Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Bronte

(2005 words)
  • Josie Billington (University of Liverpool)

Mrs Gaskell's posthumous account of Charlotte Brontë's life was written at the request of Charlotte's father, Patrick Brontë, who had become concerned at the speculation and factual inaccuracies generated about his daughter in the obituary notices that followed her death in 1855. As an established author who had been a personal friend of Charlotte's, Mrs Gaskell was highly suited to take on the role of official biographer – the more so, perhaps, because she had her own reservations about those very aspects of Charlotte's literary output which had helped to generate doubts about the respectability of Charlotte's life. (“The difference between Miss Bronte and me”, she had written in a letter of 1853, “is that she puts all her …

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Billington, Josie. "The Life of Charlotte Bronte". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=353, accessed 25 September 2016.]