Jane Eyre: Biography: Charlotte Bronte

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Charlotte Bronte was born 21 April 1816 in Haworth Parsonage on the Yorkshire moor, the third of Patrick and Maria Branwell Bronte's six children.  In 1821, Maria Branwell died, leaving her five daughters and one son motherless.  Charlotte and Maria and Elizabeth, her two older sisters, were sent to Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughter's School, where the bad conditions caused Maria and Elizabeth to be sent home with the consumption that killed them in 1825.  Charlotte and Emily went to school in Brussels in 1842 for less than two years.  Charlotte began writing mythology with Emily and Anne when they were children, and in 1846 the three sisters published a book of Poems under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.  The good reviews encouraged them to continue their writing, and soon plays, serial stories and other writings emerged.
Charlotte's novel The Professor did not do well, but Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under the pseudonym Currer Bell, was a success.
Tragedy followed the next two years however, when Charlotte's brother Branwell died in 1848 (possibly connected with his heavy drinking) and Emily died later in the year of consumption.  Anne's death followed in 1849, also of consumption.  Charlotte's novel Shirley (1849) presents some of her grief from this time.  After the deaths, Charlotte spent some time in London with friends, particularly the writer Thackeray.  In 1854 Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father's curate, and in March of 1855 she died.  Other surviving works of Charlotte Bronte include some earlier writings as well as another novel, Villette (1853).
Barker, Juliet. The Brontes. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.

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