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Selected LettersMargaret Smith's three volumes of Charlotte Brontë's correspondence are a delight to any Brontë admirer but, let's face it, affordable - save for the odd find - they are not. So when three years ago, Oxford released their Selected Letters of Charlotte Brontë we couldn't help but welcome the book. It was a nice hardback edition, quite affordable at about £25.
Edited by Margaret Smith and Janet Gezari
Oxford World's Classics
978-0-19-957696-8 | Paperback | 09 September 2010
'Dangerous as lucifer matches.'
That was how Arthur Nicholls, Charlotte Brontë's husband for the last nine months of her life, described her letters. Full of acute observations, pithy character sketches, and passionate convictions, the letters are our most direct source of information about the lives of the Brontës and our closest approach to the author of Jane Eyre. In them Charlotte writes of life at Haworth Parsonage, her experiences at a Belgian school, and her intense feelings for the Belgian schoolteacher, M. Heger. She endures the agony of the death of her siblings, and enjoys the success as a writer that brings her into contact with the London literary scene. Vivid and intimate, her letters give fresh insight into the novels, and into the development of her distinct literary style. Margaret Smith's fine edition includes invaluable notes on Brontë's correspondents, and Janet Gezari contributes a new introduction that relates the letters to both Brontë's life and her creative accomplishment.
* Includes a chronology, biographical notes on Brontë's correspondents, select bibliography,on-page notes, and index.
Is the man a fool? is he a knave a humbug, a hypocrite a ninny a noodle? (to Ellen Nussey, 20 November 1840)From now on and to the eternal chagrin of Arthur Bell Nicholls, Charlotte will have written not just one but many letters 'to the world', in the words of her admirer Emily Dickinson.