Elizabeth Gaskell: Charlotte Brontë's unlikely defender against prurient gossip - The Brontë Society: More on Gaskell and Charlotte ... 25 (3 hours ago) Elizabeth Gaskell: Charlotte Brontë's unlikely defender against prurient gossip
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Before I knew anything about nineteenth-century Haworth I knew twentieth-century Haworth. Before I had heard of the Keighley Mechanics' Institute in the days of the Brontës, I was sitting at a desk in the present Mechanics' Institute. Before I had heard of Wuthering Heights I knew the moors. Before I read Shirley, I had read Frank Peel's fascinating little book The Risings of the Luddites, Charting and Plugdrawers in the Philip Snowden Collection in the Keighley Public Library.' In a sense I grew up with the Brontës and accepted them naturally as a part of my own background, an exciting and provocative part. I feel today that I am making my own humble homage to the Brontës as a native of this neighbourhood rather than attempting as a mere historian to evaluate a fragment of their work.