James T Kelly's Reviews > The Life of Charlotte Brontë

The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

did not like it

If you're looking for a biography of Charlotte Brontë, don't stop here. Gaskell's work is more fiction than fact, motivated by a desire to rescue Charlotte from accusations of being base and unfeminine. Because her works were deemed inappropriate from the pen of a woman, Gaskell attempts to portray Charlotte as a properly quiet, demure and retiring woman whose work merely reflected the harsh, brutal world around her. Consequently everyone around Charlotte is vilified and her environment painted to be stark, remote and harsh. It's melodrama at its worst, and you will learn nothing from it save the prejudices of the time. I recommend Juliet Barker's Brontës; factual and entertaining, and a better read than this nonsense!
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