"'It is in every way worthy of what one great woman should have
written of another.' Patrick Brontë Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of
Charlotte Brontë (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great
Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of
Charlotte Brontë, and, having been invited to write the offical
life, determined both to tell the truth and to honour her friend.
She contacted those who had known Charlotte and travelled
extensively in England and Belgium to gather material. She wrote
from a vivid accumulation of letters, interviews, and observation,
establishing the details of Charlotte's life and recreating her
background. Through an often difficult and demanding process,
Gaskell created a vital sense of a life hidden from the world. This
edition is based on the Third Edition of 1857, revised by Gaskell.
It has been collated with the manuscript, and the previous two
editions, as well as with Charlotte Bront""'e's letters, and thus
offers fuller information about the process of composition than any
previous edition. "