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Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë Charlotte Brontë’s (1816–1855) life as a writer was romantic as well as tragic. She lived to tell the tale of how she and her two sisters took masculine pseudonyms to improve their chances of finding publishers, and the challenges and prejudices they faced in their pursuits. Her story is one of sheer genius meeting tireless determination. Major works: Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, The Professor.

“To… critics I would say, ‘To you I am neither man nor woman — I come before you as an author only. It is the sole standard by which you have a right to judge me — the sole ground on which I accept your judgment.’”

—From a letter, 1849

“I’m just going to write because I cannot help it.”