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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Bronte

About This Book

This is the archtypical romance: a friendless young woman on her own; a dark, dangerous lover with a terrible secret; forbidden love. And yet, because of Bronte's skill at in portraying Jane's character, intelligence, and courage, it is more than a mere romance — it is a memorable experience that stays with the reader forever.

About Charlotte Bronte

(1816-1855) Charlotte Bronte, her two older sisters, her younger sisters Emily and Anne, and her brother Branwell were the children of Patrick Bronte, the rector of Haworth, in Yorkshire, England. Their mother, Marie, also the daughter of a clergyman, died in 1821, when Charlotte was five years old and Anne, the youngest, was not yet two.

For many reasons, hers was a tragic life. The two eldest sisters died before Emily was ten, and the four remaining children, educated mostly at home, lived intense, isolated lives, almost exclusively in one another's company. All highly gifted, they invented imaginary kingdoms, and together they wrote out complex histories of those lands, recording them in tiny, hand-lettered books.

As adults, the sisters worked intermittently as teachers and governesses, while continuing to write. Charlotte Bronte's great romantic novel, Jane Eyre, published in 1847, was an immediate success. But before her second novel, Shirley, was published in 1849, she had seen her brother, Branwell, die of excess, and her beloved sisters Emily and Anne each succumb to tuberculosis. Her third novel, Villette, was published four years later, in 1853. She died two years later, after a brief marriage and subsequent pregnancy. She was thirty-nine years old.

(Emily Bronte was the author of Wuthering Heights, Anne of two lesser known novels.)


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