Charlotte was the third child of six of Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell. Both parents were literary. Her mother died of cancer when she was young. Her aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, moved in to the family home to raise the children until she died in 1842. Charlotte and three of her sisters were sent away to Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge, where conditions were so bad that Maria and Elizabeth, the two oldest girls, died of typhoid fever. Charlotte and Emily were removed from the school and educated at home in Haworth
The four remaining children drew together for comfort. Voracious readers, they created imaginary kingdoms to entertain themselves. Charlotte was sent to another school where she became a member of the staff in 1835. Unhappy in education, she became a governess for a short period of time. She felt that life as a governess left her feeling incomplete.
Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels to become further educated. Their goal was to open a school of their own. While at Pensionnat Heger, Charlotte fell in love with Constantin Heger, a married teacher. He showed no interest in her feelings. His treatment of her became the inspiration for her four novels.
Charlotte wrote under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Jane Eyre, Charlotte's second novel, appears to be a sort of autobiography of Charlotte's life at Cowen Bridge. Soon after the publication of Jane Eyre, Charlotte's brother Branwell died. Shortly after that, her sisters, Emily and Anne, died of tuberculosis. Charlotte was left alone and didn't have her siblings to share in her success.
She eventually married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nichols, in 1854. Charlotte felt that her life was no longer her own in marriage. Towards the end of the year, Charlotte became pregnant. She...