The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing

Living Edition
| Editors: Lesa Scholl (Editor-in-Chief)

Brontë, Charlotte

Living reference work entry


Charlotte Brontë was a novelist and poet who grapples with religion, class, and gender in her writing. She was one of the first novelists in the period to represent the fraught inner lives of female characters. Though she did not advocate for women’s rights politically, her novels critique the confined role of women by presenting intelligent, independent, and passionate female characters who desire real vocations and a voice in their lives and their society.


Charlotte Brontë published one book of poetry with her sisters and four novels of her own and wrote hundreds of pages of juvenilia in collaboration with her siblings. By 1816, when Brontë was born, the French Revolution, the Enlightenment, and Evangelicalism had converged to create the “angel in the house” figure of woman, an ideal being created for self-abnegation and service of others that would come to be regarded as the moral guard of England’s heart and mind. Brontë’s writing exposes the narrowness of...


Brontë, Charlotte Women’s vocation Evangelicalism Education Juvenilia Gender Professional writing 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor UniversityWacoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada