Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë was born in England in 1816, one of six children to a clergyman and his wife. Along with two of her sisters, Charlotte burst onto the literary scene in 1847 and 1848, during which each of them published a major, popularly acclaimed novel. Each used a male pseudonym -- .Currer (Charlotte), Acton (Anne), and Ellis (Emily) Bell -- in part to protect their privacy and in part to avoid popular prejudices against female novelists. Charlotte's first published novel, Jane Eyre, continues to be considered a major work of the era; Emily's novel, Wüthering Heights, enjoys continued popularity as well. All three of the famous Bronte sisters died of tuberculosis; none except Charlotte lived long enough to enjoy the fame earned through her literary achievements.

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