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The Brontes: Charlotte Bronte and  Her Family
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The Brontes: Charlotte Bronte and Her Family

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  153 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
"A fresh and modern view of Charlotte Bronteas a woman searching for love and as a writer who helped change society's perceptions about her sex. Her moving, eloquent portrait will interest not only Bronte devotees but all contemporary women."Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover, 543 pages
Published October 26th 1988 by Crown (first published 1988)
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On second reading, I still think this is quite a good biography of Charlotte and give it four stars on that account. However, I would argue with the title, because it really is a biography of only Charlotte; Fraser doesn't pay much attention to the other Brontes except as they affect Charlotte, and she often simply sees them through Charlotte's eyes. I thought this was particularly clear with Anne, whom Fraser sees as the "passive" and "virtuous" sister, as Charlotte saw her, rather than acknowl ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Sep 25, 2010 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Children, Charlotte has been writing a book – and I think it is a better one than I expected.’

While this book focuses primarily on the life and work of Charlotte Brontë, it starts with background sketches of the Reverend Patrick Brontë and his wife Maria Branwell, and chronicles the family’s history. Charlotte’s life was marked with sorrow and loss: her mother died when she was five; four years later her two older sisters Maria and Elizabeth died. Charlotte also outlived her younger siblings: h
May 09, 2009 rinabeana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brontë
Though there are numerous biographies of Charlotte, I was given Rebecca Fraser's for Christmas so I started there. It is full of excerpts from letters and journals, which I find essential to biographies. Since the author cannot possibly get inside the subject's mind, first-hand sources generally give a better understanding. Granted, the author can arrange and edit the original sources to her own agenda in telling Charlotte's story. I found Fraser to be reasonably objective, though I thought she ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
A very readable biography of Charlotte Bronte, her times and her family.
Fraser makes a favorite topic of mine just as interesting as the first time I read about Charlotte and visited her Yorkshire moors.
She also debunks some of the myths begun by Elizabeth Gaskell. Gaskell was a contemporary and friend of Charlotte's and wrote her book while Charlotte's father, Patrick, was still living. I have to feel a certain sympathy for her because that had to have been difficult. Gaskell had to take in
Mar 04, 2010 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A meticulous, intimate look at one of my favorite authors. While this book confirmed the picture I had in my mind of a passionate, puritan type soul with a strong love of the artistic & literary & a masterful hand at imagery writing; it also acquainted me with a slightly disturbing side - a woman who continued to write letters to a man (M. Heger) who ignored her & a woman with a "high falutin" (per William Makepeace Thackeray) attitude at times. Moreover, while the tragedies of the B ...more
Ellen Black
Mar 27, 2011 Ellen Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely fascinating, yet soul-ripping. While the book focuses more on Charlotte Bronte than the rest of her family, the entire family's lives are included in this biography. Not one of these lives was even momentarily happy. Yet, the children were so talented. Sadly, though, because of their restricted lives, none of the Brontes could truly live, except through their talent,especially the girls. It was very painful to read about the abject dreariness and unhappiness that invaded ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish this book. I did feel that the author did a great job of representing many sides of the issues and identifying when she was making an assumption. I just found it too long and too depressing too finish.
A much better writer than her sister amazing book what gives great personal insight into the psyche of this family
Nov 04, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absorbing perspective on Bronte and her tragic life. Good use of letters and juvenalia.
Jul 10, 2011 Frrobins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This biography of Charlotte Bronte and her family was as thoroughly engrossing as their novels. It was very readable and I could not put it down! Frasier did a good job of placing the Charlotte's life and development in the context of the time which she lived in as well as the extreme circumstances of her life.

I only wish she had devoted a bit more time to Emily and Anne. That, and there were a few passages in French that were untranslated. Other than that, a great biography of an intriguing wom
Mar 02, 2011 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca Fraser's writing was well-researched and readable. She had the benefit of abundant scholarly research on the topic, and she made it clear and understandable. She traced all the family's lives with the updated knowledge of what we know today vs. what was known then.
Nov 27, 2009 Conchetta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in 19th century British lit
Besides a view of the lives of the wacky Brontes it has a good description of the lives of middle class Victorian women. Jane Eyre was scandalous and very popular. Writing and being a governess were the only money making options for middle class unmarried women of the time.
Jan 24, 2010 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a very detailed and analysed version of the Bronte family. It would probably not be as interesting if you hadn't at least read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but the more Bronte books you have read previously, the better.

I really loved it though.
Amy Wolf
Jan 30, 2013 Amy Wolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read nearly every bio of Charlotte that there is, and this is one of my favorites. Fraser does an impeccable job getting the facts straight & compiling an accurate portrayal of the author & her unusual family. A great place to start to learn about the Brontes.
May 06, 2013 Courtru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty fascinating and engaging read if you're into the Brontes, Charlotte particularly. Those ladies had a rough life. It was a hard book to put down, although I had a tough time avoiding spoilers : )
Melissa Jackson
Apr 30, 2012 Melissa Jackson marked it as to-read
I've owned this for years (found in a dusty corner of the Ohio Bookstore in downtown Cincinnati) but never read it. It's officially on my summer reading list now.
Sep 28, 2012 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoirs, england
A logical followup to Gaskell's biography of Charlotte. Now to finish Juliet Barker's divine work!
Oct 02, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it
Re-reading...inspired by today's Real Simple quote from Emily Bronte...
paperback, sun-darkened, dogeared pages and cover, clean text.
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