Posted by Amy2 on October 20, 1997 at 12:49:49:
In response to Bronte and Gaskell, written by Stolzi on October 19, 1997 at 22:46:09
] Long heartfelt wow.... seeing the mss, I mean.
] I've just finished Benson's life of Charlotte Bronte. He points out that Mrs Gaskell must have known of CB's passion for M. Heger but completely covered it up - it was not known (though some people theorized on the basis of VILLETTE) until CB's letters to him resurfaced after M. Heger's death and the Heger family decided they were of historic and literary value and allowed them to be published in 1915.
Yes, Mrs. Gaskell definitely knew about Charlotte's love letters to M. Heger because she SAW them! But as she was presenting Charlotte in THE LIFE as a "victim among the tombstones" & the ltrs didn't jive with her take so she suppressed them. In fact, Charlotte was much more than a pathetic victim surrounded by death: she was ambitious; she had a lively sense of humour; she was a very loyal friend & correspondent. And she was NOT always impeccably moral, as you can see in her Juvenalia & letters to M. Heger. But Mrs. G. was very concerned about "redeeming" C. since her books were considered "coarse" & "unladylike." If you want to read a more accurate bio, my fave in Lyndall Gordon's CHARLOTTE BRONTE: A PASSIONATE LIFE.
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