Selected Letters of Charlotte Bronte

Hardcover | October 15, 2007

EditorMargaret Smith

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These letters give an insight into the life of a writer whose novels continue to be bestsellers. They reveal much about Charlotte Bronte's personal life, her family relationships, and the society in which she lived. Many of her early letters are written with vigour, vivacity, and an engagingaptitude for self-mockery. In contrast, her letters to her 'master', the Belgian schoolteacher Constantin Heger, reveal her intense, obsessive longing for some response from him. Other letters are deeply moving, when Charlotte endures the agony of her brother's and sisters' untimely deaths. We learnalso of the progress of her writing, including the astonishing success of iJane Eyre/i, and of her contacts with her publishers, including the young George Smith; and we recognize in her letters the life-experiences which are transmuted into the art of her novels. Contemporary society is brilliantlydescribed in her letters from London, when she writes of her encounters with famous writers and with critics of her novels. We hear too of her visits to art galleries, operas, and the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace. Dramatic letters written in December 1852 convey the 'turbulence offeeling' in the Haworth curate Arthur Nicholls's proposal of marriage to her and in Mr Bronte's violent reaction to it; and we subsequently hear of her secret correspondence with her suitor, her father's eventual consent, and her tragically brief happy marriage, cut short by her death in March1855.

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These letters give an insight into the life of a writer whose novels continue to be bestsellers. They reveal much about Charlotte Bronte's personal life, her family relationships, and the society in which she lived. Many of her early letters are written with vigour, vivacity, and an engagingaptitude for self-mockery. In contrast, her l...

Margaret Smith, editor of iThe Letters of Charlotte Bronte/i (3 volumes, OUP, 1995-2004) and co-author with Christine Alexander of iThe Oxford Companion to the Brontes/i (OUP, 2003), is a Vice-President of the Bronte Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Science, University of Birming...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.18 inPublished:October 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199205876

ISBN - 13:9780199205875

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Table of Contents

List of LettersIntroductionChronologyBiographical NotesLETTERSBibliography