Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of The Secret of Charlotte Brontë - Followed by Remiiscences of the real Monsieur and Madame Heger. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print.
This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Frederika Macdonald, which is now, at last, again available to you.
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And it is because, as a result of judging her genius and her personality from the standpoint of false impressions, Charlotte Brontë has not been recognised in England as a painter of personal emotions, a Romantic in short, but has been judged as the advocate of a general doctrine—(one very agreeable to the convictions of the average man, but especially exasperating to the aspirations and principles of the superior woman)—I mean, the doctrine that to obtain the love of a man whom she feels to be, and rejoices to recognise as, her 'Master,'—is the supreme desire and dream of every truly feminine heart; it is because, I say, of this mistake, that Charlotte has become the idol of a class of critics least qualified perhaps to appreciate the merits of a romantic rebel against conventional domesticity; whilst amongst more naturally sympathetic judges, the peculiar perfume and power of these novels, steeped in and saturated with the passionate essence of a personal romance, has not been recognised either for what it really is,—the 'magic' of Charlotte Brontë; the special quality in her work that gives it originality and distinction; but this very quality—'the personal note' that makes her our only English Romantic Novelist, has been signalised by many sincere admirers of her books as a defect! ...Gaskell fifty-seven years ago, so with this modern conscientious and generous critic to-day there exists an entirely noble, and, from a given point of view, justifiable reason, for refusing to handle or examine a matter with which (so it is alleged) historical and literary criticism has no concern—a purely personal, and intimate secret sorrow, in the life of an admirable woman of genius; the sanctuary of whose inner feelings it is by no means necessary to explore: and still less necessary to throw open to the vulgar curiosity and malevolent insinuations of a generation of critics, infected with hero-phobia, and the unwholesome delight of discovering 'a good deal to reprobate and even more to laugh at,' in the sensibility of men and women of genius, who have honoured the human race, and enriched the world, because they have possessed through power of feeling, power also of doing fine work, that the critics who find much in them 'to reprobate and more to laugh at' have not the power even to appreciate.