Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman (Ex-Library HC/DJ)
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 a brutally strict boarding school at a young age. Charlotte grew up and watched helplessly 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 best-selling 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 beautifully produced landmark biography is essential listening 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.