Charlotte Brontë

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Charlotte Brontë (pronounced /ˈbrɒnti/ or /ˈbrɒnteɪ/)[1] (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels are English literature standards. She wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell.

Contents

Biography

Charlotte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816, the third of six children, to Maria (née Branwell) and her husband Patrick Brontë (formerly "Patrick Brunty"), an Irish Anglican clergyman. In 1820, the family moved a few miles to Haworth, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate. Mrs Brontë died of cancer on 15 September 1821, leaving five daughters and a son to be taken care of by her sister Elizabeth Branwell. In August 1824, Charlotte was sent with three of her sisters, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). Its poor conditions, Charlotte maintained, permanently affected her health and physical development and hastened the deaths of her two elder sisters, Maria (born 1814) and Elizabeth (born 1815), who died of tuberculosis in June 1825 soon after their father removed them from the school on 1 June.[2]

At home in Haworth Parsonage, Charlotte and the other surviving children — Branwell, Emily, and Anne — began chronicling the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of their imaginary kingdoms. Charlotte and Branwell wrote Byronic stories about their country — Angria — and Emily and Anne wrote articles and poems about theirs — Gondal. The sagas were elaborate and convoluted (and still exist in partial manuscripts) and provided them with an obsessive interest during childhood and early adolescence, which prepared them for their literary vocations in adulthood.

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