Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet, most known for the novel Jane Eyre (1847), a strong narrative of a woman in conflict with her natural desires and social condition. She is one of the most famous Victorian women writers who experimented with the poetic forms that became the characteristic modes of this period. But after the success of Jane Eyre, Brontë gave up writing poetry.
Charlotte Brontë was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels became classics of English literature. Charlotte was not a successful poet in her day, and today she is still rightfully known for her novels rather than for her poems.
Brontë is an important figure in the history of 19th-century poetry because her career illustrates the shift in literary tastes from poetry to prose fiction.
"We read Charlotte Brontë not for exquisite observation of character — her characters are vigorous and elementary; not for comedy — hers is grim and crude; not for a philosophic view of life — hers is that of a country parson’s daughter; but for her poetry," wrote Virginia Woolf in her essay on Brontë.
Funny fact: critics considered the Brontë sisters as one person.
As we know, Charlotte was the most popular with readers, but Ann and Emily were the first to publish their works. The three girls sent their novels to publishers. The manuscript of Charlotte was rejected six times, but the younger sisters were luckier — their texts were accepted. Coincidentally, Jane Eyre, much later accepted for publication, appeared on bookshelves before Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey — and immediately became a real bestseller of its time. Released somewhat later novels by Anne and Emily have not won the same favor of readers.
The phenomenal success of the elder Brontë has generated a lot of gossips. Some critics have argued that no sisters existed and that it was all a trick invented by the publisher, but in fact, the author of all three works was one woman, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Agnes Grey, the debut novel of Anne Brontë, were her less successful attempts to enter the world of great literature.