, Research Paper
A Short Biography on Charlotte Bronte Charlotte Bronte was born on the 21st of April, 1816 at Thornton, Yorkshire. This famous author of “Jane Eyre” was the third daughter and child of the six children of Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell Bronte. The Bronte family moved to Haworth in 1820, when Charlotte was only four years of age, where her father, Patrick Bronte, became rector. The major event of Charlotte’s young life occurred not long after this move, in 1821, when her mother died, creating a lot of chaos. Her mother died of cancer, and so her sister, Elizabeth Branwell, moved in with the family to take care of Maria’s children. Charlotte Bronte did not have a proper loving mother figure to lean on and look up to. In 1824, the two oldest daughters, Elizabeth and Maria were sent to school at Wakefield by their father, and they then transferred to the newly-opened Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge, Lancashire. Charlotte and Emily, her younger sister, joined them at the Clergy Daughters’ School. This is the school that later became the model for Lowood School in “Jane Eyre”. The school at Cowan Bridge was not in reality as awful as the school depicted in “Jane Eyre”, but Charlotte’s portrayal of the school was quite accurate. – Many were able to recognize the school almost immediately upon reading the book. Conditions at that time were very bad overall, but the conditions of the school were particularly bad, even by the standards of the time. Not long after Elizabeth and Maria started to attend the Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters’ School, they were sent back home because they were so ill. Back home, they both died of consumption in the spring of 1825. This was a shocking experience for the whole family. Patrick brought Charlotte and Emily back as soon as the two older sisters became ill, but the girls never really forgot what the school had been like. It must have been a very different and shocking experience for Charlotte in particular, for it left a strong impression on her. Charlotte was indignant about many things for most of her life. Once Charlotte and Emily returned home, the surviving four children all became each others’ best friends. They spent most of their time filling thousands of pages in miniature books with fiction, to amuse themselves and occupy their spare time. Charlotte and Emily started off the stories about the imaginary Kingdom of Angria, but eventually their younger brother Branwell, who was born in 1817, and their youngest sister Anne, who was born in 1820, helped them develop their stories. Charlotte and Branwell were in charge of Angria proper, and Emily and Anne ran the neighboring Kingdom of Gondal. The girls apparently enjoyed this pasttime well into their twenties. However, a pasttime is all that this was. – Although they put an impressive amount of effort into these stories, they did not really show any signs of genius. Charlotte and Branwell always tried to mess up each other’s plotlines by killing off each other’s favorite characters, or turning each others’ characters into villains. So, none of the characters ever stayed dead or stayed evil. They had to work hard and conjure up complex plotlines to get each other back. Experts say, however, that the stories were in fact kind of detrimental to their psychological well-being. In 1831, Charlotte went back to school. She attended Miss Wooler’s School at Roe Head, near Huddersfield. At Miss Wooler’s School she was able to strike up friendships with school mates Mary Taylor and Ellen Nussey. She not only made good friends at school, but she also learned a lot, as she was enthusiastic in her academic studies. In fact, after just one year, Charlotte reurned home to teach her younger sisters. Judging by the fact that the sisters who she tutored also acheived acceptable academic standards, and that her younger sister later went on to write the famous “Wuthering Heights”, it seems that Charlotte was a good tutor, and that the writing that the family enjoyed as children proved to be rewarding. After tutoring her own siblings for three years, Charlotte returned to Miss Wooler’s school at Roe Head as a teacher. This is where she started to work properly, for money, for the first time. She earned money for the family, and most of her earnings were used to fund Branwell’s studies in art. Charlotte’s love for her family is evident, not only from this gesture towards Branwell, but also towards her constant attention towards her family. She returned to her home in Haworth after resigning in 1838, to look after and be close to her family. Only a year after her return to Haworth, Charlotte received two marriage proposals – both of which she rejected. The first proposal was from the Reverend Henry Nussey, the brother of her friend from Miss Wooler’s School, Ellen Nussey. The second proposal was from another young clergyman. Her life as a maiden did not finish at this time, and nor did her studies. After rejecting the two marriage propsal’s Charlotte went on her next adventure in 1842, when she went to school in Brussels with Emily to study French and German at the Pensionnat Heger. Charlotte’s time at the Pensionnat Heger was brief – less than two years – but it led to her eventual writing of “Villette”, which she started to write in 1852. People say that “Jane Eyre” was the most autobiographical of Charlotte Bronte’s works, but in fact, “Villette” is the novel in which Charlotte carefully depicted her
experiences, and poured her heart out. Her thoughts and memories of her days at the Heger school, and…
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