Sunday, 1 November 2015

Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman - quotes from recent reviews

This is a comprehensive biography to enjoy and admire. Harman writes well and she is a fine and sensitive critic (The Times)

Finely judged and authoritative (Sunday Times Book of the Week)

Elegantly written, consistently perceptive (Daily Mail Book of the Week)

Superb retelling of Charlotte's story (...) admirably concise (The Spectator)

Harman... portrays Bronte's complexity and dark genius in elegant prose with deep human sympathy (The Lady)

Harman tells [Charlotte's] story with quick wit, a sharp sympathy, and a fire and fury of her own (Evening Standard)

Full of pleasing and piquant detail, scraps of passing recollection assembled from the various lives and letters in which the Brontes featured and from which we might reconstruct their world (Financial Times)

An extraordinary book, crammed with scholarship and glittering with trivia . . . Harman's book offers so many delights . . . This is a fantastic compendium (Independent on Sunday on 'Jane's Fame')

A shrewd but unstuffy critic, Harman's prose rings with good sense, affection and humour... [She] manages to be not only scholarly, but indecently entertaining. (Daily Mail on 'Jane's Fame')

Rich and colourful...Harman's book is a delight from beginning to end... This superb biography not only handles the familiar material with flair but goes further than previous biographies (Sunday Times on 'Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography')

Superbly readable... she has excellent taste. A marvellous and eventful read (Evening Standard on 'Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography')

There is no doubt that Harman is the first to treat this fascinating subject in an accessible, lively manner unshackled by academic jargon. It's the quality of the insights and the interpretations that make this book such a good read (Sunday Telegraph on Jane's Fame)

Claire Harman is the award-winning biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner (1989), Fanny Burney (2000) and Robert Louis Stevenson (2005) and the author of the best-selling Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World (2009). She writes regularly for the literary press on both sides of the Atlantic and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006.

Her most recent work is Charlotte Bronte: A Life.

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