Charlotte Brontë: Doing Her Best

Yet though I must limit my sympathies; though my observation cannot penetrate where the very deepest political and social truths are to be learnt; though many doors of knowledge which are open for you are for ever shut to me; though I must guess and calculate and grope my way in the dark, and come to uncertain conclusions unaided and alone where such writers as Dickens and Thackeray, having access to the shrine and image of Truth, have only to go into the temple, lift the veil a moment, and come out and say what they have seen—yet with every disadvantage, I mean still, in my own contracted way, to do my best.

—Charlotte Brontë, as Currer Bell, in a letter to her publisher

From the 2000 Modern Library paperback edition of Jane Eyre

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2 comments on “Charlotte Brontë: Doing Her Best

  1. Cipriano says:

    The Brontes are, to me, a prime example of the fact that our understandings can exceed our experiences, our inner geography transcend our outer geography. Our musings, our knowledge.
    Emily's “Wuthering Heights” is one of the greatest pieces of literature I've ever read.
    She rarely ventured beyond the moors surrounding Haworth parsonage.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Yes, they lend support to that old cliché, “write what you know.”

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