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The definitive biography of an extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman

'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day . . .' With these words Charlotte Bront began Jane Eyre and changed English literature irrevocably.

Claire Harman's landmark biography provides a bold new view of one of Britain's best loved writers, uncovering an inner life that touched the furthest extremes of human emotion.

Harman shows us an intense and troubled young woman from an astonishingly creative family, whose early works were produced in total secrecy. Struggling against the conventional limitations of both life and literature, Charlotte created a new kind of heroine which both shocked and inspired her Victorian contemporaries. Love, loss, ambition and heartbreak: the anonymous author poured everything into her ground-breaking books, but lived it first.

'Harman [is] a master-storyteller in her own right. Her account of Bronte's life is a level-headed, highly readable and always intelligent. A delight from start to finish' Sunday Times


'Subtle, measured. Full of insight into Bronte's fiery intellect as well as the tragic intensity of her experience' Helen Dunmore, Observer


'Three rounds of applause... a superb retelling of Charlotte's story' Mark Bostridge, Spectator

Charlotte Bront - Claire Harman

9780241963661
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Title
Charlotte Bront - a life
Author
Claire Harman
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Penguin Books
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20160407

The definitive biography of an extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman

'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day . . .' With these words Charlotte Bront began Jane Eyre and changed English literature irrevocably.

Claire Harman's landmark biography provides a bold new view of one of Britain's best loved writers, uncovering an inner life that touched the furthest extremes of human emotion.

Harman shows us an intense and troubled young woman from an astonishingly creative family, whose early works were produced in total secrecy. Struggling against the conventional limitations of both life and literature, Charlotte created a new kind of heroine which both shocked and inspired her Victorian contemporaries. Love, loss, ambition and heartbreak: the anonymous author poured everything into her ground-breaking books, but lived it first.

'Harman [is] a master-storyteller in her own right. Her account of Bronte's life is a level-headed, highly readable and always intelligent. A delight from start to finish' Sunday Times


'Subtle, measured. Full of insight into Bronte's fiery intellect as well as the tragic intensity of her experience' Helen Dunmore, Observer


'Three rounds of applause... a superb retelling of Charlotte's story' Mark Bostridge, Spectator

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Claire Harman is the award-winning biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner (1989), Fanny Burney (2000) and Robert Louis Stevenson (2005) and the author of the best-selling Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World (2009). She writes regularly for the literary press on both sides of the Atlantic and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006.
Her most recent work is Charlotte Bronte: A Life.

Harman's sane, unshowy re-telling is exactly right for the bicentenary next April. The result is a retooled classic biographical narrative, shipshape and serviceable for the next 200 years
The Guardian

Finely judged and authoritative
Sunday Times Book of the Week

Elegantly written, consistently perceptive...[Harman] succeeds in bringing Charlotte back to life in all her spiky vulnerability
Daily Mail Book of the Week

This is a comprehensive biography to enjoy and admire. Harman writes well and she is a fine and sensitive critic
The Times

Harman... portrays Bronte's complexity and dark genius in elegant prose with deep human sympathy
The Lady

Superb retelling of Charlotte's story (...) admirably concise
The Spectator

Harman tells [Charlotte's] story with quick wit, a sharp sympathy, and a fire and fury of her own
Evening Standard

Full of pleasing and piquant detail, scraps of passing recollection assembled from the various lives and letters in which the Brontes featured and from which we might reconstruct their world
Financial Times

Elegant, sensitive, beautifully paced and moving. [Claire Harman] has... produced a work that is affirmative, edifying, inspiring and humane
Sunday Express

Revelatory (...) adds freshness and texture to her account with original speculations. As someone who once wrote a book about the Bronts' afterlives, few people can have read as many biographies of them as I have. I thought I was Bront-ed out, but reading this book-which will be equally accessible to someone coming to Charlotte for the first time-has drawn me back in
Lucasta Miller, The Independent

Three rounds of applause...for Claire Harman's superb retelling of Charlotte's story
Mark Bostridge, The Spectator

[An] excellent new bicentennial biography....Ms. Harman writes with warmth and a fine understanding of Ms. Bront's literary significance. Above all, she is a storyteller, with a sense of pace and timing, relish for a good scene and a wry sense of humour
Economist

A vigorous new biography (...) Harman does a splendid job
Mail on Sunday

An immensely readable biography
Woman and Home

A substantial biography (...) that lets the disparate pieces speak for themselves
Daily Telegraph

Harman renders her daring novels fresh, interweaving what shocked critics then with what surprises us still
Sunday Telegraph

Prepare to suffer similar time-loss at the hands of Harman, Bront's most recent biographer and a master storyteller in her own right. Level-headed, highly readable and always intelligent, Harman's account of Bront's life and work is a delight from start to finish
Sunday Times

A subtle, measured biography, full of insight into Bronte's fiery intellect as well as the tragic intensity of her experience
Helen Dunmore, Observer

Harman brings a fresh eye to many of the same papers studied by Gaskell to compile her Charlotte Bront: A Life. The Gothic atmosphere and heart-breaking details remain, but Harman achieves a great feat by making the story seem new again
Marcus Field, Independent

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Women novelists, English - 19th century - Biography.|Novelists, English - 19th century - Biography.
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Number of Pages
xii, 446 , 16 unnumbered of plates

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