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Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2016
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
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Description
On the two hundredth anniversary of her birth, a landmark biography transforms Charlotte Brontë from a tragic figure into a modern heroine.
 
Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret. The genius of Claire Harman’s biography is that it transcends these melancholy facts to reveal a woman for whom duty and piety gave way to quiet rebellion and fierce ambition.
Drawing on letters unavailable to previous biographers, Harman depicts Charlotte’s inner life with absorbing, almost novelistic intensity. She seizes upon a moment in Charlotte’s adolescence that ignited her determination to reject poverty and obscurity: While working at a girls’ school in Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with her married professor, Constantin Heger, a man who treated her as “nothing special to him at all.” She channeled her torment into her first attempts at a novel and resolved to bring it to the world's attention.
Charlotte helped power her sisters’ work to publication, too. But Emily’s Wuthering Heights was eclipsed by Jane Eyre, which set London abuzz with speculation: Who was this fiery author demanding love and justice for her plain and insignificant heroine? Charlotte Brontë’s blazingly intelligent women brimming with hidden passions would transform English literature. And she savored her literary success even as a heartrending series of personal losses followed.

Charlotte Brontë
is a groundbreaking view of the beloved writer as a young woman ahead of her time. Shaped by Charlotte’s lifelong struggle to claim love and art for herself, Harman’s richly insightful biography offers readers many of the pleasures of Brontë’s own work.
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Street Date:
03/01/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307962096
ASIN:
B0104ELUYG
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Claire Harman. (2016). Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Claire Harman. 2016. Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Claire Harman, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Claire Harman. Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Apr 07, 2017 17:46:11
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 04:23:59
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      • bioText: CLAIRE HARMAN is the author of Sylvia Townsend Warner, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Fanny Burney; Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has taught at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester in England and Columbia University in New York.

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publishDate
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title
Charlotte Brontë
fullDescription
On the two hundredth anniversary of her birth, a landmark biography transforms Charlotte Brontë from a tragic figure into a modern heroine.
 
Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret. The genius of Claire Harman’s biography is that it transcends these melancholy facts to reveal a woman for whom duty and piety gave way to quiet rebellion and fierce ambition.
Drawing on letters unavailable to previous biographers, Harman depicts Charlotte’s inner life with absorbing, almost novelistic intensity. She seizes upon a moment in Charlotte’s adolescence that ignited her determination to reject poverty and obscurity: While working at a girls’ school in Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with her married professor, Constantin Heger, a man who treated her as “nothing special to him at all.” She channeled her torment into her first attempts at a novel and resolved to bring it to the world's attention.
Charlotte helped power her sisters’ work to publication, too. But Emily’s Wuthering Heights was eclipsed by Jane Eyre, which set London abuzz with speculation: Who was this fiery author demanding love and justice for her plain and insignificant heroine? Charlotte Brontë’s blazingly intelligent women brimming with hidden passions would transform English literature. And she savored her literary success even as a heartrending series of personal losses followed.

Charlotte Brontë
is a groundbreaking view of the beloved writer as a young woman ahead of her time. Shaped by Charlotte’s lifelong struggle to claim love and art for herself, Harman’s richly insightful biography offers readers many of the pleasures of Brontë’s own work.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Frances Wilson, Evening Standard
      • content: "'There's a fire and a fury raging in that little woman,' Thackeray observed of Charlotte Brontë. 'She has a story and a great grief that has gone badly with her.' Harman tells the story with quick wit, a sharp sympathy, and a fire and fury of her own."
      • premium: False
      • source: Matthew Adams, Sunday Express
      • content: "Harman's narration of [the] devastating events [of Charlotte's life] is elegant, sensitive, beautifully paced and moving. She has . . . produced a work that is affirmative, edifying, inspiring and humane."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Economist
      • content: "[An] excellent new bicentennial biography . . . Ms. Harman writes with warmth and a fine understanding of Ms. Brontë's literary significance. Above all, she is a storyteller, with a sense of pace and timing, relish for a good scene and a wry sense of humor."
      • premium: False
      • source: John Preston, The Daily Mail
      • content: "Elegantly written, consistently perceptive . . . [Harman] succeeds in bringing Charlotte back to life in all her spiky vulnerability."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lucasta Miller, The Independent
      • content: "As someone who once wrote a book about the Brontës' afterlives, few people can have read as many biographies of them as I have. I thought I was Brontë-ed out, but reading this book--which will be equally accessible to someone coming to Charlotte for the first time--has drawn me back in."
      • premium: False
      • source: Mark Bostridge, The Spectator
      • content: "Three rounds of applause . . . for Claire Harman's superb retelling of Charlotte's story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sunday Times
      • content: "Finely judged and authoritative."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian
      • content: "A retooled classic biographical narrative, shipshape and serviceable for the next 200 years."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 18, 2016
        The story of the Brontës may be well-trod, but in the hands of skilled biographer Harman (Jane’s Fame), their personalities come to life in a fresh, vigorous, and very readable fashion. Drawing on prodigious research, both old and new, Harman creates an expert portrait of life at Haworth Parsonage and of its eccentric inhabitants. At the center is Charlotte, whose Jane Eyre became a literary sensation, and who would outlive all of her siblings. It is impossible to speak of Charlotte without also telling the story of her complicated family members, especially her stern, self-absorbed father, Patrick; her talented but dissolute brother, Branwell; and, of course, her sisters and fellow novelists: strong-willed Emily (Wuthering Heights); and patient, introverted Anne (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall). But Charlotte and her remarkable writings remain the focus, as Harman leads her from secluded girlhood and the imaginary world she created with her siblings to her celebrity upon the thunderclap publication of Jane Eyre (“that intensely interesting novel,” as Queen Victoria called it). In telling Charlotte’s story anew, Harman has created a work that will appeal both to readers meeting the Brontë clan for the first time and to those already steeped in their lore. Illus. Agent: Zoe Waldie, Rogers, Coleridge & White.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 15, 2016
        Accomplished biographer Harman (Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, 2010, etc.) returns with a lively account of the life of Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855). After the deaths of her two older sisters in 1825, Charlotte, at age 9, was the eldest of the four surviving Bronte children. Isolated in the parsonage at Haworth on the Yorkshire moors, they built for themselves a fantasy world centered on an imaginary African kingdom; their sojourns there over the years resulted in a torrent of related prose and poetry, written solely for each other in matchbox-sized books. As they matured, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne directed their literary talents to the depictions of more realistic topics, resulting in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and the other novels for which each ultimately became famous. Groundbreaking in many ways, their works were driven by fury at the constraints on occupational and social choices available to Victorian women and, upon their pseudonymous publications, aroused reactions ranging from astonished enthusiasm to disgust. Neither deferential nor awestruck, Harman clearly feels strong affection for these reclusive, dysfunctional siblings. She confidently makes sympathetic characters of Charlotte and her sisters, even while conceding that they were by all accounts difficult and generally unpleasant company. The author remains focused on her subject's life story, expending little space on general information about the historical setting and explaining just enough of the content of Bronte's novels that readers unfamiliar with them can understand their significance, the public's reactions to them, and the extent to which Charlotte drew upon her own experiences in their production. She vividly portrays a life of loneliness, anguish, tragedy, and suppressed rage in serene and elegant prose with frequent flashes of ironic humor; the underlying scholarship is extensive but never obtrusive. A delightfully engaging biography of a highly talented but deeply troubled prodigy of English literature.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2016
        While many writers treat the talented and intriguing Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne) as a unit, award-winning literary biographer Harman (Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, 2010) extracts the fiery, feisty Charlotte, perhaps the most well-known of the talented trio, out of the family cocoon and straight into the hearts and minds of readers who cut their literary teeth on Jane Eyre. According to Harman, who has unearthed a treasure trove of correspondence, Charlotte's remarkable fiction was grounded in her own fervent passions. Harman reveals two episodes of unrequited love which she argues fueled Charlotte's writing, experiences that now serve to humanize a lionized literary figure who has too often been set in stone and trapped in a narrowly held view of her time, place, and circumstances. Timed to coincide with the two-hundredth anniversary of Bronte's birth, Harman's knowledgeable and refreshing new look at a familiar yet largely unknown and routinely trivialized life is a welcome tribute to a worthy subject.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2016

        In 2016 several events will celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth, including exhibitions hosted by the Bronte Society. With this biography, Harman (Jane's Fame) contributes to the celebration. Many Brontean memoirs exist, including one written shortly after the novelist's death by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell. Harman cites a number of these accounts in her comprehensive notes and bibliographic sections. The author draws heavily on recently published correspondence that had not been available to earlier biographers. These letters provide a new perspective on the renowned author of Jane Eyre, especially when Harman depicts her struggles as a teacher/governess, her unrequited passion for a Belgian professor (experiences that inspired Villette), and her heartrending descriptions of her siblings' last days. This work spans more than the 38 years of the writer's brief life, also tracing her parents' beginnings. It concludes with a passage of the increasing literary celebrity that followed Bronte's difficult death from hyperemesis gravidarum (a complication of pregnancy). Her father witnessed this fame, having outlived all six of his children. VERDICT This excellent biography makes a significant contribution to Brontean studies and will attract readers interested in Bronte as well as British literature in general. [See Prepub Alert, 9/14/15.]--Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Media, PA

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        Those who love Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre intuitively know that she had a "fiery heart," but award-winning biographer Harman lets it beat out in the open. Here we see Bronte falling in love with the husband of the headmistress at a school where she worked and suffering unrequited love for her publisher before entering into a happy marriage. Harman draws on letters not available to previous biographers--just in time for the 200th anniversary of Bronte's birth.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2016

        In 2016 several events will celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth, including exhibitions hosted by the Bronte Society. With this biography, Harman (Jane's Fame) contributes to the celebration. Many Brontean memoirs exist, including one written shortly after the novelist's death by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell. Harman cites a number of these accounts in her comprehensive notes and bibliographic sections. The author draws heavily on recently published correspondence that had not been available to earlier biographers. These letters provide a new perspective on the renowned author of Jane Eyre, especially when Harman depicts her struggles as a teacher/governess, her unrequited passion for a Belgian professor (experiences that inspired Villette), and her heartrending descriptions of her siblings' last days. This work spans more than the 38 years of the writer's brief life, also tracing her parents' beginnings. It concludes with a passage of the increasing literary celebrity that followed Bronte's difficult death from hyperemesis gravidarum (a complication of pregnancy). Her father witnessed this fame, having outlived all six of his children. VERDICT This excellent biography makes a significant contribution to Brontean studies and will attract readers interested in Bronte as well as British literature in general. [See Prepub Alert, 9/14/15.]--Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Media, PA

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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On the two hundredth anniversary of her birth, a landmark biography transforms Charlotte Brontë from a tragic figure into a modern heroine.

Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret. The genius of Claire Harman's biography is that it transcends these melancholy facts to reveal a woman for whom duty and piety gave way to quiet rebellion and fierce ambition.

Drawing on letters unavailable to previous biographers, Harman depicts Charlotte's inner life with absorbing, almost novelistic intensity. She seizes upon a moment in Charlotte's adolescence that ignited her determination to reject poverty and obscurity: While working at a girls' school in Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with her married professor, Constantin Heger, a man who treated her as "nothing special to him at all." She channeled...
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