A writer of passionate moral conviction who gave powerful voice to a female perspective in the character of Jane Eyre
NAME: Charlotte Brontë
BORN: 1816, Thornton, Yorkshire
SIBLINGS: Five. Maria, Elizabeth, Emily, Anne and Branwell (a boy).
PSEUDONYM: Currer Bell. All three published Brontë sisters used male pseudonyms to protect themselves from double standards against women authors.
INSPIRATION: Among many inspirations to her writing, the young Charlotte Brontë’s dramatic imagination was fired by the gift of a box of toy soldiers given to her and her siblings by her father. Together they created richly detailed and imaginative plays and narratives. Charlotte’s soldier was named the Duke of Wellington.
FIRST PUBLICATION: a joint volume of poems entitled, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, published in 1846 with her two sisters Emily and Anne Brontë.
LITERARY STYLE: passionate, direct and truthful, with a strong moral conviction
OFFERS OF MARRIAGE DECLINED: Three. Charlotte declined three marriage proposals, including one from the brother of her close friend Ellen Nussey before marrying her fourth suitor Arthur Bell Nicholls, also her father’s curate, in 1854.
FEE FOR JANE EYRE: £500, 25 times her salary as a governess
DIED: 1855, aged 38 due to sickness during pregnancy