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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charlotte

Today marks the 195th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, probably best known for the novel Jane Eyre, the story of a governess who falls in love with her employer, Edward Rochester. The novel was actually written under a pseudonym Currier Bell. Her sisters, Emily, the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne also used pen names – Ellis Bell and Acton Bell. They chose the names because it was felt their novels were not feminine enough. Some thought Jane Eyre was quite coarse (risqué).

For more on Charlotte and her literary family, try these books:

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller

The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon

The Brontës: Charlotte Bronte and her Family by Rebecca Fraser

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