Charlotte Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816. Her father was Patrick Bronte and her mother was Maria Branwell. She had two elder sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, a younger brother, Branwell, and two younger sisters, Emily and Anne. Her father was acutely not very like the children and he thought too many children was a big burden to his weak wife, thus the little Brontes were confined in the parsonage and became pretty quiet. In 1820, her family moved to Haworth, a small and isolated village, because her father was appointed curate there. A few months later, her mother died cancer. Charlotte’s aunt Elizabeth Branwell came to take care of the 6 children’s daily life, though she was not quite used to the often wet, cold weather in Haworth. During this period, their father taught them the basic knowledge of literature and arts.
Charlotte’s father was not rich and his energy was limited if he want to train his children all by himself, so he sent Charlotte, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, to the Clergy Daughters’ School, a non-profit school, at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire. The fund the school could raise is limited, so the conditions in the school were poor. What’s worse, the cook, who was careless, dirty, and wasteful, often made bad food. In the spring of 1825, Charlotte’s sisters Maria and Elizabeth fell ill when a low fever broke out in the school. Their father took the four sisters back home for their conditions soon worsened, but that didn’t help: Maria and Elizabeth died in June 1825.
Feeling sorry for his daughters’ death, Mr. Bronte trained all the kids at home since the autumn of 1825, and Charlotte’s aunt also did some teaching work. About this time, Mr. Bronte employed a faithful servant, Tabby, who for thirty years. During this period, Charlotte acted as “the motherly friend and guardian of her younger sisters”. They began to write stories and poems, which brought them a lot of fun and laid a good foundation for their future literary success.
When Charlotte was 15, she continued her formal education at Roe Head School of Miss Margaret Wooler, Mirfield where she met her lifelong friends Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. Although things were a little awkward to Charlotte at the beginning of her two-year study, she worked hard and made great progress and achievements with the help of the considerate Miss Wooler. Charlotte left the school and went home taught her sisters from 1833 to 1835. Later, she returned to Roe Head School as a teacher from 1835 to 1838.
In order to help the family’s finance, in 1839, Charlotte took a position as a governess to a wealthy Yorkshire manufacturer family. But the new mode of life pressed painful restraint upon her: the kids didn’t listen to her; her employer discriminated against governess; she often felt lonely. Therefor her temporary engagement in this uncongenial family ended in the July of this year. Early in March, 1841, Charlotte obtained her second and last situation as a governess. This time the situation was much better. But Charlotte still found that her personality was not suitable for tutoring.
So, Charlotte had the thought of keeping a school, by which mean, she and her sisters could live together, and maintain themselves. About this time, Miss Wooler was thinking of relinquishing her school at Dewsbury Moor and offered to the Bronte. Charlotte also received the start-up capital from her aunt.
In 1842, in order to get themselves qualified, Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels and studied in a boarding school run by Constantin Heger and his wife. There, they made great progress. In return for board and tuition, Charlotte taught English and Emily taught music. They left Brussels for home because their aunt died in October 1842. In January 1843, Charlotte returned to the boarding school as an English teacher. During this period Charlotte found herself in deep love with Constantin, yet hopeless: Constantin was married. Finally, Charlotte made a difficult decision and left Brussels. Charlotte’s experiences in Brussels had a significant impact on her literary works.
In the spring of 1844, Charlotte started her school. However, in the next 8 months, no students came to her school. Her plan had not succeeded.
In May 1846, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne published a joint collection of poetry under the assumed names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Although only two copies were sold, the sisters continued writing for publication and began their first novels. Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey were accepted by the publisher, but Charlotte’s The Professor was curtly rejected. But soon Charlotte began to write Jane Eyre with courage. Jane Eyre was accepted, and printed and published by October 16th, 1847.
However, the enormous success of Jane Eyre couldn’t drive off the great grief Charlotte suffered: in less than a year, Branwell, Emily and Anne died one another. Charlotte converted sorrow into strength: she continued and finished Shirley in 1849. In 1853, she completed Villette.
In May 1850, Charlotte visited London, where she began to move in a more exalted social circle, and met some famous writers. In June 1854, in the face of opposition from her father, Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate, whom Charlotte never thought her would marry. She became pregnant and enjoyed a happy life. However, also during this period, her health declined rapidly. She died on 31 March 1855, at the young age of 38.