The Life of Charlotte Brontë/Volume 1

The Life of Charlotte Brontë  (1857)  by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Volume I

Published by Smith, Elder and Co. in London.

Charlotte Brontë by Richmond c1850 crop.jpg

THE LIFE

OF

CHARLOTTE BRONTË,

AUTHOR OF

"JANE EYRE," "SHIRLEY," "VILLETTE," &c.

BY

E. C. GASKELL,

AUTHOR OF "MARY BARTON," "RUTH," &c,



IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

SMITH, ELDER & CO., 65, CORNHILL.


1857.

[The right of Translation is reserved.]

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.


page
Description of Keighley and its neighbourhood—Haworth Parsonage and Church—Tablets of the Brontë family
.          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .
1
Characteristics of Yorkshiremen—Manufactures of the West Riding—Descendants of the Puritans—A characteristic incident—Former state of the country—Isolated country houses—Two Yorkshire squires—Rude sports of the people—Rev. William Grimshaw, Curate of Haworth—His opinion and treatment of his parishioners—The "arvills," or funeral feasts—Haworth Field-Kirk—Church-riots at Haworth on the appointment of Mr. Redhead as Perpeptual Curate—Arrival of Mr. Brontë at Haworth
.          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .
10
The Rev. Patrick Brontë—His marriage with Miss Branwell of Penzance—Social customs in Penzance—The Branwell family—Letters of Miss Branwell to Mr. Brontë—Marriage of Mrs. Brontë—Thornton, the birth-place of Charlotte Brontë—Removal to Haworth—Description of the Parsonage—The people of Haworth—The Brontë family at Haworth—Early training of the little Brontës—Characteristic anecdotes of Mr. Bronté—Death of Mrs. Bronté—Village scandal—Studies of the Bronté family—Mr. Bronté’s account of his children
.          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .
34

vi

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV, rack Miss Branwell comes to Haworth—Account of Cowan's Bridge (Lowood) School and the Rev. Carus Wilson—Originals of

  • Miss Scatcherd," "Helen Burns," and " Miss Temple"—Outbreak of fever in the school—Characteristics of the Bronté sisters—Deaths of Maria and Elizabeth Bronté - - 61

CHAPTER V.

The old servant Tabby—Patrick Branwell Bront? —Charlotte Bronté's catalogue of her juvenile productions, with specimen page—Extract from the introduction to " Tales of the Islanders"

—" History of the year 1829"—Charlotte's taste for Art— Extracts from other early writings in MS.—Charlotte's mental tendencies and home duties—A strange occurrence at the Parsonage—A youthful effusion in verse - - - 3

CHAPTER VI,

Personal description of Charlotte Brontt—Miss Woolcr's school at Roe Head—Oakwell Hall and its legends—Charlotte's first appearance at school—Her youthful character and political feelings—School days at Miss Wooler's—Mr. Cartwright and the Luddites—Mr. Roberson of Heald's Hali—Chapel scenes and other characteristics of Heckmondwike and Gomersall - 99

CHAPTER VIL

Charlotte Bronté leaves school, and returns home to instruct her sisters—Books at the Parsonage—A dreary winter—Letters to a friend visiting London for the first time—On the choice of books—On dancing—Character and talents of Branwell! Bronté —Plans for his advancement—Prospect of separation CHAPTER VIII,

PAGE

Charlotte as teacher at Miss Wooler's school—Emily's homesickness—Letters indicative of Charlotte's despondency and melancholy—The sisters at home—Winter evenings at Haworth —Charlotte writes to Southey, and Branwell to Wordsworth— Branwell's letter and verses—Prospect of losing the society of a friend—Charlotte's correspondence with Southey— Letter written In a state of despondency—<Accident to the old servant, and characteristic kindness of the Brontts—Symptomsa of illness in Anne Bront?é—Charlotte's first proposal of marriage —Charlotte and Anne go out as governesses—Experionces of governess life—Adyent of the first Curate at Haworth—A second proposal of marringe—A visit to the sea-side - - 149

CHAPTER IX,

Branwell Bronté still at home—Miss Branwell and her nieces— Plan of keeping a school—Charlotte commences her first story—The Curates at IHaworth—Charlotte's sentiments on marriage—She seeks and obtains a situation as governess - 204

CILAPTER X,

Second experience of governess life—Project of a school revived, and plaos for its realization—Miss Wooler's offer of her school declined - . - - - - - - 224

CHAPTER XI.

Mr. Bronté accompanies his danghters to Brussels—Charlotte's impressions of the placeo—The Pensionnat of Madame Héger and its inmates—M. Hoéger's method of teaching French— Charlotte's exercises in French composition—Her impressions of the Belgians—Arrangements of the Pensionnat—Charlotte's conduct as English teacher—Loss of a young friend—Death of Miss Branwell, and return to Haworth—M. Héger's letter to Mr. Bronté - - - ~ -: CHAPTER XIL

PAGE Charlotte returns to Brassels—Her account of Carnival and Lent—Solitariness of the English teacher in the Pensionnat— Her devoir "Sur la nom de Napoleon"—Depression, loneliness, and home-sickness—Estrangement from Madame Héger, and return to Haworth—Traits of kindness—Emily and her dog

" Keeper" - - - - - . - 282 CHAPTER XIII. Plan of school-keeping revived and abandoned—Deplorable conduct of Branwell Bronté and its consequences - - - 312 CHAPTER XIV.

Publication of the Poems of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell—Letter to Miss Wooler—Preparation for publishing the sisters' first fictions—Letter of advice to a young friend = - - ~ 334

ILLUSTRATIONS.

Porraair oF Crartottr Bronte (to face Title-page, Vol. I).

Fac-StmiLe of A PAGE oF MS, (to face page 84).

View or Hawortn Parsoxace axp Cnvren (lo face Title-page Vol. IT).