Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Charlotte Bronte-A great English Writer

My visit to the Bronte Parsonage Museum was very informative and touching.(Read about it under the category Places). After that visit I had an urge to know more about the Bronte family. The following article is about Charlotte Bronte:-) Hope you would enjoying reading...

Who was Charlotte Bronte?
Charlotte Bronte was a great English writer of the 19th century. Her works Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette and the Professor are widely read and considered to be among the best in English literature. Born in an ordinary family, she became successful only due to her strong determination, hardwork and courage.

Charlotte was born on 21st April 1816 at Thornton, England. Her father Patrick Bronte was a priest in the church. She had four sisters -Maria, Elizabeth, Emily and Anne and a brother named Branwell. In 1820 they moved into the industrial town of Haworth, England, where Patrick Bronte was appointed curate. A year later, Charlotte lost her mother. Maria and Elizabeth died of ill health in 1825.

Even from childhood Charlotte showed a flair for writing and had a vivid imagination. Along with her brother she made an imaginary land called Angria. Her younger sisters made their own land called Gondal. The four of them were very involved in the stories that they made up and together they made tiny books filled with miniscule writing. She read a lot and was interested in politics and current affairs.

An intelligent girl
As a student she was brilliant and even won medals for her achievements. Her intelligence and knowledge amused her friends. She also came to be known as a great storyteller. She was good at painting, sewing and knitting. One problem was that she was very short-sighted which prevented her from taking part in sports or playing the piano!

Charlotte grew to be a short woman of about 4’9” height. Her hands and feet were delicate; in the words of Elizabeth Gaskell, the author of The Life of Charlotte Bronte ‘The delicate long fingers had a peculiar fineness of sensation, which was one reason why all her handiwork, of whatever kind - writing, sewing, knitting - was so clear in its minuteness.’ She had two dear friends- Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. It was with the help of the hundreds of letters to Ellen that much of Charlotte’s and her sisters’ lives were pieced together.She was not considered to be pretty and preferred to dress in simple clothes.

The novels
Emily and Anne Bronte enjoyed writing as well. In 1846, the three sisters published their collection of poems. Unfortunately it sold only two copies! But they did not lose hope and started writing novels.

Of the three sisters, Charlotte was the most ambitious and determined. Her first novel ‘The Professor’ was rejected a number of times by publishers. Still she did not give up and wrote her second novel ‘Jane Eyre’. This novel was accepted without hesitation and published in 1847. It became successful and was appreciated by many famous people at that time.

Anne Bronte's ‘Agnes Grey’ (1847) and ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ (1848) and Emily Bronte's ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1847) were published but they did not live long to see their fame spread.

In an unhealthy place that Haworth used to be, early deaths were not something new. Following the death of Branwell, Emily (30) died of tuberculosis on 19th December 1848. Anne (29) died of the same illness on 28th May 1849. After that Charlotte wrote and published two more novels ‘Shirley’ and ‘Villette’. They did not however have the same charm as that of Jane Eyre perhaps because of the great depression she was in while writing them.


Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls who had come to assist her father as curate proposed to Charlotte in 1852. She rejected him at first but on 29th June 1854 they got married. The marriage was happy but a short one.

Death overtook Charlotte Bronte on 31st March 1855. She was 38. Her first novel The Professor, which failed to impress any publishers in her lifetime, was published posthumously in 1857.

The Bronte home at Haworth is now 'The Bronte Parsonage Museum' in recognition and memory of the family. Thousands of people come here every year to know more about this extremely talented writer and her equally talented sisters.


pensativo said...

Nice information..would surely check out her books now [:)]
thansk for the info..btw.

rampantheart said...

i have not read charlotte bronte yet!But i have heard that her works are legendary.This is a very informative post. i am bookmarking it.