Thackerays's Angel: A Life of Jane Octavia Brookfield 1821-96 (Hardback)Sally Beales (author)
Hardback Published: 01/09/2013
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Jane Brookfield's deepest emotional experiences were centred on a close friendship with William Thackeray which was abruptly halted when Jane's husband, the Reverend William Brookfield, demanded that they should end their correspondence and never again be alone together - a demand which resultedâ¨in unhappiness for all three. Tall, beautiful, clever and charming, Jane found that the genteel poverty which limited the activities of many â¨able nineteenth-century women burdened her with anxiety and severely restricted her freedom of action. Gradually she came to realize that â¨her handsome and talented husband could not and would not satisfy her need for affectionate companionship. Jane moved gracefully through London gatherings of the literary and artistic lions of the day, impressing and intriguingâ¨her husband's Cambridge friends, including Alfred Tennyson. She recorded her reactions to manifestations of change in educational methods and religious beliefs and practices, and late in life published four novels which allowed her to voice, at last, some of her innermost thoughts. For this book Sally Beales has used unpublished letters to fill the gaps in Jane's story, gaps deliberately created by past members of the families involved in order to stifle any suggestion of scandal. Records have been destroyed, parts of letters obliterated and relationships misrepresented. Only now has it become possible to give a full account of Jane's fascinating life. Back cover blurb 'Mr Shirley, I object to your assuming that there is any rivalry in my mind towards Cecilia. Indeed, I dislike and shrink from her notionâ¨ of acquiring influence; it is not that which I am craving for at all. I would rather be led than have to lead; but I should like to understand where I am going, and upon what principle I am to be directed. I would not give blind submission to anyone, or to any party. If I were better educated I should be able to judge whether women are ill-used or not. As it is I know I have no right to express any opinion about it. I have only a kind of instinct to tell me that we ought to be better taught, and that if our minds were properly trained to reason rightly we should find out what is our 'sphere of usefulness,' as it is called, and be content to keep in it ...At the moment I should like to be given a college education beyond anything in the world.' From Jane Brookfield's novel Influence (1871)
Publisher: Ledbury Press
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
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