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Book Title: Charlotte Brontë: A Life|
The author of the book: Claire Harman
Date of issue: October 29th 2015
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On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Penguin is publishing the definitive biography of this extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman
Charlotte Brontë's life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. Like Jane Eyre she was raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors and sent away to brutally strict boarding school at a young age. Charlotte grew up and watched helpless as, one by one, her five beloved siblings sickened and died; by the end of her short life, she was the only child of the Brontë clan remaining. And most fascinating and tragic of all, throughout her adult life she was haunted by a great and unrequited love - a love that tortured Charlotte but also inspired some of the most moving, intense and revolutionary novels ever written in the English language.
Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She encouraged her sister Emily to publish Wuthering Heights when no-one else believed in her talent. She took charge of the family's precarious finances when her brilliant but feckless brother Branwell succumbed to opium addiction. She travelled from Yorkshire to Europe to the bright lights of London, met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation (Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray), and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. And in each of her books, from Villette and Shirley to her most famous, Jane Eyre, Charlotte created brand new kinds of heroines, inspired by herself and her life, fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions.
This beautiful produced, landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family's writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights. It is a uniquely intimate and complex insight into one of Britain's best loved writers. This is the literary biography of the year; if you loved Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens, this event is not to be missed.
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Read information about the authorClaire Harman began her career in publishing, at Carcanet Press and the poetry magazine PN Review, where she was co-ordinating editor.
Her first book, a biography of the writer Sylvia Townsend Warner, was published in 1989 and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for ‘a writer of growing stature’ under the age of 35. She has since published biographies of Fanny Burney and Robert Louis Stevenson and edited works by Stevenson and Warner. She writes short stories for radio and publication and was runner-up for the V.S.Pritchett prize for short fiction in 2008. Her latest book is a mixture of biography and criticism, Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World.
Claire has taught English at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford and creative writing at Columbia University in New York City. She has appeared on radio and television and writes regularly for the literary press on both sides of the Atlantic, reviewing books, films, plays and exhibitions.
She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006.
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