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L'engagement dans les romans féminins de la Grande-Bretagne des xviiie et xixe siècles

 | 
Thierry Goater
, 
Élise Ouvrard

Troisième partie. La fonction sociale du roman et ses limites

‘Warring members’: varieties of commitment in the work of Elizabeth Gaskell

Patsy Stoneman

Résumé

Elizabeth Gaskell admettait volontiers que sa propre personnalité présentait des « aspects conflictuels » (conscience sociale et goût pour le confort domestique par exemple), divisions qui semblent trouver un écho dans son œuvre et qui ont par la suite conduit les critiques à distinguer ses romans « sociaux » de ses écrits domestiques. Cet article cherche à démontrer que les engagements apparemment divers de Gaskell trouvent une unité dans l’importance qu’elle attache à la maternité – réinterprétée de manière radicale – dans la mesure où celles qui se voient confier l’éducation des enfants préparent les futurs citoyens.

Texte intégral

1In 1848, Elizabeth Gaskell became notorious by writing Mary Barton, her tale of working-class life in Manchester which is vivid with indignation and compassion. Two years later, she and her husband decided to buy a large house, large enough not only for themselves, their four daughters and several servants, but also for the many visitors who constantly came to stay. The incongruity between her own prosperity and the utter distress of the poor led her to write to a friend worrying whether

  • 1 Chapple J. A. V. and Pollard A. (ed.), The Letters of Mrs Gaskell, Manchester University Press, 19 (...)

it is right to spend so much ourselves on so purely selfish a thing as a house is, while so many are wanting—that’s the haunting thing to me; at least to one of my ‘Mes’, for I have a great number, and that’s the plague. One of my mes is, I do believe, a true Christian—(only people call her socialist and communist), another of my mes is a wife and mother… Now that’s my ‘social’ self I suppose. Then again I’ve another self with a full taste for beauty and convenience wh[ic]h is pleased on its own account. How am I to reconcile all these warring members? I try to drown myself (my first self,) by saying it’s Wm [William, her husband] who is to decide… only that does not quite do.
(Letter to Tottie Fox, April 1850)1.

  • 2 Cecil D. (Lord), Early Victorian Novelists, London, Constable, 1934, p. 197-198, 235.

2Gaskell herself is not the only one who has perceived ‘warring members’ combined in her personality and her work. Although in her life-time she was known primarily as ‘the author ofMary Barton’, by the beginning of the twentieth century Mary Barton was forgotten and she was known only as ‘the author of Cranford’, a charming and seemingly harmless set of stories about a country town populated by widows and spinsters. When Lord David Cecil wrote his book on Early Victorian Novelists in 1934, he was prepared to recognize Gaskell’s commitment to the cause of social reform, but not her effectiveness. He takes her domestic interests as a sign of her conventional femininity. While Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, he writes, were ‘eagles’ in ‘the placid dovecotes of Victorian womanhood’, ‘we only have to look at a portrait of Mrs Gaskell, soft-eyed, beneath her charming veil, to see that she was a dove…’. For Cecil, it was Cranford which suited Gaskell’s capabilities. ‘The Industrial Revolution’, he wrote, ‘entailed an understanding of economics and history wholly outside the range of her Victorian feminine intellect’2.

3The Marxist critics who rediscovered Gaskell’s ‘social-problem’ novels in the 1950s and 60s tended to endorse this opinion, finding her treatment of social problems sentimental. Most feminist critics of the 1970s saw her as also lacking commitment to the cause of women, since she never seemed (in Cecil’s words) ‘fiercely resentful’ of women’s wrongs. In this paper, however, I shall argue that it is possible to see all of Gaskell’s work as committed to a social change which was dependent on the actions of women. Taking each of her ‘warring members’ in turn, I hope to show that what unites Gaskell’s work is a conviction that ‘drowning’ oneself in submission to masculine decision ‘does not quite do’.

  • 3 Gaskell E., Mary Barton [1848], Edgar Wright (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. I, p. 8.

4‘One of my mes’, Gaskell writes, ‘is, I do believe, a true Christian—(only people call her socialist and communist)’. Her linking together of Christian faith and socialist or communist politics is in itself, these days, a problem. The Marxist critics who were ready to praise Gaskell’s vivid pictures of working-class life saw her Christian analysis of the class conflict as an insuperable weakness. Although the working-class hero of Mary Barton can offer an analysis worthy of being called socialist: ‘“we pile up their fortunes with the sweat of our brows”’3, the novel’s resolution rests on the wish that ‘complete confidence and love… might exist between masters and men’ as if ‘to acknowledge the Spirit of Christ as the regulating law between both parties’ (p. 457-458). For the Marxist critic John Lucas, Gaskell’s commitment to Christian harmony was an infuriating paradox, since, as he puts it, ‘class interests have to wreck personal relations’in the course of class struggle, which is for him not only the inevitable, but the only means of achieving ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ aims.

  • 4 Surridge L., “Working-Class Masculinities in Mary Barton,” Victorian Literature and Culture 28 (2) (...)

5The qualities of mutual trust and care which Gaskell identifies as making her ‘a true Christian’ are not, however, very different from those of her second ‘me’—the ‘wife and mother’ whom she identifies, interestingly, as ‘my “social” self I suppose’. Christianity provided the ideology through which Gaskell’s maternal solicitude could be extended from the private to the public sphere. It was the death of her own infant son which prompted her to write Mary Barton, and that novel broaches its ‘public’ theme by way of private life. John Barton’s speech about piling up the fortunes of the rich derives its bitterness from the death of his own little son from starvation, and as he makes the speech he is carrying one of his friend’s baby twins, who will in turn die before long. This linking of public and private themes through the care of children is not Gaskell’s invention; speeches by Chartist leaders such as Joseph Raynor Stephens and Richard Pilling repeatedly ‘conflated the right to vote with the right to care for self and family4’. As a minister’s wife, Gaskell was herself involved in the practical relief of suffering, but more importantly, in her novels she observes and approves of ‘maternal’ care in widely different circumstances. Throughout her work children are cared for by neighbours, servants, widowed fathers, brothers, old grandfathers and groups of women. Gaskell’s notion of ‘family’ and ‘home’ was very far from conventional, and this is a ‘commitment’ on her part which never wavers.

  • 5 In North and South a formal contrast is made between the ‘handsome, ponderous’ Thornton dining-roo (...)
  • 6 Gaskell E., Cranford [1851-1853], Elizabeth Porges Watson (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch (...)

6The ‘warring member’ which might seem most difficult to reconcile is the one which gave rise to Gaskell’s worried letter about her many ‘mes’, and that is the ‘self with a full taste for beauty and convenience’. Gaskell certainly did have a keen appreciation of ‘beauty and convenience’ in houses, but this does not typically depend on riches. In North and South, Cousin Phillis and Wives and Daughters a contrast is made between formal, stately rooms and the more ‘comfortable’ rooms in general use5, and in Cranford, the difference is spelt out: ‘the best parlour… was the smarter place; but, like most smart things, not at all pretty, or pleasant, or home-like’6. Gaskell’s notion of ‘beauty and convenience’ in houses is always closely related to her idea of ‘home’ as a place where people are safe and comfortable.

  • 7 Gaskell E., Sylvia’s Lovers [1863], Andrew Sanders (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1999, Chs 2 & 3
  • 8 Gaskell E., Wives and Daughters, op. cit., Ch. 43. Miss Matty, in Cranford, deliberates a long whi (...)

7Gaskell can also seem obsessed with the ‘beauty and convenience’ of dress, and in Cranford the constant reference to different fabrics, worsted and Paduasoy, sarsenet and bombazine, is bewildering to a modern reader. In almost every case, however, this detail conveys some personal or social information. Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) opens with Sylvia choosing duffle for a cloak. It is a warm practical fabric, but her choice of scarlet rather than grey tells us that she is also a pleasure-loving girl7. In Wives and Daughters it is Cynthia’s lack of decent clothes which leads to her entanglement with Mr Preston8. Throughout her work, in fact, Gaskell’s focus on ‘beauty and convenience’ in houses and in clothes has a moral dimension which brings us back to her first two ‘mes’, ‘the true Christian’ and the ‘wife and mother’.

8Despite some modern assumptions, Gaskell’s Christianity did not define her as an establishment figure, since she was the wife and daughter of Unitarian ministers. In the enormous spectrum of Victorian Christian sects, Unitarianism was at the extreme radical pole. Some Victorians thought Unitarians hardly Christians at all, since they did not believe in the Trinity but in a single God, for whom Jesus was a human advocate. Neither did they believe in original sin, nor in the doctrine of redemption. Instead, Unitarians put their faith in human capabilities and human responsibilities, believing that God had endowed people with the two qualities necessary to solve all problems: reason and love. Reason enabled people to act on the basis of evidence rather than dogma, and love should ensure that reason does not become mechanical, to the detriment of human welfare.

  • 9 Gaskell as a girl spent five years at a good boarding-school, and Cecil’s view that ‘an understand (...)
  • 10 As Coral Lansbury writes, “[t] o be born a woman in the Victorian era was to enter a world of soci (...)
  • 11 Gaskell E., Mary Barton, op. cit., Ch. X, p. 131.
  • 12 See, for instance, “The Heart of John Middleton” and “The Doom of the Griffiths.”

9Unitarians believed strongly in education, for women as well as men9, and a Unitarian education included far more than the acquisition of knowledge. Educators aimed crucially to establish independence of thought and a self-regulating morality in both men and women10. This meant not only that Unitarian women had more freedom of action than most, but also that their role as mothers had a different importance. Unitarians saw that mothers, and all those who care for children, shape the citizens of the future, and thus have a crucial role in shaping the public as well as the private realm. Gaskell tended to see workingclass life almost as a model in this respect because, as she saw it, working-class necessities required both men and women to exercise both reason and love in the protection of their children. In Mary Barton, we learn that John Barton learned his habits of sympathy by imitating ‘his mother’s bravery,’ when, as a child, he had seen her ‘hide her daily morsel [of food] to share it among her children11’. Both mother and son are thus both strong and tender. In most middle-class homes, by contrast, the power of Victorian mothers was constrained by gender-polarisation. Middle-class sons were normally separated early from their mothers, who had no real input into their education. Mrs. Carson in Mary Barton, Mrs. Bradshaw in Ruth and Mrs. Hamley in Wives and Daughters indulge their sons, but leave their education to fathers who pass on primarily a sense of class privilege. Several of Gaskell’s short stories, as well as the stories of Richard Bradshaw in Ruth and Harry Carson in Mary Barton, show rich young men made careless by a proud individualism12.

  • 13 Gaskell E., North and South, op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. XXIV, p. 416.

10North and South is a crucial novel in this respect because it advocates a rapprochement between middle-class men and women. As Mr Thornton, the factory employer, learns the value of personal contact with his workers, so Margaret Hale, as a young woman, acquires the power conferred by owning capital. Though theoretically free to pursue philanthropic aims, in practice she confronts what Gaskell calls ‘that most difficult problem for women, how much was to be utterly merged in obedience to authority, and how much might be set apart for freedom in working13.’ This formulation of the problem shows that Gaskell’s is a cautious, negotiating approach—not that of the rebellious daughter who might gain modern feminist approval, but rather that of an anxious mother who knows that even pioneering work must be done within existing social patterns.

  • 14 Gaskell confronts this tension in the education of her own daughters, where her Unitarian desire t (...)
  • 15 Gaskell E., Ruth [1853], Alan Shelston (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. XXIX, p. 383.

11Unitarians aimed, by a judicious balancing of freedom and guidance, to produce a child who is ‘a law unto herself'(a phrase Gaskell used approvingly of one of her daughters and which is always a term of praise in her work)14. Ruth Hilton, in Ruth (1853), uses the same phrase about her little son’s early education, suggesting that ideally there should be little difference in the treatment of boys and girls15. Gaskell’s novels show, however, that in existing society boys and girls are liable to different faults, arising from their different education: boys have too much freedom, which leads to errors of judgement, aggression and selfishness, while girls have too much protection, leading to ignorance, timidity and abrogation of responsibility. In most matters Gaskell works to minimise these differences, aiming not only for more responsible men but also for more independent women.

  • 16 See Langland E., Nobody’s Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture, I (...)

12In the area of sexuality, however, Gaskell remains tangled in the more general ideology of her time, which conceived female ‘purity’ as so vulnerable that knowledge itself can damage it. The result is an inconsistent desire to educate girls to exercise independent judgement, while at the same time denying them information which would enable them to become ‘a law unto themselves’ in sexual matters. Victorian ‘conduct books’ contributed to this problem by confusing moral rectitude with social propriety, so that superficial patterns of behaviour assumed enormous importance as indicators of social acceptability. By the 1840s, middle-class women’s lives were shaped by a mesh of social expectations ranging from the duty to submit to husbands to the ability to interpret minute differences of clothing16.

  • 17 Ibid., p. 121.
  • 18 Gaskell E., Ruth, op. cit., Ch. III, p. 44.
  • 19 Gaskell writes to a friend that although she is glad to have written Ruth, ‘[o] f course it is a p (...)

13In some ways the ability to negotiate this complex system of appearances was a source of power for Victorian women, and the feminist critic Elizabeth Langland has argued that ladies like those in Cranford (1853) acquired significant ‘social capital,’ or status, in this way17. On the other hand, to live safely in this atmosphere of constant surveillance required an exhausting vigilance. Mothers had a particular responsibility for the social education of daughters, since the virtue and marriageability of daughters would be judged by their conformity to these rules. Gaskell’s dilemma is particularly evident in Ruth (1853), her novel about a ‘fallen woman’, where the unusually indecisive commentary suggests that Ruth suffers from being unprotected rather than from being uninformed. The narrator here doubts that ‘wise parents ever directly speak’ about sexual dangers18, and Gaskell herself thought that her daughter Marianne, aged nineteen, was still too young to read Ruth19.

  • 20 Gaskell E., Mary Barton, op. cit., Ch. XI, p. 160.
  • 21 Gaskell E., Sylvia’s Lovers, op. cit., Chs. XII, XXIX, p. 146-147, 328.
  • 22 Ibid., Ch. XXXIX, p. 444.
  • 23 See, for instance, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” “The Manchester Marriage,” “A Dark Night’s Work” and “ (...)
  • 24 Gaskell E., Cranford and Cousin Phillis, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1982, Part I, p. 228.
  • 25 Ibid., p. 308.
  • 26 Ibid., p. 316.

14The problem of sexual knowledge, however, seems limited to middle-class girls. In Mary Barton (1848), Mary assesses the threat from Harry Carson without help from her elders, telling him bluntly that ‘“you meant to ruin me; for that is the plain English of not meaning to marry me”’20. The rustic heroine of Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) accepts kisses as a harmless pleasure and feels no shame at avowing her love for Kinraid21. When, in the end, she protests that she has been ‘“cheated by men as she trusted, and… has no help for it”’22, Gaskell is speaking not of maidenly shame but of more general ethical wrong-doing. Middle-class girls can sometimes acquire this more practical wisdom through their servants, as happens in Gaskell’s penultimate work, Cousin Phillis (1864)23. This long novella shows clearly the harm done to young women by over-protective parents. Phillis Holman is regarded as a child by well-meaning parents, though to her cousin Paul she is ‘a stately, gracious young woman24.’This means that when she falls in love with a young man who marries someone else, she has no relief from her suffering. Her parents first ignore the cause of her distress, and then blame the young man. It takes her courageous declaration: ‘I loved him, father25!’ to announce her independent responsibility; it is, however, the servant Betty who confronts her infantilization by insisting that she must ‘do something for [her] self26.’

  • 27 Gaskell Elizabeth, Wives and Daughters, op. cit., Ch. XLIX, p. 557.

15Wives and Daughters (1866), Gaskell’s last novel, also focuses squarely on the education of daughters, and here the uncomfortable tension between independence and protection for girls seems to subside. It is true that the figure of Cynthia Kirkpatrick shows us the dangers of too little protection. Left to her own devices at an early age, she becomes enmeshed in obligations which threaten her reputation and from which she can envisage no escape, especially as her education has given her no settled sense of morality. Motivated by expediency, she is not fit to be ‘a law unto herself.’ and her salvation lies in recognising who, among her friends, will be a reliable guide to right action. The more relaxed atmosphere of Wives and Daughters, however, shows itself in its semi-comic commentary on Cynthia’s rescue. Although the novel begins with an invocation of fairy-tales, this distressed damsel is rescued not by Prince Charming, but by her step-sister, with the unromantic name of Molly, helped by a ‘strong-minded’ aristocrat (Lady Harriet) and a timid old maid (Miss Phoebe Browning), who are whimsically compared with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza27. Although the novel ends with Molly’s marriage to Roger Hamley, its ‘hero’ is Molly herself.

  • 28 Ibid., Chs. III, V, p. 32, 55.
  • 29 Ibid., Chs. XLIV, XLVIII, p. 504-507, 544-545.

16Molly Gibson, like Mary Barton and Ruth Hilton, loses her mother at an early age; unlike them, however, she is carefully looked after by a female servant and a lively, humorous father. Although Mr. Gibson is ‘startled to find that his little one was growing fast into a woman28’, the novel shows us that it was quite unnecessary for him to remarry to provide her with protection, since his own sensible treatment of Molly has already led her to become ‘a law unto herself.’ In the course of the novel, Molly is not only trusted with other people’s sexual secrets, but she deals with the threatening Mr. Preston entirely alone, refusing to confide in her father and taking responsibility for her own actions29. The chapter title, ‘Molly Gibson to the Rescue’ may have a comical flavour, but her courageous actions, speaking the truth and refusing to be diverted from her intentions, make her into a heroine fit for Unitarian principles.

  • 30 Despite arguments to the contrary: e. g. Yeazell R. B., “Why Political Novels have Heroines: Sybil(...)

17In these later novels we can see a steady strengthening of focus on the upbringing of the young and the importance of the family (including ‘families’ of unorthodox kinds) in shaping future citizens who will be both sympathetic to others and ‘a law unto themselves’. It is a kind of social commitment which is still relevant today30. The feminist perception that ‘the personal is political’ has largely been understood in terms of women’s oppression and emancipation, but Elizabeth Gaskell’s apparently more conservative approach shows us that the personal is political in a more expanded sense, since it is in our infancy that we acquire the values which determine actions in the public world, and that it will indeed ‘not quite do’ to let convention rule in the education of children.

Notes

1 Chapple J. A. V. and Pollard A. (ed.), The Letters of Mrs Gaskell, Manchester University Press, 1997, p. 108.

2 Cecil D. (Lord), Early Victorian Novelists, London, Constable, 1934, p. 197-198, 235.

3 Gaskell E., Mary Barton [1848], Edgar Wright (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. I, p. 8.

4 Surridge L., “Working-Class Masculinities in Mary Barton,” Victorian Literature and Culture 28 (2), 2000, p. 334. In North and South also, it is the plight of the orphan Boucher children which persuades the trade unionist Nicholas Higgins to give up his antagonistic stance towards the employer Thornton, and to ask whether they might not co-operate, for the sake of the children (Gaskell E., North and South [1854], Angus Easson (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. XXV, p. 326).

5 In North and South a formal contrast is made between the ‘handsome, ponderous’ Thornton dining-room and the Hales’‘comfortable’ drawing-room, decorated with ‘wreaths of English ivy, pale-green birch, and copper-coloured beech leaves’ (Ch. X, p. 78); in Cousin Phillis: ‘There was a rug in front of the great large fire-place, and an oven by the grate, and a crook, with the kettle hanging from it, over the bright wood-fire’ (Gaskell E., Cranford and Cousin Phillis [1863-1864], Peter Keating (ed.), Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1982, Part I, p. 235), while in Wives and Daughters, Molly prefers the old-fashioned room that had been her mother’s to the ‘smart new room’which her step-mother thought appropriate to her class (Gaskell E., Wives and Daughters [1864-1866], Angus Easson (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 2000, Ch. XVI, p. 190, 196).

6 Gaskell E., Cranford [1851-1853], Elizabeth Porges Watson (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. IV, p. 32-3.

7 Gaskell E., Sylvia’s Lovers [1863], Andrew Sanders (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1999, Chs 2 & 3.

8 Gaskell E., Wives and Daughters, op. cit., Ch. 43. Miss Matty, in Cranford, deliberates a long while over how she should spend the five guineas she has painfully saved for a new gown, but when instead she gives it away, this tells us much about her personal integrity (Chapter 13). Cousin Phillis’s childish pinafore, retained long after she might be regarded as a woman, tells us about her parents’particular kind of protectiveness (p. 226).

9 Gaskell as a girl spent five years at a good boarding-school, and Cecil’s view that ‘an understanding of economics and history’ would have been ‘wholly outside the range of her Victorian feminine intellect’ (p. 235) is very far from the truth. Gaskell’s own father wrote a series of articles on ‘Political Economy’ for the influential Blackwood’s Magazine (Stevenson W., ‘The Political Economist’, Blackwood’s Magazine, 1824-1825), and she reproved her daughter Marianne for expressing an opinion on political economy without having read Adam Smith and Cobden (Chapple J. A. V. and Pollard A. (ed.), op. cit., Letter 93, p. 148).

10 As Coral Lansbury writes, “[t] o be born a woman in the Victorian era was to enter a world of social and cultural deprivation unknown to a man. But to be born a woman and a Unitarian was to be released from much of the prejudice and oppression enjoined upon other women.” Lansbury C., Elizabeth Gaskell: the Novel of Social Crisis, London, Paul Elek, 1975, p. 11.

11 Gaskell E., Mary Barton, op. cit., Ch. X, p. 131.

12 See, for instance, “The Heart of John Middleton” and “The Doom of the Griffiths.”

13 Gaskell E., North and South, op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. XXIV, p. 416.

14 Gaskell confronts this tension in the education of her own daughters, where her Unitarian desire to leave each child to make her own mistakes conflicts with her recognition that to become socialised beings, they must also obey authority (Chapple John and Wilson Anita (eds.), Private Voices: The Diaries of Elizabeth Gaskell and Sophia Holland, Keele University Press, 1996, p. 65, 69).

15 Gaskell E., Ruth [1853], Alan Shelston (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, 1998, Ch. XXIX, p. 383.

16 See Langland E., Nobody’s Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press, 1995, Ch. 2.

17 Ibid., p. 121.

18 Gaskell E., Ruth, op. cit., Ch. III, p. 44.

19 Gaskell writes to a friend that although she is glad to have written Ruth, ‘[o] f course it is a prohibited book in this, as in many other households’. Chapple J. A. V. and Pollard A. (ed.), op. cit., Letter 148, p. 220-221.

20 Gaskell E., Mary Barton, op. cit., Ch. XI, p. 160.

21 Gaskell E., Sylvia’s Lovers, op. cit., Chs. XII, XXIX, p. 146-147, 328.

22 Ibid., Ch. XXXIX, p. 444.

23 See, for instance, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” “The Manchester Marriage,” “A Dark Night’s Work” and “The Grey Woman”; Sally is also important in Ruth.

24 Gaskell E., Cranford and Cousin Phillis, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1982, Part I, p. 228.

25 Ibid., p. 308.

26 Ibid., p. 316.

27 Gaskell Elizabeth, Wives and Daughters, op. cit., Ch. XLIX, p. 557.

28 Ibid., Chs. III, V, p. 32, 55.

29 Ibid., Chs. XLIV, XLVIII, p. 504-507, 544-545.

30 Despite arguments to the contrary: e. g. Yeazell R. B., “Why Political Novels have Heroines: Sybil, Mary Barton and Felix Holt,” Novel 18, 1985, p. 126-144.

Auteur

Patsy Stoneman est conférencière émérite en littérature anglaise à l’université de Hull (Royaume-Uni). Elle est l’auteure d’une monographie sur Elizabeth Gaskell (Elizabeth Gaskell [1987], Manchester University Press, 2nd edition, 2006) et a contribué à un ouvrage collectif consacré à Gaskell (‘ Gaskell, Gender, and the Family’, The Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell, Matus J. (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2007). Elle a également écrit de nombreux ouvrages sur les sœurs Brontë et leur héritage, parmi lesquels Brontë Transformations (1996) et Jane Eyre on Stage, 1848-1898 (2007). Elle travaille actuellement sur un livre consacré à Charlotte Brontë pour la série « Writers and their Work » (Northcote House).

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2012

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