Do we need another Brontë bio, given the dozen or so captivating meditations that have followed Elizabeth Gaskell’s brilliant and gossipy pioneer study, published in 1857? Of course we do. Harman’s story is about how writers write. Her subjects are not accidental geniuses, rather women with time.
...a well-researched, wonderfully lucid, pleasingly written treatment of a most extraordinary woman...What makes this biography such a rewarding work is the poise and easy confidence with which Harman summons character and creative imagination, not only Charlotte's, but her sisters' too, showing, most crucially, how Charlotte's reading of their work unleashed a bold, hitherto absent 'emotional force' in her own writing.