Charlotte Brontë

Part of the Literary Companions book series (LICOM)


The first day Charlotte spent at Haworth was her birthday. She was four years old, having been born at Thornton on 21 April 1816. She probably read at an early age, though for many years her writing and spelling had the appearance of being acquired rather than taught. At about the age of eight she wrote, and illustrated in watercolours, a little book, apparently for the entertainment of her youngest sister Anne. When she was sent to school at Cowan Bridge in August 1824, she could hardly remember her mother, who died three years earlier. She would be delighted to join her elder sisters, but the treatment Maria received for her untidiness, the wintry damp and cold, the poor, ill-prepared food, the outbreak of ‘low fever’, and the death of her sisters soon after they were brought home, seared and soured her memory. Her recollections of the school in Jane Eyre were vivid and, in her view, not at all exaggerated.


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© F. B. Pinion 1975

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