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Brontë, Charlotte. (1816 - 1855).

L i f e

- a sister of Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë

- attended a school for the daughters of poor clergy, her two elder sisters died here of harsh and unhealthful conditions > educated at home

- all the three sister writers Charlotte, Emily, and Anne led a solitary life in a relative seclusion x but: possessed an informed view of the wider world

W o r k

- Branwell and Charlotte led a childhood series of book-length manuscripts about the fantasy kingdom Angria

Poems, by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (1846):

- Currer, Ellis, and Acton = genderless pseudonyms for the sisters

- sold only two copies x but: inspired each of them to write a novel

The Professor (1846):

- based on her own experience as a pupil-teacher in Brussels

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (1847):

- argues for independence x but: praises self-discipline and resolution

- the protagonist: an unloved and unjustly persecuted child suffering with her sense of sexual, religious, and familial injustice

- Jane follows her free will and conscience, and finds her happiness

Shirley (1849):

- a social novel concerned with the machine-breaking in the industrial North

Villette (1853):

- concerned with restrictions on women’s choice and women’s employment


"Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer."

From Jane Eyre (1847).


(Painting: Evert A. Duyckinck. 1873. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Charlotte Brontë. (1816 - 1855). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Poet. Author of Jane Eyre (1847).
  • Genres

    Victorian novel and poetry. Gothicism.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


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