Charlotte "Jane Eyre" Brontë
Charlotte Brontë was born 21 April 1816, third of the six children of Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell Brontë. The major event of her young life was the death of her mother in 1821, whichcreated a lot of chaos. In 1824, Charlotte and her two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, were sent to the newly-opened Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters' School.
Conditions there were bad even by the standards of the time, and it was not long before both Maria and Elizabeth became ill enough to be sent home, where they both died of consumption in the spring of1825. Patrick brought Charlotte and her younger sister Emily, who had recently joined them at the school, back home as soon as the other girls became ill, but Charlotte in particular never forgot what the school had been like.
The surviving kids all became each others' best friends. They created the kingdom of Gondal and wrote all kinds of epic stories and poems set in that realm. Charlotte and Branwell were in charge of Angria proper, while Emily and Anne (the youngest) ran the neighboring kingdom of Gondal.
Charlotte's next adventure was going to school in Brussels with Emily in 1842. Charlotte's time there was brief, less than two years, but it led to her eventual writing of Villette beginning in 1852.
Back home, Charlotte lapsed into chronic unemployment and severe hypochondria, actually thinking she was going blind, just like her father was. In 1846 the three sisters published a book of Poems, and though sales were very slow, the reviews were good and spurred on further literary endeavours. Charlotte's novel of this time, The Professor, was actually rather bad, suffering from a less-than-believeable main character. In August of 1846 Charlotte began work on Jane Eyre. Though it was published in 1847, Charlotte didn't tell her father about it until the next year, when the novel's success was...