Archives for Charlotte Bronte

#BookReview ‘Charlotte Brontë A Life’ by Claire Harman #books #writerslife

How did Charlotte Brontë create the character of Jane Eyre? Was Villette really based on a doomed love affair in Brussels? How much of the real author is in these novels? If you have read Charlotte Brontë’s books, you will have asked yourself these questions. The biography Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman provides some fascinating answers. This is the first biography of Brontë I have read and I wish I had read it sooner. Harman tells the enthralling story of the family whose losses, grief, hardship, isolation and disappointments populate the novels of the three sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne. It is impossible to write about Charlotte without writing about the family, and particularly about Emily, Anne and brother Branwell. Everyone knows the headline facts about the Brontës – Haworth parsonage, mother and siblings dying, Branwell’s addiction, and the imaginary kingdoms of Angria and Dondal in which the children lose themselves. But Harman makes the history accessible, telling the life of Charlotte in chronological order starting briefly with her father Patrick. There are clear references to real life appearing in the novels and Harman casts light on the writing process of Charlotte and her sisters. For a novelist, this
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

First Edition: Jane Eyre

Is there a more iconic novel than Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte? Beloved by generations of teenage girls who identify with the eponymous Jane, her suffering, her fortitude and generosity, Jane Eyre also plays a key role in the acceptance of female authors. Bronte famously submitted the novel to her publisher under the pseudonym Currer Bell. First editions of Jane Eyre by Currer Bell are available rarely for sale. See [above] the title page of the first issue which did not include a preface by the author, something remedied in the second edition; you can read the preface here, the book is held by the British Library. The most recent sale of a first edition [above] was at Bonhams, London in 2013 for £39,650.  A three-volume edition published by London, Smith Elder & Co [above], available at Peter Harrington, is for sale [at time of going to press] for £4,500. This is a third edition; given the popularity of the novel when it was first published, around October 19, 1847, it was quickly followed by second and third editions on January 22, 1848 and April 15, 1848 respectively. This particular edition attracts a high price as there are a number
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

My Porridge & Cream read: Julie Stock

Today I’m delighted to welcome romance author Julie Stock. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. “My ‘Porridge and Cream’ book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. The first time I read it was at secondary school, when I was about 14 years old, in the late 1970s. I went to a girls’ school and romantic love seemed very elusive and also illusory. What captivated me about the story was that it seemed so real. My school was nothing like Jane’s experience, thank goodness, although I might have felt like it was at the time but I appreciated the truth of the story, like the author was treating the reader with respect by drawing characters to whom life had not been kind, who were quite ordinary in their way, but had the potential to be extraordinary by their actions. It was many years before I picked the book up again but I find myself moved to reread it regularly these days, especially when the real world becomes a bit too superficial and I need an escape to a world where people rose above their suffering and survived despite it because of the power of love. I
Read More

Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.