Miss Miles

Miss Miles : A Tale of Yorkshire Life 60 Years Ago

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In Elizabeth Gaskell's seminal biography The Life of Charlotte Bronte, Gaskell makes extensive use of Charlotte's correspondence with her closest friend, known to readers of that work simply as 'Dear M.' 'M.' was later identified as Mary Taylor, whom Charlotte met as a teenager at boarding school (the school used as the model for 'Lowood' in Jane Eyre) with whom she remained friends for life. It was Mary Taylor who inspired Charlotte to leave her oppressive parsonage home and go off to school in Brussels and, again, who came to her rescue when that adventure went sour and Charlotte was paralysed by her unrequited love for her language teacher. Mary herself led a much less restricted life. She horrified her friends by teaching at a boys' school in Germany and then by setting off for New Zealand with her younger brother in order to earn her own living. She eventually became a feminist essayist, urging women to work to support themselves as their 'first duty,' and she chided her friend Charlotte as a 'coward and a traitor' for not being equally clear-headed about the debilitating effects of economic dependancy. In Miss Miles, her only novel, she breaks with tradition by producing a work which depicts women's friendships as sustaining life and sanity in oppressive situations as well as introducing an innovative narrative form which Janet Murray calls a 'feminist bildungsroman': the story of the education of several heroines, emphasizing their friendship and their economic and mental well-being rather than their love-lives.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 138.9 x 201.7 x 24.9mm | 502.62g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195064925
  • 9780195064926
  • 983,135

About Mary Taylor

Janet Horowitz Murray is a widely published Victorianist, as well as the founding director of the Laboratory for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.show more

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19 ratings
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1 5% (1)
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