Literature

Interesting facts about Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte wrote several novels and poems and is still read 200 years later. Although she is known for Jane Eyre, there’s a lot more to her than the celebrated novel. Here are some interesting facts about this classic author that would intrigue you.

Charlotte was asked to give up writing since she was a woman

Right from a very young age, Charlotte and her sisters started writing and she soon developed her love for writing. She was so passionate about her writing that she used to send her work to the best, then poet laureate Robert Southey. Once examining her work, he quoted, ‘she should give up her dreams, because ‘literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life: & it ought not to be.’ Reading this she became so determined that she replied, ‘I trust I shall never more feel ambitious to see my name in print.’

Her first novel was rejected by every publisher in England

People assume that Charlotte Bronte’s first novel was Jane Eyre. But her first novel was ‘The Professor’ whose launch collided with other novels like Agnes Grey and Wuthering Heights. Charlotte approached a list of English publishers but could not print her novel, which was finally published posthumously.

 Bronte used a gender-neutral pseudonym Currer Bell

In fact, all three sisters used gender-neutral pseudonyms; Charlotte was Currer Bell, Emily was Ellis Bell, and Anne was Acton Bell. In 1846 Bronte published a book of poetry which was written by Emily and Anne, her sister. Even Jane Eyre was published under her pseudonym, Currer Bell and her publisher only came to know that Bell was a woman in 1848, a year after publishing the book!

Charlotte Bronte wrote four novels in her lifetime

‘Jane Eyre’ was published in 1847 and is considered to be her best work. It narrates the story of Jane, from her girlhood to adulthood with commentary on England’s social climate of the times. In 1849, ‘Shirley’ was published and is considered to be the least known. ‘Villette’ came out in 1853 and ‘The Professor’ was published in 1857.

 Bronte had a lucky escape from tuberculosis

The deadly disease prematurely killed four of Bronte’s five siblings, Maria and Elizabeth her older sisters passed away in 1825. In 1848, her brother, Branwell, and sister Emily died due to tuberculosis. In Mid-May, 1849, her last surviving sister, Anne also died of the deadly disease after a long fight. Later, Charlotte Bronte died prematurely at the age of 38 while she was pregnant.

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