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The Life of Charlotte Bronte  : Penguin Classics - Elizabeth Gaskell

The Life of Charlotte Bronte

Penguin Classics

Paperback

Published: April 1999
For Ages: 18+ years old
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Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of her close friend Charlotte Bronte 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 Bronte'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 Bronte myth.

About The Author

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.

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson (29 September 1810 - 12 November 1865), often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of society, including the very poor, and as such are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature.

Visit Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780140434934
ISBN-10: 0140434933
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: April 1999
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.5  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 2