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Elizabeth Gaskell & Charlotte Brontë


In 1850 when Elizabeth Gaskell was staying in the Lake District, she met ‘a little lady in a black silk gown, whom I could not see at first for the dazzle in the room’. The little lady was Charlotte Brontë, and this meeting began a warm friendship between two contrasting personalities – Charlotte timid and withdrawn, Elizabeth outward-going and gregarious. Charlotte came to stay several times at the Gaskell’s home in busy Plymouth Grove, Elizabeth went to the silent parsonage at Haworth, and they collaborated to ensure that publication of their novels did not clash. When Charlotte died she had become such an important literary figure that the press, then as now, was full of misinformation about her. Her father, Patrick Brontë, asked Elizabeth if she would put the record straight and write his daughter’s biography. The result was the outstanding and controversial Life, which still today is regarded as an important literary biography.
© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 |