Brontes Charlotte Bronte & Her

Rebecca Fraser, Author Crown Publishers $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56438-7
This compelling biography sets Charlotte Bronte in her rightful place as the central figure in a remarkable and gifted family. Fraser gives a full account of the parents, home, teachers, publishers, friends, fellow writers and finally the husband of the woman who chose the masculine nom-de-plume ``Currer Bell.'' The writings of Emily (``Ellis Bell'') and Anne (``Action'') are described and evaluated, as are the unpublished effusions of their wastrel brother Branwell. But the main emphasis is on Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte's other books, for which she was praised for literary skill, imagination and insightand castigated for ``coarseness'' and ``unwomanliness'' because of her insistence on depicting women with feelings as powerful and legitimate as those of men. This analysis of what was then called ``woman's place'' and how that stereotype has evolved and changed is a valuable feature of the book. In Fraser's scholarly and sympathetic telling, the sorrows, losses and hardships of the Bronte family, familiar to many, form a moving backdrop for the last survivor of six children who holds an enduring place among the immortals of English literature. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Paperback - 16 pages - 978-0-449-90465-7
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