Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015 10:18 am by Cristina in , , , ,    1 comment
Claire Harman's biography of Charlotte Brontë is one of the 'best biographies of 2015' according to The Independent.
Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë was a landmark in modern biography, drawing on letters, interviews and gossip to create a vivid portrait of the author which attracted much controversy when it was published in 1857. Among its fiercest critics was Charlotte's father Patrick, who objected most vociferously.
Claire Harman brings a fresh eye to many of the same papers studied by Gaskell to compile her Charlotte Brontë: A Life (Viking, £25). The Gothic atmosphere and heartbreaking details remain, but Harman achieves a great feat by making the story seem new again. She is particularly good on Charlotte's unrequited love for Monsieur Héger (an area much censored by Gaskell), and I defy anybody to read the death-bed scenes of Emily and Anne with a dry eye. (Marcus Field)
The Guardian features the library of Pierre Bergé, collector and former partner of Yves Saint Laurent.
In addition, la Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé boasts super-rare early copies of classics by Cervantes, Joyce, Brontë, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and more. They were acquired by Bergé himself and “his agents”, to a strict formula that only books by authors he admired were admitted. (Stephen Smith)
The library is going under the hammer in Paris on December 11, though we have been unable to find what the Brontë-related item(s) actually is/are.

La jornada (Mexico) discusses manuscripts and brings up the recently-discovered Brontë papers inside a book that once belonged to Maria Brontë.
Suelen encontrarse de repente manuscritos extraviados: reaparecen como los indicios reveladores de un crimen en las novelas de misterio. Es el caso de dos inéditos de Charlotte Brontë, encontrados hace apenas unas semanas; vienen a agregarse a la obra de quien escribió la muy famosa Jane Eyre, la hermana de Emily y Anne Brontë, también poetas y escritoras (sobre todo Emily, autora de la extraordinaria Cumbres borrascosas que para Georges Bataille simbolizaba La literatura y el mal, título de unos de sus textos más importantes). (Margo Glantz) (Translation)
The Telegraph discusses religion and how it should be taught in schools.
The very fact of treating religion as an academic subject, no more or less sacred than English Literature, encouraged scepticism. The Old Testament was just another text to be analysed and considered within its historical context – no more likely to contain any definitive truth than, say, Wuthering Heights. (Jemima Lewis)
Keighley News shows some of the entries of a local photography competition. One of the pictures shows the area around the Brontë Bridge in autumn. Patheos' Eidos features the song Brave Enough for Love from Jane Eyre the Musical. The Newtown Review of Books reviews The Women's Pages. Life, reflections and green things does the same with Jane Eyre.

1 comment:


  1. Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë was a landmark in modern biography, drawing on letters, interviews and gossip to create a vivid portrait of the author which attracted much controversy when it was published in 1857. Among its fiercest critics was Charlotte's father Patrick, who objected most vociferously....

    Where to begin??

    Rev Bronte, though very ill used, rather infamously so by Mrs Gaskell, always defended her in public, told others he wanted no quarrel with her and simply asked Mrs. Gaskell to remove the slanders she printed without investing in later editions. This she did, but the damage was done.

    In fact the Partick Bronte, wild Irishman stories first appeared in an article shortly after Charlotte's death and according to Arthur Bell Nicholls afforded Patrick his first real laugh since Charlotte's passing.

    This article was sited by Ellen Nussey as a reason why Mrs. Gaskell should undertake the writing of Charlotte's biography. Patrick agreed. Two years later the book arrived at the Parsonage and what did he find? The same slanders , repeated just about word for word. That was how Patrick learned .Mrs. Gaskell had been the source for the original stories.

    Others came after Mrs. Gaskell for the treatment they received in the book and Lady Scott's lawyers required Mrs. G to eat a large plate of crow . ( Which she had her husband and lawyers dine upon, as she ran off to Italy ) But Patrick did not join the fray. He stood by her. Even though he was perhaps the most ill used. Mrs Gaskell noted his generosity and called Patrick Bronte, "a real brick " about it all. Indeed

    I defy anyone to keep a dry eye when reading just any rendition of Emily and Anne's deaths. Harman is a fine writer, that is not in dispute. But the book has serious mistakes and Harman seems to have an anti Patrick agenda even greater than Mrs. Gaskell's.

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