Classic Poetry from Passions in Poetry
Charlotte Bronte 1816 - 1855
English novelist. Her most famous work is Jane Eyre (1847). Her first published work was a joint volume of poetry with her sisters Anne and Emily which appeared in 1846. Her other novels are Shirley (1849) and Villette (1853); her first novel The Professor was published in 1857, after her death.
Charlotte Bronte is one of the first woman novelists to have portrayed men and women as equally justified in declaring their love and remains one of the most widely read novelists in the English language.
Charlotte was the third child of Patrick Bronte, curate of Haworth in Yorkshire. Her mother died when Charlotte was very young, leaving six children to be brought up by their aunt, who moved in with them. Charlotte and three of her sisters were sent away to a Clergy Daughters' School, where conditions were so bad that two of her sisters died and Charlotte's own health never recovered. The remaining children were educated at home, reading widely and creating imaginary worlds about which they wrote.
Charlotte spent another short period at a different school, to which she returned to teach before becoming a governess to support the family and her brother Branwell's artistic career. In 1842 she and Emily went away to Brussels and Charlotte stayed on for a year on her own. She fell in love with a married teacher, M Heger, but he discouraged her letters to him. She eventually married her father's Irish curate, Arthur Bell Nichols, in 1854.
Charlotte wrote under the pseudonym Currer Bell and the success of Jane Eyre prompted great interest in her identity and in those of her sisters Emily and Anne, who wrote under the names of Ellis and Acton Bell. Her novels are recognisably autobiographical, telling the tales of strong and honourable women who become teachers or governesses.