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Reviews105 case for identification, he merely suppUes the caption, "Alice's 'white knight' was probably based on Tenniel himself* (96), leaving the uninformed reader to suppose that this knight L· the white knight from Alice. In fact, it is "The Elritch Knight," glossed as "a self portrait by Tenniel"—but for that information one has to go to the jacket flap, as it is nowhere discoverable in the book. Nevertheless, this is a valuable book, and a handsome one, full of fine reproductions and fascinating information on the graphic artists of the day. And Alice scholars can take away with them plenty of memorable anecdotes about the author-illustrator relationship. When Harry Furniss told Tenniel in 1885 that he was to Ulustrate CarroU's Sylvie and Bruno, Tenniel responded, from the length and depth of his experience, "I'U give you a week, old chap; you wUl never put up with that feUow a day longer" (98). Juliet McMaster University ofAlberta Edward Chitham. A Life ofAnne Brontë. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. vü + 216 + plates. $29.95 US (cloth). Claire Tomalin. The Invisible Woman. The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. With a new postscript: "The Death of Dickens." London: Penguin, 1991. ? + 333 + plates. $12.95 CDN (paper) On first consideration, it would seem that no two women could be as different as Anne Brontë, the serious-minded clergyman's daughter, and EUen Ternan, the daughter ofa theatre couple, or two worlds more distant than that of a respectable governess and that of a denizen of the morally suspect world of the stage. Yet on closer examination, it is apparent that despite the most obvious differences, they shared a paraUel existence. Claire Tomalin calls Ellen Teman, the actress who had a thirteen-year relationship with Charles Dickens, "the invisible woman," but Anne Brontë also has some claim to that epithet in spite of her published works. Both women were Uttle known or understood even in their own time. Brontë has been seen through the filter of her more famous sister, Charlotte, while Teman was seen through the screen of a carefully maintained domestic image, an image of respectabUity and decorum that family, friends, biographers, and even the great man himself were determined to preserve. Neither woman left much written 106Victorian Review evidence of her existence. Beyond her pubUshed poems and novels, Uttle else that Brontë wrote has survived. Not surprisingly, Teman, in her moraUy and sociaUy difficult position as the mistress of one of the nineteenth century's greatest Uterary figures, left few personal records. In his introduction to A Life ofAnne Brontë, Edward Chitham writes, "it is part of the biographer's task to bring his subject to Ufe, to explain her attitudes, feelings, and thoughts" (7). His concern is to present a very readable biography, one that wiU appeal to the "fresh reader" as weU as the seasoned Brontë scholar. The task of bringing Anne Brontë to Ufe is compUcated by timited sources and the way in which they have been interpreted in the past. Interest in the Brontes began with the pubUcation of Mrs. GaskeU's biography of Charlotte Brontë just after the latter's death. Although the biography contained information about Anne, it was second-hand information suppUed primarily by Charlotte. Literature about the Brontes expanded in the twentieth century, but GaskeU's text continued to be used as the primary source. Because so few documents directly relating to the Ufe of Anne Brontë have survived, her own writing has been used extensively for biographical information—particularly by Winifred Gerin in her highly regarded biography. Chitham, while considering Germ's work to be significant, criticizes her "simpUstic view" of the autobiographical elements in Bronte's novels (3). His approach is to examine topographical and chronological sources, even though they may not mention his subject at all, and compare them with the fiction. It is true that other biographers, including Gerin, have considered such sources. Gerin, for example, beUeved it a particular advantage on her part as a biographer to be an actual resident of Haworth (viii). Chitham argues, however, that this approach has been neglected by previous biographers. By emphasizing topographical and chronological sources, Chitham does bring...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 105-109
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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