Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!--I have as much soul as you,--and full as much heart! Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is a beloved classic, celebrated today by readers of all ages and revered as a masterwork of literary prowess. But what of the famous writer herself? Originally published under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, Jane Eyre was born out of a magnificent, vivid imagination, a deep cultivation of skill, and immense personal hardship and tragedy. Charlotte, like her sisters Emily and Anne, was passionate about her work. She sought to cast an empathetic lens on characters often ignored by popular literature of the time, questioning societal assumptions with a sharp intellect and changing forever the landscape of western literature. With an introduction by Alison Bechdel, Charlotte Brontë before Jane Eyre presents a stunning examination of a woman who battled against the odds to make her voice heard.
Fawkes's lively biography of Charlotte Bront (1816 1855) depicts the formation of a writing life with wit and insight. The three Bront sisters, along with their brother Branwell, spend much of their loss-riddled childhood co-authoring the dramatic saga of a fantasyland, Glass Town, in and around Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. As young adults, their storytelling anchors their experiences as Charlotte receives poor treatment at school, chafes under her work as a governess, and along with her sisters faces the realities of getting published as a woman writer. One of the joys of Fawkes's slender volume is that Charlotte does not suffer in noble silence; she is openly ambitious, even resenting what teaching steals from her creative life. Though some of the portrait's strengths can be attributed to the subject herself this book relies heavily on her letters and poems Fawkes is a deft and economical editor. With sure-handed, irreverent illustrations, she captures life on the windswept moors and masters the art of Victorian side-eye. Her Charlotte Bront is as smart, brooding, and rebellious as Jane Eyre, and her volume offers an accessible introduction to and an elaboration on the Bront s' work. Ages 10 14.