Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life

Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life

by Lyndall Gordon


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“[The] contradictions in [Bronte¨’s] life are not only fully chronicled by Lyndall Gordon’s splendid new biography, but also gracefully explicated to give the reader a vivid and emotionally detailed portrait of the novelist and her work. . . . [Gordon] chooses to use her imaginative sympathies—honed to precision with earlier biographies of Virginia Woolf and T. S. Eliot—to delineate her subject’s rich interior life.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

This highly acclaimed biography looks beyond the insistent image of the modest Victorian lady, the slave to duty in the shadow of tombstones. Instead we see a strong, fiery woman who shaped her own life and transformed it into art. Lyndall Gordon looks at the shared gifts and class ambitions of the Bronte¨ family, and also at significant people—the active feminist Mary Taylor, the demanding mentor Constantin Heger, the rising publisher George Smith—whom Charlotte strove to possess in life and fiction. Drawing on unpublished letters, the “Roe Head Journal,” early stories, the manuscript of Villette, and her last, unfinished novel, Lyndall Gordon explores the gaps in Charlotte Bronte¨’s life. How did she arrive at her understanding of passion from a woman’s point of view? Could she resolve the testing conflict between a writer’s life and a seemingly incongruous marriage to the devoted curate Arthur Bell Nicholls? Looking into the shadow between the facts, Gordon takes biography into that unseen space where this woman of genius was able to live.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393314489
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/17/1996
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 483,783
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Lyndall Gordon is the prize-winning author of T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life and Lives Like Loaded Guns. She is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Literature and a member of PEN. She lives in Oxford.

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Charlotte Bronte, A Passionate Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
esoldra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
During my early teens I went through a Bronte obsession, I devoured as many biographies as I could. This one is one of my favourites. I was asked at the time why I read so many biographies of the same people as surely they all must be the same thing regurgitated over and over again - this is the one that laughs in the face of that theory and enabled me to justify reading different biographies on the same person- as otherwise I would never have come across this wonderful work. Any Bronte fan who has read countless Bronte biographies will find this a refreshing read, with thought and a studied and knowledgeable approach by Gordon. It is extremely detailed and meticulously researched and will give insights alike to general Bronte readers with an interest to know more about the author's life as well as Bronte scholars.