The Death Of Charlotte Brontë I Oxford Open Learning
Charlotte Brontë

The Death Of Charlotte Brontë

On 31st March, in 1855, Charlotte Brontë, of the famous literary family, died. She was only 39 years old. The eldest of the Brontë sisters (there was Emily and Anne, as well as brother Branwell), even despite her own relatively young age, she had outlived her siblings. Charlotte was most well-known for her novel ‘Jane Eyre’, a classic of English literature which is loved and adored by readers the world over.

The Family Of Charlotte Brontë

Back in the 19th Century, life was tough – and many people didn’t live into old age due to poor health and miserable living conditions. For the Brontës, though, they were relatively fortunate and lived at Haworth Parsonage, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors in the north of England. Here, the four siblings invented imaginary worlds and had quite an idyllic childhood. They would also have had two other siblings, but sadly they died young.  The four, who all wrote in later life, spent their days creating worlds that were quite different to their reality.

Glass Town, The World Below

The siblings called their collected imaginary world ‘Glass Town’ – Charlotte Brontë was only 11 when this came to be and she also referred to it as her ‘world below’. Branwell was obsessed with battles and politics; Charlotte preferred grand, romantic settings, with passionate relationships; and younger sisters Emily and Anne had a desire to write about more homely, cosy themes. All in all, the siblings created a world which was an amalgamation of all of their ideas. They even published their own homemade magazine which included some of Charlotte’s poems (she wrote more than 200 in her lifetime and many of these featured in this family publication).

Jane Eyre

If you study English Literature at A-Level, you may well be asked to read ‘Jane Eyre’. It is, for many, a favourite novel – the Gothic setting and the madwoman in the attic are famous for good reason. But even if you are not a fan of such classic literature, you can’t help but be interested in the wonderful world of the Brontës and how they lived their lives. I, personally, find it fascinating that all four siblings were successful writers, to varying degrees.

So, on 31st March this year, if you are looking for your next good read, why don’t you pick up ‘Jane Eyre’. Maybe the writing of Charlotte Brontë will help you create your own imaginary world!


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