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The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857)

por Elizabeth Gaskell

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Biography & Autobiograph Nonfictio HTML:

Nineteenth-century novelist Elizabeth Gaskell was inspired to start writing in part through her friendship with Charlotte Bronte. Later, Gaskell took on the project of composing the first serious, full-length biography of Bronte, a work that scholars agree did much to fan the flames of Bronte's then-burgeoning reputation. The Life of Charlotte Bronte is a fascinating read for fans who want to learn more about the Jane Eyre author's life and career.… (mais)

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First published not long after Bronte's death - Gaskill was a contemporary and a friend - the first edition suffered controversy, as many of the people referenced were still alive, and some objected to their inclusion. This edition is the 1st edition, with plenty of detail in the appendix to detail the differences with the changed 3rd edition.[return][return]Volume 1 details Bronte's younger years; with much contextual narrative as to both the Yorkshire people's personality type and that of the immediate family; the death of some of her siblings, and her mother at an early age; the solitude the family seemed to prefer and the ill health they all seemed to suffer from. The education is also covered - Charlotte's early schools giving inspiration for Lowood in Jane Eyre for instance. Time is also spent in Brussels learning French and German and provides yet more inspiration for those Bronte girls who were there (e.g. for "The Professor" and "Vilette".) [I am disappointed that this edition does not provide translation of those passages in French for those of us whose French is weak!][return][return]Volume 2 was much more interesting for me. This is the time that Jane Eyre (along with Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey) is published. Less input now from Gaskell, with much of the Volume II provided by letters written by Bronte herself, and shows to some extent how she deals with the fame of having written such a book as Jane Eyre, along with dealing with all the gossip about whether the Bell family are male or female. At the same time she has to deal with her three remaining siblings dying in relatively quick succession ( ( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
La vida de Charlotte Brontë y de sus hermanos es trágica, digna de cualquiera de sus novelas. Huérfanos de madre desde muy temprana edad, educados en una destartalada vicaría de los páramos de Haworth por un padre estricto y bastante excéntrico, los Brontë debieron cultivar la imaginación para escapar de una vida llena de privaciones materiales y morales. La temprana muerte de las hermanas de Charlotte, junto con los continuos quebraderos de cabeza ocasionados por las calaveradas de Branwell –el hermano que el padre esperaba que fuese el genio de la familia-, no constituyeron precisamente un entorno agradable. Y, al contrario de lo que ocurre en sus novelas, la vida de Charlotte no gozó de un final feliz; murió a los 39 años, nueve meses después de haber contraído matrimonio.
  Natt90 | Apr 12, 2023 |
What a remarkable discourse this is on the life of Charlotte Bronte, as assembled by her friend, Elizabeth Gaskell. Having been written so soon after her death, this biograph might perhaps lack in the objectivity which a later biography could present, but whatever might be lacking in that quarter is well made up for in spirit and understanding.

Much of Gaskell's approach is to quote from the considerable correspondence of Charlotte herself, which gives this a pointedly personal flavor. We are seeing Charlotte's life as she herself saw it, and while that cannot be all of the truth of a life, it can surely be most of what is significant.

I was struck by how much of what makes [b:Jane Eyre|10210|Jane Eyre|Charlotte Brontë|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327867269s/10210.jpg|2977639] so gripping is torn from actual experience. That Charlotte was subjected to many of the events at school that parallel those at Eyre's beginning is horrible to think and the death of her own sister, Maria, is the event that precipitates her character of Helen. With such a somber beginning to life, she had every right to expect more happiness and comfort in later years, but little of that was forthcoming.

Her determination in completing her novels in the face of some real criticism, is a testament to the strong character she possessed and her belief in God's presence in her life. She accepted herself as a faulted human being and she was welcoming of constructive criticisms that she felt might increase her understanding of her own foibles.

Speaking about stories she read when quite young, she says "...for I read them in childhood, and childhood has a very strong faculty of admiration, but a very weak one of criticism." I found that a poignant observation, for I too have a great love for some literature that came to me young and still impresses my soul although I would be forced to confess that they are inferior to other works which touch me less.

Of course, among the more touching parts of the biography are the deaths of her sisters, Emily and Anne. Our familiarity with them as authors no doubt increases our distress at their deaths, but I was struck at how perfectly her view of death aligns with what we ourselves feel upon the loss of those we love. Speaking of another young acquaintance, Charlotte says, "Wherever I seek for her now in this world, she cannot be found, no more than a flower or a lead which withered twenty years ago. A bereavement of this kind gives one a glimpse of the feeling those must have who have seen all drop around them, friend after friend, and are left to end their pilgrimage alone. But tears are fruitless, and I try not to repine." How hauntingly predictive of her own situation to come, but even in the face of her serious personal losses, she held to the last part of this statement and refrained from sinking into her sorrows.

I could quote at length from the letters she wrote regarding this loss. Having lost a close sister myself, I could feel the impact of all her words and feelings. Of Emily, "not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet, but reminds me of her." She was as expressive in her letters, as ever she was in her novels. I was delighted to read her own expressed opinion of Jane Austen, a curiosity that I never thought to have satisfied.

There is not a moment of boredom in this book and Mrs. Gaskell exhibits her own great talent of writing and exposition. I am ashamed at not having read all of Charlotte Bronte's writings and am quite anxious in the light of this better understanding of her character to now rectify the omission. I will happily undertake both [b:Shirley|31168|Shirley|Charlotte Brontë|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1422609409s/31168.jpg|2685457] and [b:Villette|31173|Villette|Charlotte Brontë|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320412741s/31173.jpg|40852693] before the year's end. I am also stirred to re-read Jane Eyre and the works of both Emily and Anne. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Available on Project Gutenberg: Volume 1 -https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1827; Volume 2 -https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1700
  raizel | Jul 1, 2021 |
How this book made it onto The Guardian's 100 best nonfiction books ever list in 2017 is truly beyond me. At times beautiful but mostly boring and painful. ( )
1 vote rosscharles | May 19, 2021 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Elizabeth Gaskellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Crossford, LewTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Easson, AngusEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gerin, WinifredEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gerin, WinifredIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jay, ElisabethEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Scott, TempleEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Shorter, Clement K.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sinclair, MayIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Taranto, AnneIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Uglow, JennyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Willett, B. W.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë was a formative work in two important senses.
--Introduction (Jay edition, 1997)
The Leeds and Bradford railway runs along a deep valley of the aire; a slow and sluggish stream, compared to the neighbouring river of Wharfe.
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Biography & Autobiograph Nonfictio HTML:

Nineteenth-century novelist Elizabeth Gaskell was inspired to start writing in part through her friendship with Charlotte Bronte. Later, Gaskell took on the project of composing the first serious, full-length biography of Bronte, a work that scholars agree did much to fan the flames of Bronte's then-burgeoning reputation. The Life of Charlotte Bronte is a fascinating read for fans who want to learn more about the Jane Eyre author's life and career.

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