Today In Literary History: Charlotte Bronte

Notes_from_Ashley

Victorian novelist Charlotte Bronte was born April 21, 1816. Bronte is best known for her novel, Jane Eyre. In many ways, this book closely resembles Bronte’s life. Bronte was the third daughter of six siblings, some of which she sadly lost due to illness, as she did her mother. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading Jane Eyre, you would be familiar with the role of the governess and the school, Lowood (which the protagonist Jane attends for many years). Bronte also attended such a school and even served as governess to many families throughout her career.

The Victorian period is known to have produced many novels of the Bildungsroman genre. This genre may be recognized by the providing of an extraordinary character that typically comes from reduced circumstances and endures many hardships which eventually help the character to grow and find a happy, safe place for themselves. Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is considered a Bildungsroman. During this time period, it was uncommon for females to be writers, let alone to publish their work. Therefore, Bronte and her sisters, Emily and Anne, had some of their books published but under pseudonyms.

In life, as in her novels, Bronte met with hardship, but her struggles made great tools for her writing. She was an excellent novelist who greatly influenced the minds of other writers and readers, and will for years to come.

Portrait of Charlotte Bronte, 1873. Painted by Evert A. Duyckinck, based on a drawing by George Richmond. (Released under public domain.)

Portrait of Charlotte Bronte, 1873. Painted by Evert A. Duyckinck, based on a drawing by George Richmond. (Released under public domain.)

Comments are closed