Two hundred years ago, a novelist was born. She was, by many descriptions, as “plain, poor, and little” as her most famous fictional character, Jane Eyre. But unlike her, she would never be “obscure.” Her imagination and writing skill propelled her into literary stardom.
Her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, keeps her name alive for countless people who’ve never even read the book. Film and TV adaptations appear like clockwork, it seems, introducing new audiences to the honest-to-a-fault contrarian Jane, her rags to riches story, her sweeping Gothic romance with Mr. Rochester.
So, happy birthday, Charlotte Bronte! And thank you, for inspiring many “authoresses” to try to humbly follow in your footsteps.
For those who want to know more about her life, I highly recommend Claire Harman’s recent biography of Charlotte Bronte.
In honor of Bronte’s birthday, I’m including below a round-up of the articles I’ve posted about her and Jane Eyre over the past month:
Tomorrow…a postscript, how Jane Eyre inspired me to write my own retelling of that tale.