Charlotte Bronte was born April 21, 1816 in the Yorkshire area of England. Best known for Jane Eyre, she and her sisters Anne and Emily wrote poetry and other literary works. Charlotte originally published her writings under the pseudonym Currier Bell, as a man was much more likely to get published back then.
Her first book The Professor, did not find a publisher, but her second, Jane Eyre did and became a classic work. It was very successful commercially and got favorable reviews until people realized it had been written by a woman, when they thought less highly of it. Later, Charlotte wrote Shirley, which never received the acclaim of her more popular book. Her last novel was called Villette and was published after her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls. She and her unborn child died soon afterwards from complications of pregnancy.
Her novels were some of the first, if not the first, to deal honestly with women’s feelings, and as such, can still speak to us today.
I love this picture of her. She looks like she doesn’t put up with any nonsense from anyone. I think she would have made a good friend.
Some words from Charlotte Bronte.
But two miles more, and then we rest!
Well, there is still an hour of day,
And long the brightness of the West
Will light us on our devious way;
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood—
So total is the solitude,
We safely may delay. (The Wood)
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. (Jane Eyre)
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; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (Jane Eyre)
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. (Jane Eyre)
I describe imperfect characters. Every character in this book will be found to be more or less imperfect, my pen refusing to draw anything in the model line. (Shirley)
Liberty lends us her wings and Hope guides us by her star. (Vilette)
I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me. (Vilette)
Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life. (The Professor)
Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones. (Jane Eyre)
A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.
If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.
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