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» » Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life
Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life e-book

Author:

Lyndall Gordon

Language:

English

Category:

Memoris

Subcategory:

Arts & Literature

ePub size:

1816 kb

Other formats:

rtf lrf doc mbr

Rating:

4.1

Publisher:

W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (May 17, 1996)

Pages:

448

ISBN:

0393314480

Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life e-book

by Lyndall Gordon


Lyndall Gordon's spectacular biography is a splendid celebration of the Brontes

Lyndall Gordon's spectacular biography is a splendid celebration of the Brontes. Charlotte is shown in her true colors, not the rather drab little creature who nevertheless wrote divinely in spite of her sufferings. Charlotte emerges here as a girl and woman possessed with inner fires that fuelled her relentlessly towards her mission in life: writing.

Charlotte Brontë book. I read Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon a few years after I had read the Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

Charlotte Brontë book. I read Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon a few years after I had read the Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell. There is so little known about Charlotte's husband Arthur but this book leaves no doubt that he loved her and was as passionate about her as Rochester was about Jane.

Lyndall Gordon (born 4 November 1941) is a British-based biographical and former academic writer, known for her literary biographies. Born in Cape Town, she had her undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town and her doctorate at Columbia University in New York City. She is married to pathologist Siamon Gordon; they have two daughters.

In this groundbreaking and unconventional biography, Lyndall Gordon dismantles the insistent image of Charlotte Bronte as a modest Victorian lady, the slave to duty in the shadow of tombstones, revealing instead a strong and fiery woman who shaped h. .

In this groundbreaking and unconventional biography, Lyndall Gordon dismantles the insistent image of Charlotte Bronte as a modest Victorian lady, the slave to duty in the shadow of tombstones, revealing instead a strong and fiery woman who shaped her own life and transformed it into art. 'Sensitive, open-minded, vivid, full of psychological insight, book is a brilliant reappraisal of Charlotte Bronte's life, work, and the flow between the two.

Lyndall Gordon insisted on seeing Charlotte as a strong, inspiring heroine before she had penned anything except childish romances, whereas .

Lyndall Gordon insisted on seeing Charlotte as a strong, inspiring heroine before she had penned anything except childish romances, whereas Juliet Barker over-played the petty littleness of her life in an attempt to escape the romantic myth. Lyndall Gordon imputes a conscious sarcasm to that remark, as though Charlotte already knew she could rise above it, as though her life's goal was already clear. But Charlotte was certainly deeply affected by Southey's attitude.

Charlotte Bront? : A Passionate Life. I adore Charlotte Brontë and did enjoy very much this book. I have to congratulate the author on this wonderful bio, very informative and yet so interesting. Everyone who is interested in the Brontë legend should read this biography.

Charlotte Brontë, a passionate life. Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life looks beyond the insistent image of the modest Victorian lady, the slave to duty in the shadow of tombstones.

This highly acclaimed biography looks beyond the insistent image of the modest Victorian lady, the slave to duty in the shadow of tombstones.

Lyndall Gordon uses anecdotes and details of this kind well, and has produced an intelligent and sometimes . Gordon's Charlotte is a wily fighter for her own needs

Lyndall Gordon uses anecdotes and details of this kind well, and has produced an intelligent and sometimes provocative biography, firmly rooted in its Victorian context and informed by sympathetic feeling; her reading of Charlotte's letters is particularly interesting, as you would expect from a literary scholar of her distinction. Gordon's Charlotte is a wily fighter for her own needs.

“[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.
Frostdefender
Charlotte Bronte is seen by most as in the second rank of 19th century British novelists, and even worse less talented than her spectral sister Emily. This is too bad because she certainly was a great writer, especially her VILLETTE but also JANE EYRE.

This bio is an excellent analysis of her life and works and deserves to be read for the necessary background to her two great novels and her three minor works.
Danrad
The best biography I have read of Charlotte Bronte's life. A full portrait of a great writer and person. After I finished it, I wish I could go back in time and meet Charlotte and have conversations with her.
CrazyDemon
Although a bit old, this is one of the best biographies of Charlotte Bronte, in my opinion. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Charlotte and her work. It is easy to read, informative, and accessible to everybody.
Kerdana
I felt that this book is more suitable for the academic rather than a lay person interested in the life and times of Charlotte Bronte.
Ustamya
I was happy with the purchase of this book. it was in great condition and is now in my library.
Voodoolkree
Lyndall Gordon's spectacular biography is a splendid celebration of the Brontes. Charlotte is shown in her true colors, not the rather drab little creature who nevertheless wrote divinely in spite of her sufferings. Charlotte emerges here as a girl and woman possessed with inner fires that fuelled her relentlessly towards her mission in life: writing.

Perhaps the most revealing chapter in the biography concerns Charlotte's experiences in Brussels where she taught at the Pensionnat Heger. Fate brought M. Constantin Heger and Charlotte Bronte together. As master of the pensionnat, a school for girls, Heger asides from being an absolutely superb teacher was highly unusual in pouring his talent into the teaching of GIRLS. Heger was very well aware of Charlotte's potential, and that of Emily, too, who was at the pensionnat with Charlotte. The experience of the two young women was totally different. Emily hated Brussels, sullenly oblivious to the impression she gave of a gauche, unfriendly person: Heger cut no ice with her. But Heger appreciated her gifts and said she would have made a fine navigator.

Charlotte, of course, fell deeply in love with Heger. Author Gordon includes in her narrative a note Heger wrote to a student long after Charlotte's death. The subtedly carressing tone of the letter, like a feather moving across her face, shows how seductive he was- not physically seductive, but mentally so. Although no letters remain of his correspondence with Charlotte after she left his employ one can imagine how Heger took possession of her heart.

Did Heger realize he was playing with fire when he charmed Charlotte? author Gordon wonders. He probably did. But he played a vital role in Charlotte's life. He turned on the tap that released Charlotte's talent in a wild gush. One of Charlotte's school book essays for Heger is thankfully translated from the original French in which she thinly disguised herself as an artist who went to Rome to witness the greatest art, fully knowleadgable of his own genius. GENIUS, not talent. Charlotte was quite aware of her unique ability but there was until then no way for her to cultivate the talent and let it grow.

Author Gordon fills in many cracks in the life of the Brontes, and Branwell, Emily and Anne are sharply revealed in fascinating vignettes. Anne said she felt "flat" after enduring four horrid years as governess to the Robinson girls and witnessing her brother's despicable behavior as tutor to young Edmund Robinson. Branwell, the favorite of Mr. Bronte, and indulged by him, "wallowed in the graveyardism of his own legend." Branwell's dissolution was dramatically played out as he curdled the peaceful parsonage social endeavors, being drunk or drugged and highly visible and vocal.

"I have not seen her parallel in anything" said Charlotte of Emily, the fierce creator of the fiece Heathcliff. Emily wasted away under the throes of tuberculosis. Author Gordon remarks that Emily's coffin was five feet seven in length (Emily was a great deal taller than Charlotte and Branwell) but only seventeen inches in width, the smallest width casket the carpenter had ever made for an adult. Emily died virtually a skeleton and it is fearful and painful to imagine her thus. Anne's death was very different. At the seaside in Scarborough where Charlotte and Ellen Nussey had taken her, she was facing the majesty and warmth of the setting sun and quietly passed on, bathed in its glow. Anne passed away like a lamb, Emily like a lion.

The story of Charlotte's relationship with George Smith, her publisher, is complete and wonderful in itself within this biography. Perhaps George was a bit in love with Charlotte and vice versa. Perhaps. But this urbane, cheerful man gave Charlotte a leg up, a taste of the outside world. He was immortalized as John Graham Bretton in "Villette." Lucy Snowe knew that Graham was not for her in the novel, even though she loved him, and Charlotte knew George was not for her either. However, she let him go with much less pain than she suffered during her enthrallment of Constantin Heger- but by then she was wiser, more sophisticated emotionally, more experienced in human relationships, especially with men.

Charlotte achieved great happiness in her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls. Arthur was a handsome man and he adored Charlotte. If he was not an intelellectual, it was probably just as well as very few persons had the mental capacity of Charlotte. It can be said, rather like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in the end she had it all.
Gldasiy
I have long considered "Jane Eyre" to be my favorite book, and I have read much of Charlotte Bronte and the writing of her sisters. These three women were enigmas in their time; they wrote with voice beyond their years and experience, and created central female characters who were strong and could hold their ground with any male character, something not deemed proper in a modest Victorian lady. Hidden behind pseudonymns, they could give voice to the shape of women to come long after they lived and since Charlotte lived the longest of the three, it is through her legacy that anything about the Brontes can be known.

Lyndall Gordon has done a remarkable job with this biography. It is not a straight-forward chronological biography in the typical sense; while it concerns itself with dates and events as they unfolded, Gordon is more concerned with the woman behind these happenings. She has been able to delve into Charlotte's life and expose a portrait much more vivid than other biographies have created. So much has been said and misrepresented about Charlotte Bronte (thanks in large part to the biased writing of Elizabeth Gaskell so soon after Charlotte's death) and Gordon examines that image while weaving the fire of Charlotte Bronte's soul and writing into a new image of an icon.

Gordon begins by tracing the roots of the Bronte family - the death of their mother at a young age, who left behind six children to a preoccupied father who only had time for his parsonage and his only son,(so preoccupied was Mr. Bronte that he did not know of the writing gifts his three daughters possessed until they presented him with published novels) - to the trials and tribulations of publishing, to the tragic deaths of all four of her sisters and her brother, to her unlikely marriage and success as an author. Gordon traces Charlotte's struggles at school and her exhaustion at being a governess, to her years in Brussels where her gift (and love) truly caught flame for the first time. She weaves back and forth between triumph and disillusion, success and heartache, happiness and depression, painting a picture of Charlotte Bronte as a passionate, fearless woman who defied the life laid out for her.

In an age when literary pursuits were not meant for females, Charlotte Bronte turned the tide. She endured criticisms of being coarse and immoral, of being plain and undignified, of being doomed to a life of spinsterhood and illness. She rose above all of these challenges and became a mix of the heroes she had created in her novels. "Jane Eyre" may stand as her best work, but it would be amazing to know what else she might have been able to offer the world if her life hadn't been cut short.

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