The lives of literary figures have always provided a source of fascination; the tragic life of Charlotte Brontë is no different. In this interpretive critical biography, Helene Moglen “takes for granted earlier, exhaustive studies” done on Brontë to produce an analysis that incorporates not only the facts of her life, but also their influence upon her works. Through her study, Moglen seeks to examine the two dimensions that are essential to any study of Brontë: the life she lived and the life she created within the pages of fiction.
By examining the paradoxical personal tragedy and artistic fulfillment that made up Charlotte Brontë’s life, Helen Moglen shows the evolution of Brontë’s feminism. Through Brontë’s growth, Moglen then is able to “explore explicitly formations of the modern female psyche.” Considered to be a major biography fusing together the making of literature and the formation of personality, Moglen offers a new critical insight into Brontë’s struggle for self-definition and how it can be reflected through the lives of readers more than a century later.