Charlotte Bronte was an English novelist and poet who left a vast legacy of written work, including classic works such as “Jane Eyre,” “Shirley,” and “Villette.” She was the eldest of the three Bronte sisters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—all of whom were accomplished authors and poets. She was a strong and ambitious lady from an early age, refusing to follow the social conventions that were imposed on women at the time. She was a fiercely independent woman who presented a new kind of heroine to the literary world, one who resisted societal expectations to emerge as a brave and ethical individual in her own right. She studied works by Romantic authors such as Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, and Lord Byron as a child. The three Bronte sisters encouraged and supported one another in their undertakings, and they offered constructive critique of one another’s work. Charlotte, as the eldest of her surviving siblings, was responsible for caring for them financially, and she did so by working as a teacher and subsequently as a governess. Later, the sisters partnered and worked together to profit from the publication of their books. The remarkable sisters’ writing careers were cut short, however, by illnesses that took all three of them far too soon.
Childhood and Adolescence
Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte had six children, and she was the third. Her father was the perpetual curate of St. Michael and All Angels Church, an Anglican clergyman.
In 1821, her mother died of cancer, leaving six children behind. After her mother died, Elizabeth took care of the family as an aunt.
She and her sisters were sent to Cowan Bridge’s Clergy Daughters’ School. The girls became ill as a result of the bad conditions at school, and two of her sisters died as a result. Her father had his remaining daughters taken from the school.
The Bronte children that survived were a close-knit group who established their own fictional literary world and collaborated on stories, articles, and poems. The entire Bronte family was passionate about writing and reading.
Career of Charlotte Bronte
Under the pen name Wellesley, she published her debut novella, ‘The Green Dwarf,’ in 1833. From 1835 to 1838, she also worked as a teacher at Roe Head.
In 1839, she obtained work as a governess. She would work in this job for various households in Yorkshire over the next few years.
The sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne decided to pursue writing careers and used the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, respectively. In May 1846, they released a collaborative anthology of poems under these names.
Charlotte had started writing a book titled ‘The Professor.’ However, she was unable to find a publisher, and her novel was only published after her death, many years later.
‘Jane Eyre,’ her first published novel, was published in 1847. Currer Bell was her pen name when she wrote it. The plot of the novel revolved around Jane, a plain governess who falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester. The novel is regarded for revolutionizing the field of fiction writing.
‘Jane Eyre’ became a big commercial success and a widely loved book. It received a lot of positive feedback as well. The book mixed aspects of gothic melodrama with naturalism, which was novel at the time in literature.
Charlotte was inspired to keep writing after the success of her debut work. When many tragedies struck the Bronte household—three family members died within eight months—she was working on her second novel, ‘Shirley.’ As a way of coping with her sadness, Charlotte submerged herself in writing.
In 1849, ‘Shirley’ was published. The novel was set in Yorkshire and took place during the Great Depression. The book addressed issues such as industrial discontent and women’s roles in society. This piece of literature, on the other hand, could not match the success of its predecessor.
Despite the fact that she began writing under the masculine pen name Currer Bell, her publisher required that she reveal her true identity after her novels became popular. She became acquainted with Harriet Martineau and Elizabeth Gaskell after disclosing herself to the world.
‘Villette,’ her last work published during her lifetime, was published in 1853. It was about a woman named Lucy and her experiences and relationships. The work is notable for its exploration of gender roles in society and for examining the protagonist’s psychology.
Major Projects of Charlotte Bronte
The novel ‘Jane Eyre’ transformed her life and revolutionized the art of fiction. Social critique and accepted morality norms were blended in the story. She looked into topics like sexuality, feminism, and classism, all of which were considered far ahead of their time.
Personal History and Legacy
Arthur Bell Nicholls, Charlotte’s father’s curate, had been in love with her for a long time and had offered marriage to her. Her father was initially against the match, but later changed his mind. In 1854, the pair married.
When she became pregnant with her first kid, she began to have health issues. On March 31, 1855, both the mother and her unborn child perished.
Charlotte Bronte Net Worth
Charlotte is one of the wealthiest novelists and one of the most well-known novelists. Charlotte Bronte’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.