North and South’ and the posthumously published ‘Wives and Daughters’, all of which have been adapted for TV by the BBC, most recently ‘Cranford’ starring Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, and Greg Wise. Elizabeth Gaskell is regarded as one of the most important novelists of the Victorian era.
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