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Published: 07 March 1991

496 Pages

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195064926

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)


Miss Miles

or, A Tale of Yorkshire Life 60 Years Ago

Mary Taylor
Introduction by Janet H. Murray

Mary Taylor, Charlotte Brontë's closest and lifelong friend, did indeed fulfill Bront"'s prediction in both her life and her writings. Recently, however, the authenticity of Taylor's feminist classic, Miss Miles, has been put into question. A controversy is now raging among experts and scholars of Victorian fiction over the true authorship of Miss Miles. Did Mary Taylor labor over this novel from her early womanhood until the end of her life, and offer it as her last great act of friendship to women? Or is it the last work of Charlotte Brontë, taken from her home to prevent its destruction, then published posthumously under Taylor's name? Regardless of its authorship, Miss Miles is a passionate and compelling novel, well deserving of its literary status on its own terms, and fascinating as a part of the Brontë world.
In this, the only edition of Miss Miles available, Taylor breaks with tradition by creating a profoundly feminist and morally intense novel which depicts female friendships as sustaining life and samity through the vicissitudes of Victorian womanhood. Set in the small Yorkshire village of Repton against the backdrop of starvation in the wool districts and the rise of Chartism in the 1830s, this extraordinary work chronicles the lives of four socially disparate women as they learn to find their own voices and support one another. Taylor's own courage and allegiance to her friends is wonderfully reflected in each of these individually ambitious women, while the novel's emphasis on the healing power of women's friendships echoes the relationship between Brontë and Taylor herself. Originally published in 1890, Miss Miles continues to stand as an eloquent polemic in favor of a women's personal obligation to support herself. It is a classic that will delight all lovers of fine literature.

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