Was Charlotte Bronte the dutiful, loving daughter who rose with courage above the blows life dealt her as Mrs Gaskell alleged? Or was she the coldhearted, manipulative woman who may have even had a hand in the deaths of her siblings as James Tully has argued? Did she have a lesbian affair with her close friend Ellen Nussey? Or was she wildly infatuated with her Belgian tutor Monsieur Heger? This carefully researched novel traces the life of the real woman from the time when, as a small girl, she sets out along the Bradford Road to find Paradise to the days when, desperately ill and beginning to distrust everybody, she traces her life through the years. Here is the eager, imaginative child enduring the horrors of a sadistic school, the delight of sharing a secret world with her brother Bramwell. Here is the ambitious, desperately shy girl whose emotions are poured out upon her friends, the young woman who sets out to make her mark on the literary world and whose love-hate feelings for her sisters, the eccentric Emily and the quiet Anne, colour many of her decisions. Here is the woman burning with suppressed sexuality who bursts upon the literary world and shocks Victorian England but submits to a marriage she may have regretted. Here is Charlotte Bronte. Make of her what you will.
Used availability for Maureen Peters's The Child of Fire
June 2002 : UK Hardback