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.
©2016 Claire Harman. Recorded by arrangement with Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
I love Audible but find it unconscionable that they won't up-grade to include the Cowon i9Plus as a compatible mp3 device.
Claire Harman's book cuts through all the Mythology surrounding the Brontes. In Charlotte Bronte; A Fiery Heart she lays bare all the sad nuttiness of Charlotte's up bringing and her sisters and brother. A must for any Bronte-phile
Harman's chronicling of how much she longed for love and also CB's yin and yang temperament - wanting to hide behind Currer Bell and wanting to meet all her literary contemporaries. Wanting to marry, but not leave her father. Also her groundbreaking literary contributions stunned me. I was unaware of how much Literature owes CB
The West Riding accent for all of Charlotte's letters and words. Very Nice Touch.
The Fiery Heart That Turned English Literature Upside Down
I listened to this book when my book group had a Bronte month. Instead of choosing one of their novels I elected to learn more about who they were. Knowing what I now know about their lives I want to reread Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to notice the autobiographical elements in them. I'd also like to read for the first time some of their other novels that I hadn't heard of. My favorite part was Charlotte's brief happy ending. I wish less time had been spent on her condemned attachment to her teacher in Brussels. Although the narration was a little quiet--I sometimes struggled to hear when driving or doing dishes--the narrator did an excellent job with voices and interpretation. I would recommend this book!
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