Description : Lucasta Miller explores Charlotte Brontë's first attempts to mould her own and her sisters' public image through to their many reincarnations at the hands of their biographers. The book reveals how hard it is to write an accurate biography.
Description : In a brilliant combination of biography, literary criticism, and history, The Bronté Myth shows how Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronté became cultural icons whose ever-changing reputations reflected the obsessions of various eras. When literary London learned that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights had been written by young rural spinsters, the Brontés instantly became as famous as their shockingly passionate books. Soon after their deaths, their first biographer spun the sisters into a picturesque myth of family tragedies and Yorkshire moors. Ever since, these enigmatic figures have tempted generations of readers–Victorian, Freudian, feminist–to reinterpret them, casting them as everything from domestic saints to sex-starved hysterics. In her bewitching “metabiography,” Lucasta Miller follows the twists and turns of the phenomenon of Bront-mania and rescues these three fiercely original geniuses from the distortions of legend. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : This volume represents more than twenty-five years of writing about female icons and biography. Rollyson provides the bits and pieces that resulted not only in his biography of Marilyn Monroe but also in much of the work he has subsequently done on Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, and on the nature of biography itself.This book includes a selection of Rollyson's New York Sun book reviews dealing with female icons such as Mary Stuart, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Brontës, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath. Rollyson's writing about icons has provoked him to question the process by which selves are defined. Discovering the shaping mechanisms of the self is simultaneously a way of understanding how biographies are built.In the end, this book should be of interest not merely to devotees of Monroe, Sontag, and other icons but also to anyone curious about the nature of biography and the biographer.
Description : During the nineteenth century, women authors for the first time achieved professional status, secure income, and public fame. How did these women enter the literary profession; meet the demands of editors, publishers, booksellers, and reviewers; and achieve distinction as "women of letters"? Becoming a Woman of Letters examines the various ways women writers negotiated the market realities of authorship, and looks at the myths and models women writers constructed to elevate their place in the profession. Drawing from letters, contracts, and other archival material, Linda Peterson details the careers of various women authors from the Victorian period. Some, like Harriet Martineau, adopted the practices of their male counterparts and wrote for periodicals before producing a best seller; others, like Mary Howitt and Alice Meynell, began in literary partnerships with their husbands and pursued independent careers later in life; and yet others, like Charlotte Brontë, and her successors Charlotte Riddell and Mary Cholmondeley, wrote from obscure parsonages or isolated villages, hoping an acclaimed novel might spark a meteoric rise to fame. Peterson considers these women authors' successes and failures--the critical esteem that led to financial rewards and lasting reputations, as well as the initial successes undermined by publishing trends and pressures. Exploring the burgeoning print culture and the rise of new genres available to Victorian women authors, this book provides a comprehensive account of the flowering of literary professionalism in the nineteenth century.
Description : The extraordinary creativity of the Bront--euml--; sisters, who between them wrote some of the most enduring fiction in the English language, continues to fascinate and intrigue modern readers. Their novels, which so shocked their contemporaries, address the burning issues of the day: class, gender, race, religion, and mental disorders. As well as examining these connections, Patricia Ingham also shows how film and other media have reinterpreted the novels for the twenty-first century. - ;The extraordinary creativity of the Bront--euml--; sisters, who between them wrote some of the most enduring fiction in the English language, continues to fascinate and intrigue modern readers. The tragedy of their early deaths adds poignancy to their novels, and in the popular imagination they have become mythic figures. And yet, as Patricia Ingham shows, they were fully engaged with the world around them, and their writing, from the juvenilia to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights , reflects the preoccupations of the age in which they lived. Their novels, which so shocked their contemporaries, address the burning issues of the day: class, gender, race, religion, and mental disorders. As well as examining these connections, Patricia Ingham also shows how film and other media have reinterpreted the novels for the twenty-first century. The book includes a chronology of the Bront--euml--;s, suggestions for further reading, websites, illustrations, and a comprehensive index. - ;A dazzling, unobtrusive, true work of criticism - what a rarity that is - Craig Raine
Description : The works of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte are saturated with spatial metaphors, their composition inevitably reflecting Victorian concepts of gender and the ideology of 'separate spheres'. Questioning the binary interpretation of incarceration and flight, this study focuses on how, through a transgression of narrated, textual, and metaphorical spaces, the Brontes' feminine protagonists show the ideological divide between male and female spaces to be more permeable than previously acknowledged. Applying the spatial concepts of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari, this study examines how the normative dichotomy of the 'separate spheres' in the selected novels is destabilized through a transgression of literary spaces."
Description : Sara Lodge offers a lively introduction to the critical history of one of the most widely-studied nineteenth-century novels, from the first reviews through to present day responses. The Guide also includes sections devoted to feminist, Marxist and postcolonial criticism of Jane Eyre, as well as analysis of recent developments.
Description : The first detailed study on the subject of Victorian unfinished novels, this book sheds further light on novels by major authors that have been neglected by critical studies and focuses in a new way on critically acclaimed masterpieces, offering a counter-reading of the nineteenth-century literary canon.
Description : The doctor suddenly appeared beside Will, startling him. He was sleek and prosperous, with a dainty goatee. Though he smiled reassuringly, the poet noticed that he kept a safe distance. In a soothing, urbane voice, the physician explained the treatment: stewed prunes to evacuate the bowels; succulent meats to ease digestion; cinnabar and the sweating tub to cleanse the disease from the skin. The doctor warned of minor side effects: uncontrolled drooling, fetid breath, bloody gums, shakes and palsies. Yet desperate diseases called for desperate remedies, of course. Were Shakespeare's shaky handwriting, his obsession with venereal disease, and his premature retirement connected? Did John Milton go blind from his propaganda work for the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell, as he believed, or did he have a rare and devastating complication of a very common eye problem? Did Jonathan Swift's preoccupation with sex and filth result from a neurological condition that might also explain his late-life surge in creativity? What Victorian plague wiped out the entire Brontë family? What was the cause of Nathaniel Hawthorne's sudden demise? Were Herman Melville's disabling attacks of eye and back pain the product of "nervous affections," as his family and physicians believed, or did he actually have a malady that was unknown to medical science until well after his death? Was Jack London a suicide, or was his death the product of a series of self-induced medical misadventures? Why did W. B. Yeats's doctors dose him with toxic amounts of arsenic? Did James Joyce need several horrific eye operations because of a strange autoimmune disease acquired from a Dublin streetwalker? Did writing Nineteen Eighty-Four actually kill George Orwell? The Bard meets House, M.D. in this fascinating untold story of the impact of disease on the lives and works of some the finest writers in the English language. In Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough, John Ross cheerfully debunks old biographical myths and suggests fresh diagnoses for these writers' real-life medical mysteries. The author takes us way back, when leeches were used for bleeding and cupping was a common method of cure, to a time before vaccinations, sterilized scalpels, or real drug regimens. With a healthy dose of gross descriptions and a deep love for the literary output of these ten greats, Ross is the doctor these writers should have had in their time of need.