This stimulating study of Charlotte Brontë's novels draws on extensive original research in a range of early Victorian writings, on subjects ranging from women's day-dreaming to sanitary reform, from the Great Exhibition to early Victorian religious thought. It is not, however, merely a study of context. Through a close consideration of the ways in which Brontë's novels engage with the thinking of their time, it offers a powerful argument for the 'literary' as a distinctive mode of intelligence, and reveals a Charlotte Brontë more alert to her historical moment and far more aesthetically sophisticated than she has usually been taken to be. The study will be of interest not only to students of Victorian literature and society, but also to those literary critics and theorists who are beginning to reconsider the nature of the aesthetic and its relation to ideology.
Her scholarship is impressive... Provides an immensely valuable record of what nineteenth-century English readers were thinking, and reminds us that Charlotte Bronte was one of them... will become an indispensable resource for students of the Brontes and nineteenth-century culture. Glen shows us how, exactly, Bronte's novels are topical, and a picture of the age in which she lived and wrote emerges that is richer and more detailed than any we have previously had. Janet Gezari, Essays in Criticism ... the book is a treasure trove, with a tendency to dazzle and bewilder. Readers who would like an occasional look at the map will just have to be content to expect the unexpected. But neither this nor the weightiness of some sections should deter less academic readers who enjoy Charlotte Bronte's novels. They will find here a wealth of interest: in the unusual readings as much as in the contextual enquiries; in the imagination as much as in the history. Bronte Studies ... presents a Charlotte Bronte aware of and responsive to many of the cross-currents of her own time. Charlotte would surely expect us to read her novels in this context, and relate them to Byron, Thackeray, or Carlyle. This is what Heather Glen does in a book that ranges from Evangelical pedagogy to keepsake annuals and from millenarianism to the Great Exhibition. Bronte Studies ... a welcome and significant addition to the recent book-length studies of Charlotte Bronte's work. Bronte Studies
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st May 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.7 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.52