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Picture Gallery
Theme Analysis
Imagery Analysis
Style Analysis
Literary Devices Used
Topics of Related Interest
Helpful Resources for Student
Influence on Other Authors
Influence on World Literature
Literary Movement
Multimedia Links
Samples of Work
Works Cited
The Bronte Prize

     Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21, 1816 in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. Her father, Patrick Bronte, was an Anglican clergyman. Bronte is the third of six children in the Bronte household. Her mother, Maria Branwell Bronte, gave birth to Patrick Branwell Bronte in 1817, to Emily Bronte in 1818, and to Anne in 1820. In 1829, the whole family moved to Haworth. Mrs. Bronte died in 1821. Charlotte Bronte and her two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, were sent to the Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters’ School in 1824. However, Maria and Elizabeth became ill and were sent home; Charlotte left the school as well. At home, Maria and Elizabeth both died of consumption, or better known today as tuberculosis.

     After the death of Maria and Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne began to compose their first story through the use of wooden soldiers. They created two imaginary kingdoms called Angria, where Charlotte and Branwell ruled over, and Gondal, where Emily and Anne ruled. In 1831, Charlotte Bronte began to attend Roe Head School, but she left school to teach her younger siblings at home. In 1835, she returns to Roe Head School to work as a governess but she suffered from melancholia and gave up her position. She tried her position as a governess again in 1838 for the Sidgewick family but after three months, she left the Sidgewick family and returned to Haworth. In 1841, she became a governess again, this time for the White family, but left after nine months.

     When she returned, the three sisters decided to open their own school after they complete the necessary preparations. Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels, in 1942, to finish their studies. Charlotte studied there for a little less than 2 years and it was there that she began her ideas for her book, Villette. When Charlotte and Emily came back from Brussels, opening their own school proved to be a failure. No one responded to their public notices. In 1846, Charlotte discovered Emily’s poems and decided to compile a book containing all three sisters’ poetry. They titled it Poems and it was written under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte took her novel, The Professor, to be published but was rejected due to the unbelievable character. The failure of The Professor did not discourage her to stop writing. The subsequent year, she published Jane Eyre which proved to be an enormous success.

     In 1848, tragedy struck. Branwell died due to his excessive drinking. Not long after Branwell’s death, Emily died caused by tuberculosis. The next year, Anne died. This tragedy could best be seen in her novel, Shirley. After the deaths of her siblings, she began to spend some time in social circles in London. During that time, she met Thackeray who was a fan of her writings.

     In 1852, Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate, proposed to Charlotte. Mr. Bronte objected passionately and would not allow it. Charlotte refused him because she was not in love with him. After a two year period, Mr. Bronte’s objection seems to have wane and Charlotte and Arthur became engaged. They were married in June 1854. While Charlotte was expecting a child, she caught pneumonia and died on March 31, 1855.