Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.
Charlotte Bronte short biography
Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21, 1816, in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. Patrick Brontë and his wife Maria had 6 children. In 1820 the Brontë family moved to Haworth, Mrs. Brontë dying the following year.
In 1824 the four eldest Brontë daughters were enrolled as pupils at the Clergy Daughter’s School at Cowan Bridge. The following year Maria and Elizabeth, the two eldest daughters, became ill, left the school and died: Charlotte and Emily, understandably, were brought home.
In 1826 Mr. Brontë brought home a box of wooden soldiers for Branwell to play with. Charlotte, Emily, Branwell, and Ann, playing with the soldiers, conceived of and began to write in great detail about an imaginary world which they called Angria.
In 1831 Charlotte became a pupil at the school at Roe Head, but she left school the following year to teach her sisters at home. She returned returns to Roe Head School in 1835 as a governess: for a time her sister Emily attended the same school as a pupil, but became homesick and returned to Haworth. Ann took her place from 1836 to 1837.
In 1838, Charlotte left Roe Head School. In 1839 she accepted a position as governess in the Sidgewick family, but left after three months and returned to Haworth. In 1841 she became governess in the White family, but left, once again, after nine months.
Upon her return to Haworth the three sisters, led by Charlotte, decided to open their own school after the necessary preparations had been completed. In 1842 Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels to complete their studies. After a trip home to Haworth, Charlotte returned alone to Brussels, where she remained until 1844.
Upon her return home the sisters embarked upon their project for founding a school, which proved to be an abject failure: their advertisements did not elicit a single response from the public. The following year Charlotte discovered Emily’s poems, and decided to publish a selection of the poems of all three sisters: 1846 brought the publication of their Poems, written under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte also completed The Professor, which was rejected for publication. The following year, however, Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Ann’s Agnes Grey were all published, still under the Bell pseudonyms.
In 1848 Charlotte and Ann visited their publishers in London, and revealed the true identities of the “Bells.” In the same year Branwell Brontë, by now an alcoholic and a drug addict, died, and Emily died shortly thereafter. Ann died the following year.
In 1849 Charlotte, visiting London, began to move in literary circles, making the acquaintance, for example, of Thackeray. In 1850 Charlotte edited her sister’s various works, and met Mrs. Gaskell. In 1851she visited the Great Exhibition in London, and attended a series of lectures given by Thackeray.
In 1854, Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, but died the following year during her pregnancy, on March 31, 1855, in Haworth, Yorkshire, England. The first novel she ever wrote, The Professor, was published posthumously in 1857.