Charlotte Bronte, sister to writers Emily and Anne, was born April 21, 1816 in Yorkshire, England and died March 31 1855. She wrote under the pen-name Currer Bell until the successful publication of her best known work, Jane Eyre.
Same question as for Jane Austen - Making lots of friends now that you’re deceased?
What have I to do with millions [of people]? The eighty I know despise me. (Jane Eyre; 1847)
So you don’t have any real friends?
If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends. (Jane Eyre)
And you have a clean conscience?
I envy your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure — an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not? (Jane Eyre)
What’s your take on men?
Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth, — all energy, decision, will, — were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me, — that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me. (Jane Eyre)
So what do you think of Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen?
Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! (Jane Eyre)
And what do they think of the women’s liberation movement where you are? Do the women - presist?
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. (Jane Eyre)
In other words?
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (Jane Eyre)
Still not sure I get it?
And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are! (Jane Eyre)
OK, now so a dumb guy like me can understand?
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you. (Jane Eyre)
It seemed as if my tongue pronounced words without my will consenting to their utterance: something spoke out of me over which I had no control. (Jane Eyre)
Any rules for living?
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. (Jane Eyre.)
Ever think of becoming a professor?
School-rules, school-duties, school-habits and notions, and voices, and faces, and phrases, and costumes, and preferences, and antipathies — such was what I knew of existence. And now I felt that it was not enough; I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. (Jane Eyre)
The problem with reading a bad book?
At intervals, while turning over the leaves in my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon. Afar, it offered a pale blank of mist and cloud; near, a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast. (Jane Eyre)
Why is there a need for editors?
You advise me, too, not to stray far from the ground of experience, as I become weak when I enter the region of fiction; and you say, "real experience is perennially interesting, and to all men." I feel that this also is true; but, dear Sir, is not the real experience of each individual very limited? And, if a writer dwells upon that solely or principally, is he not in danger of repeating himself, and also of becoming an egotist? Then, too, imagination is a strong, restless faculty, which claims to be heard and exercised: are we to be quite deaf to her cry, and insensate to her struggles? When she shows us bright pictures, are we never to look at them, and try to reproduce them? And when she is eloquent, and speaks rapidly and urgently in our ear, are we not to write to her dictation? (Letter to G. H. Lewes, 6 November 1847)
What do you think of the Interviews with Famously Departed Series?
I recalled the voice I had heard; again I questioned whence it came, as vainly as before: it seemed in me — not in the external world. I asked, was it a mere nervous impression — a delusion? I could not conceive or believe: it was more like an inspiration. (Jane Eyre)
Can I count on you do this again?
I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt as long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick. (Jane Eyre)