Charlotte Brontë

Born: 1816

Charlotte Brontë was born on April 21, 1816, in Thornton, England. One of the most famous Victorian women writers, and a prolific poet, Charlotte Brontë is best known for her novels, including Jane Eyre (1847), her most popular. Like her contemporary Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Brontë experimented with the poetic forms that became the characteristic modes of the Victorian period—the long narrative poem and the dramatic monologue—but unlike Browning, Brontë gave up writing poetry after the success of Jane Eyre. Included in this novel are the two songs by which most people know her poetry today. Brontë’s decision to abandon poetry for novel writing exemplifies the dramatic shift in literary tastes and the marketability of literary genres—from poetry to prose fiction—that occurred in the 1830s and 1840s. Her experience as a poet thus reflects the dominant trends in early Victorian literary culture and demonstrates her centrality to the history of 19th-century literature. Source