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Bronte Charlotte; Jane Eyre

SKU: Bronte Charlotte AB030911-081 $39.95
Illustrated Modern Library trades Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte published by A.S. Barnes & Co. Inc. in 1944. Printed by Parkway Printing Co. and bound by H. Wolff. Copyright by Random House Inc. Color illustrations by Edward A. Wilson. Color frontispiece and title page illustration by Edward A. Wilson. Green half leather with marble boards and gilt rule lines. Four compartment spine with author and title in gilt. Extensive gilt scrolling floral dentelles and line borders. Gilt top edge. Minor edge wear and corner bumps. Minor rubbing along hinge line front and back. Binding is tight. Green pastedowns and end pages. 494 off-white pages without foxing spotting tear or loss. Small bookseller notation in pencil at top right corner of front end page. No other marks or inscriptions. Volume measures: 12.5cm. x 18.5cm. (12mo.). A classicvolume in excellent condition. Jane Eyre is a famous and influential novel by English writer Charlotte BrontA . It was published in London England in 1847 by Smith Elder & Co. with the title Jane Eyre. An Autobiography under the pen name ''Currer Bell''. The first American edition came out the following year published by Harper & Brothers of New York. Plot introduction Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins: her education at Lowood School where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations: her time as the governess of Thornfield Hall where she falls in love with her Byronic employer Edward Rochester: her time with the Rivers family at Marsh's End (or Moor House) and Morton where her cold clergyman-cousin St John Rivers proposes to her: and her reunion with and marriage to her beloved Rochester. Partly autobiographical the novel abounds with social criticism. It is a novel considered ahead of its time. In spite of the dark brooding elements it has a strong sense of right and wrong of morality at its core. Jane Eyre is divided into 38 chapters and most editions are at least 400 pages long (although the preface and introduction on certain copies are liable to take up another 100). The original was published in three volumes comprising chapters 1 to 15 16 to 26 and 27 to 38: this was a common publishing format during the 19th century see Three-volume novel. BrontA dedicated the novel's second edition to William Makepeace Thackeray. Plot summary Chapters 1 4: Jane's childhood at Gateshead A ten-year-old orphan named Jane Eyre is living with her uncle's family the Reeds because her mother and father died of typhus. Jane's aunt Sarah Reed dislikes her intensely because she is seen as the enemy to her own children in Mr. Reed's affection. Her uncle died when she was only a few years old after eliciting a promise from Sarah Reed that she would keep the child and raise her as her own. Her aunt and the three Reed children become physically and emotionally abusive. When violently attacked for no reason by her cousin John Jane retaliates but is punished for the ensuing fight and is locked in the ''red room'' the room where Mr. Reed died. As night falls Jane begins to have visions of her uncle Reed's ghostand begins to emit panicked screams that rouse the house but Mrs. Reed will not let her out. Jane faints and Mr. Lloyd an apothecary is summoned. He talks with Jane and sympathetically suggests that she should go away to school. No matter what she does she just cannot be accepted by this new family. After two months of waiting for arrangements to be made for her schooling Jane finds out that she will be attending Lowood School For Girls. However Sarah Reed tells the school's clergyman Mr. Brocklehurst that Jane is a wicked child ruining future chances of happiness for her niece. Chapters 5 10: Jane's education at Lowood School Jane arrives at Lowood Institution a charity school with the accusation on her head that she is deceitful. During an inspection Jane accidentally breaks her slate and Mr. Brocklehurst the self-righteous clergyman who runs the school brands her as a liar and shames her before the entire assembly. Jane is comforted by her friend Helen Burns. Miss Temple a caring teacher facilitates Jane's self-defence and writes to Mr. Lloyd whose reply agrees with Jane's. Ultimately Jane is publicly cleared of Mr. Brocklehurst's accusations. While the Brocklehurst family lives in luxury the eighty pupils are subjected to cold rooms poor meals and thin clothing. Many students fall ill when a typhus epidemic strikes. Jane's friend Helen dies of consumption in her arms. When Mr. Brocklehurst's neglect and dishonesty are discovered several benefactors erect a new building and conditions at the school improve dramatically. Chapters 11 26: Jane's time as governess at Thornfield Hall Eight years later Jane has become a teacher at Lowood at a salary of 15 pounds per year. After her confidante and friend Miss Temple marries Jane finds herself longing for liberty or change or stimulus or at least for a new servitude. She advertises her services as a governess and receives only one reply. The reply is from Alice Fairfax the housekeeper of Thornfield Hall. Jane takes the position of governess for AdAle Varens a young French girl. Out walking one winter's day Jane encounters a horseman riding up the road. As his horse comes upon Jane it slips on the icy road and the rider is thrown. When he rises from the ground he realizes that he has sprained his ankle at which point in time he calls Jane a witch and accuses her of bewitching his horse. Upon her return to Thornfield Hall she discovers that the horseman is Edward Rochester Master of Thornfield Hall. Rochester is a moody self-willed man nearly twenty years older than Jane and has travelled the world. AdAle is his ward the daughter of a French ''opera dancer'' his former mistress who raised AdAle to be as vain as herself caring only to sing and dance and have pretty dresses and toys. Rochester does not believe himself to be AdAle's father but after her mother abandons her he brings her to England to raise her there hoping that more healthy and wholesome circumstances and a good English education will rid her of these faults. Mr. Rochester seems quite taken with Jane and she enjoys his company spending many evening hours talking with him and learning about the things he has seen in his travels. However odd things begin to happen: a strange laugh is heard in the halls a near-fatal fire mysteriously breaks out and a guest named Mason is attacked. Jane receives word that Mrs. Reed has suffered a stroke and is asking for her. Returning to Gateshead she remains for over a month while her aunt lies dying. Mrs. Reed rejects Jane's efforts at reconciliation but does give her a letter previously withheld out of spite. The letter is from John Eyre Jane's uncle notifying her that he wanted her to live with him in Madeira. Mrs. Reed tells Jane that she had told her uncle that she had died of the fever at Lowood. Very soon after she dies. Jane stays a short while longer helping her cousin Eliza with funeral arrangements and settling the household business before Eliza leaves to become a nun. After returning to Thornfield Jane broods over Rochester's apparently impending marriage to Blanche Ingram. But on a midsummer evening he proclaims his love for Jane and proposes. As she prepares for her wedding Jane's forebodings arise when a strange savage-looking woman sneaks into her room one night and rips her wedding veil in two. As with the previous mysterious events Mr Rochester attributes the incident to drunkenness on the part of Grace Poole one of his servants. During the wedding ceremony Mr. Mason and a lawyer burst in and declare that Mr. Rochester cannot marry because he is already married to Mr. Mason's sister. Mr. Rochester bitterly admits the truth explaining that his wife is a violent madwoman. He was tricked by Mr. Mason and his father into marrying her after knowing her only a short while never having seen her alone or having had much conversation with her. Her madness soon became apparent however and he decided to bring her home with him to England to confine her safely with an attendant-nurse Grace Poole to look after her needs. When Grace occasionally drinks too much it gives his wife a chance to escape and she is the true cause of Thornfield's strange events. Mr. Rochester asks Jane to go with him to the south of France and live as husband and wife even though they cannot be married. Refusing to go against her principles and despite her love for him Jane leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night. Chapters 27 35: Jane's time with the Rivers family Jane travels to the north of England by coach using the little money she has saved. After accidentally leaving the bundle with her few possessions in the coach she sleeps on the moor and attempts to trade her scarf or gloves for food but is turned away as a beggar a thief or worse. Exhausted she makes her way to the home of Diana and Mary Rivers but the housekeeper turns her away believing she is up to no good. She nearly faints on the doorstep speaking aloud as she makes herself ready for death but is saved by St. John Rivers a young clergyman and brother to Diana and Mary. She gives them a false name and no clues as to her past or identity to prevent Mr. Rochester from finding her. As she regains her health St. John finds her a teaching position at a nearby charity school. Jane becomes warm friends with Mary and Diana but St. John is too reserved for her to relate to despite his efforts on her behalf. Jane sees that the brother and sisters have money-related worries but does not inquire further. When the sisters leave for governess jobs in London St. John becomes more comfortable around Jane evidencing his own conflicts of the heart which involve the beautiful and wealthy Rosamond Oliver. When Jane confronts him about his feelings for Miss Oliver he confesses that he has turned away from them because he feels called to be a missionary and he knows that Miss Oliver would not accept such a life. St. John discovers Jane's true identity and astounds her by showing her a letter stating that her uncle John has died and left her his entire fortune of 0000 equivalent to 1560000 in today's pounds. When Jane questions him further St. John reveals that John is also his and his sisters' uncle. They had once hoped for a share of the inheritance but have since resigned themselves to nothing. Jane overjoyed by finding her family insists on sharing the money equally with her cousins and Diana and Mary come home to Moor House to stay. St. John asks Jane to accompany him to India as his wife. He asks solely because he wishes a good missionary's wife a role in which he believes Jane will excel. She agrees to go but refuses marriage believing his reserve and reason incompatible with her warmth and passion. However his powers of persuasion eventually begin to convince her to change her mind. However at that very moment she suddenly seems to hear Mr. Rochester calling her name. The next morning she leaves for Thornfield to ascertain Mr. Rochester's well-being. Chapters 36 38: Jane's reunion with Mr. Rochester Jane arrives at Thornfield to find only blackened ruins. She learns that Rochester's wife set the house on fire and committed suicide by jumping from the roof. In his rescue attempts Mr. Rochester lost a hand and his eyesight. Jane reunites with him but he fears that she will be repulsed by his condition. When Jane assures him of her love and tells him that she will never leave him Mr. Rochester again proposes. He eventually recovers enough sight to see their first-born son. Themes Morality Jane refuses to become Mr. Rochester's paramour because of her ''impassioned self-respect and moral conviction.'' She rejects St. John Rivers' Puritanism as much as the libertine aspects of Mr. Rochester's character. Instead she works out a morality expressed in love independence and forgiveness. God and Religion Throughout the novel Jane endeavours to attain an equilibrium between moral duty and earthly happiness. She despises the hypocritical puritanism of Mr. Brocklehurst and sees the deficiencies in St. John Rivers' detached devotion to his Christian duty. As a child she partly admires Helen Burns' turning the other cheek which helps her to forgive Aunt Reed and the Reed cousins. Although she does not seem to subscribe to any of the standard forms of popular Christianity she honors traditional morality in particular in not marrying Rochester until he is widowed. The last sentence of the novel (which is also the next to last line of the Bible) is a prayer on behalf of St. John Rivers. Religion acts to moderate her behaviour but she never represses her true self. In her preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre BrontA made clear her belief that ''conventionality is not morality'' and ''self-righteousness is not religion.'' She declared that ''narrow human doctrines that only tend to elate and magnify a few should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ.'' Throughout the novel BrontA presents contrasts between characters who believe in and practice what she considers a true Christianity and those who pervert religion to further their own ends. Mr. Brocklehurst who oversees Lowood Institution is a hypocritical Christian. He professes charity but uses religion as a justification for punishment. For example he cites the Biblical passage ''man shall not live by bread alone'' to rebuke Miss Temple for having fed the girls an extra meal to compensate for their inedible breakfast of burnt porridge. He tells Miss Temple that she ''may indeed feed their vile bodies but you little think how you starve their immortal souls!'' Helen Burns is a complete contrast to Brocklehurst: she follows the Christian creed of turning the other cheek and loving those who hate her. On her deathbed Helen tells Jane that she is ''going home to God who loves her.'' Jane herself cannot quite profess Helen's absolute selfless faith. Jane does not seem to follow a particular doctrine but she is sincerely religious in a nondoctrinaire way. (It is Jane after all who places the stone with the word ''Resurgam'' (Latin for 'I will rise again') on Helen's grave some fifteen years after her friend's death.) Jane frequently prays and calls on God to assist her particularly in her trouble with Mr. Rochester. She prays too that Mr. Rochester is safe. When the Rivers's housekeeper Hannah tries to turn the begging Jane away Jane tells her that ''if you are a Christian you ought not consider poverty a crime.'' The young evangelical clergyman St. John Rivers is a more conventionally religious figure. However BrontA portrays his religious aspect ambiguously. Jane calls him ''a very good man'' yet she finds him cold and forbidding. In his determination to do good deeds (in the form of missionary work in India) St. John courts martyrdom. Moreover he is unable to see Jane as a whole person but views her as a helpmate in his proposed missionary work. Mr. Rochester is far less a perfect Christian. He is indeed a sinner: he attempts to enter into a bigamous marriage with Jane and when that fails tries to persuade her to become his mistress. He also confesses that he has had three previous mistresses. In the end however he repents his sinfulness thanks God for returning Jane to him and begs God to give him the strength to lead a purer life. Social class Jane's ambiguous social position a penniless yet moderately educated orphan from a good family leads her to criticise discrimination based on class. Although she is educated well-mannered and relatively sophisticated she is still a governess a paid servant of low social standing and therefore powerless. Nevertheless BrontA possesses certain class prejudices herself as is made clear when Jane has to remind herself that her unsophisticated village pupils at Morton ''are of flesh and blood as good as the scions of gentlest genealogy.'' Gender relations A particularly important theme in the novel is the depiction of a patriarchal society. Jane attempts to assert her own identity within male-dominated society. Three of the main male characters Mr. Brocklehurst Mr. Rochester and St. John try to keep Jane in a subordinate position and prevent her from expressing her own thoughts and feelings. Jane escapes Mr. Brocklehurst and rejects St. John and she only marries Mr. Rochester once she is sure that their marriage is one between equals. Through Jane BrontA opposes Victorian stereotypes about women articulating her own feminist philosophy: 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. (Chapter xII) Love and Passion Jane Eyre touches on a number of important themes while telling a compelling story and critics have argued about what comprises the main theme of Jane Eyre: there can be little doubt that love and passion together form a major thematic element of the novel. At its simplest Jane Eyre is a love story. The love between the orphaned and initially impoverished Jane and the wealthy but tormented Mr. Rochester is at its heart. The obstacles to the fulfillment of this love provide the main dramatic conflict in the work. However the novel explores other types of love as well. Helen Burns for example exemplifies the selfless love of a friend. We also see some of the consequences of the absence of love as in the relationship between Jane and Mrs. Reed in the selfish relations among the Reed children and in the mocking marriage of Mr. Rochester and Bertha. Jane realizes that the absence of love between herself and St. John Rivers would make their marriage a living death too. Throughout the work BrontA suggests that a life that is not lived passionately is not lived fully. Jane undoubtedly is the central passionate character: her nature is shot through with passion. Early on she refuses to live by Mrs. Reed's rules which would restrict all passion. Her defiance of Mrs. Reed is her first but by no means her last passionate act. Her passion for Mr. Rochester is all consuming. Significantly however it is not the only force that governs her life. She leaves Mr. Rochester because her moral reason tells her that it would be wrong to live with him as his mistress: ''Laws and principles are not for the time when there is no temptation'' she tells Mr. Rochester: ''they are for such moments as this when body and soul rise against their rigor.'' Blanche Ingram feels no passion for Mr. Rochester: she is only attracted to the landowner because of his wealth and social position. St. John Rivers is a more intelligent character than Blanche but like her he also lacks the necessary passion that would allow him to live fully. His marriage proposal to Jane has no passion behind it: rather he regards marriage as a business arrangement with Jane as his potential junior partner in his missionary work. His lack of passion contrasts sharply with Rochester who positively seethes with passion. His injury in the fire at Thornfield may be seen as a chastisement for his past passionate indiscretions and as a symbolic taming of his passionate excesses. Independence Jane Eyre is not only a love story: it is also a plea for the recognition of the individual's worth. Throughout the book Jane demands to be treated as an independent human being a person with her own needs and talents. Early on she is unjustly punished precisely for being herself first by Mrs. Reed and John Reed and subsequently by Mr. Brocklehurst. Her defiance of Mrs. Reed is her first active declaration of independence in the novel but not her last. Helen Burns and Miss Temple are the first characters to acknowledge her as an individual: they love her for herself in spite of her obscurity. Mr. Rochester too loves her for herself: the fact that she is a governess and therefore his servant does not negatively affect his perception of her. Mr. Rochester confesses that his ideal woman is intellectual faithful and loving qualities that Jane embodies. His acceptance of Jane as an independent person is contrasted by Blanche and Lady Ingram's attitude toward her: they see her merely as a servant. Lady Ingram speaks disparagingly of Jane in front of her face as though Jane isn't there. To her Jane is an inferior barely worthy of notice and certainly not worthy of respect. And even though she is his cousin St. John Rivers does not regard Jane as a full independent person. Rather he sees her as an instrument an accessory that would help him to further his own plans. Jane acknowledges that his cause (missionary work) may be worthy but she knows that to marry simply for the sake of expedience would be a fatal mistake. Her marriage to Mr. Rochester by contrast is the marriage of two independent beings. It is because of their independence BrontA suggests that they acknowledge their dependence on each other and are able to live happily ever after. Atonement and Forgiveness Much of the religious concern in Jane Eyre has to do with atonement and forgiveness. Mr. Rochester is tormented by his awareness of his past sins and misdeeds. He frequently confesses that he has led a life of vice and many of his actions in the course of the novel are less than commendable. Readers may accuse him of behaving sadistically in deceiving Jane about the nature of his relationship (or rather non-relationship) with Blanche Ingram in order to provoke Jane's jealousy. His confinement of Bertha may bespeak mixed motives. He is certainly aware that in the eyes of both religious and civil authorities his marriage to Jane before Bertha's death would be bigamous. Yet at the same time Mr. Rochester makes genuine efforts to atone for his behaviour. For example although he does not believe that he is AdAle's natural father he adopts her as his ward and sees that she is well cared for. This adoption may well be an act of atonement for the sins he has committed. He expresses his self-disgust at having tried to console himself by having three different mistresses during his travels in Europe and begs Jane to forgive him for these past transgressions. However Mr. Rochester can only atone completely and be forgiven completely after Jane has refused to be his mistress and left him. The destruction of Thornfield by fire finally removes the stain of his past sins: the loss of his right hand and of his eyesight is the price he must pay to atone completely for his sins. Only after this purgation can he be redeemed by Jane's love. Search for Home and Family Without any living family that she is aware of (until well into the story) throughout the course of the novel Jane searches for a place that she can call home. Significantly houses play a prominent part in the story. (In keeping with a long English tradition all the houses in the book have names.) The novel's opening finds Jane living at Gateshead Hall but this is hardly a home. Mrs. Reed and her children refuse to acknowledge her as a relation treating her instead as an unwanted intruder and an inferior. Shunted off to Lowood Institution a boarding school for orphans and destitute children Jane finds a home of sorts although her place here is ambiguous and temporary. The school's manager Mr. Brocklehurst treats it more as a business than as school in loco parentis (in place of the parent). His emphasis on discipline and on spartan conditions at the expense of the girls' health make it the antithesis of the ideal home. Jane subsequently believes she has found a home at Thornfield Hall. Anticipating the worst when she arrives she is relieved when she is made to feel welcome by Mrs. Fairfax. She feels genuine affection for AdAle (who in a way is also an orphan) and is happy to serve as her governess. As her love for Mr. Rochester grows she believes that she has found her ideal husband in spite of his eccentric manner and that they will make a home together at Thornfield. The revelation as they are on the verge of marriage that he is already legally married brings her dream of home crashing down. Fleeing Thornfield she literally becomes homeless and is reduced to begging for food and shelter. The opportunity of having a home presents itself when she enters Moor House where the Rivers sisters and their brother the Reverend St. John Rivers are mourning the death of their father. She soon speaks of Diana and Mary Rivers as her own sisters and is overjoyed when she learns that they are indeed her cousins. She tells St. John Rivers that learning that she has living relations is far more important than inheriting twenty thousand pounds. (She mourns the uncle she never knew. Earlier she was disheartened on learning that Mrs. Reed told her uncle that Jane had died and sent him away.) However St. John Rivers' offer of marriage cannot sever her emotional attachment to Rochester. In an almost visionary episode she hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her to return to him. The last chapter begins with the famous simple declarative sentence ''Reader I married him'' and after a long series of travails Jane's search for home and family ends in a union with her ideal mate. Context The early sequences in which Jane is sent to Lowood a harsh boarding school are derived from the author's own experiences. Helen Burns's death from tuberculosis (referred to as consumption) recalls the deaths of Charlotte BrontA 's sisters Elizabeth and Maria who died of the disease in childhood as a result of the conditions at their school the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge near Tunstall Lancashire. Mr. Brocklehurst is based on Rev. William Carus Wilson (1791 1859) the Evangelical minister who ran the school and Helen Burns is likely modelled on Charlotte's sister Maria. Additionally John Reed's decline into alcoholism and dissolution recalls the life of Charlotte's brother Branwell who became an opium and alcohol addict in the years preceding his death. Finally like Jane Charlotte becomes a governess. These facts were revealed to the public in The Life of Charlotte BrontA (1857) by Charlotte's friend and fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. The Gothic manor of Thornfield was probably inspired by North Lees Hall near Hathersage in the Peak District. This was visited by Charlotte BrontA and her friend Ellen Nussey in the summer of 1845 and is described by the latter in a letter dated 22 July 1845. It was the residence of the Eyre family and its first owner Agnes Ashurst was reputedly confined as a lunatic in a padded second floor room. Literary motifs and allusions Jane Eyre uses many motifs from Gothic fiction such as the Gothic manor (Thornfield) the Byronic hero (Mr. Rochester) and The Madwoman in the Attic (Bertha) whom Jane perceives as resembling ''the foul German spectrehe Vampyre'' (Chapter xxV) and who attacks her own brother in a distinctly vampiric way: ''She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart'' (Chapter xx). The mystery of Thornfield manor with its dark secrets creates a typically Gothic atmosphere of suspense. When resolved we then get the theme of madness also common in Gothic fiction as is the motif of two characters John Reed and Bertha Mason who commit suicide. Although the novel contains no overt supernatural occurrences hints of apparently supernatural happenings are frequently mentioned such as Jane's prophetic dreams her sense of the ghost of her uncle or the lightning striking the oak tree on the night before her wedding. Jane Eyre also combines gothicism with romanticism to create a distinctive Victorian novel. Jane and Rochester are attracted to each other but there are impediments to their love. The conflicting personalities of the two lead characters and the norms of society are an obstacle to their love as often occurs in romance novels but so also is Rochester's secret marriage to Bertha the main Gothic element of the story. Literary allusions from the Bible fairy tales The Pilgrim's Progress Paradise Lost and the novels and poetry of Sir Walter Scott are also much in evidence. John Reed is compared to Caligula. Jane is compared to Guy Fawkes. Both Biblical figures like Samson and mythological figures like Apollo are referred to at various times. Charlotte BrontA (pronounced /rti/: 21 April 1816 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet the eldest of the three BrontA sisters whose novels are English literature standards. She wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. Biography Charlotte was born in Thornton Yorkshire in 1816 the third of six children to Maria (nAe Branwell) and her husband Patrick BrontA (formerly ''Patrick Brunty'') an Irish Anglican clergyman. In 1820 the family moved a few miles to Haworth where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate. Mrs BrontA died of cancer on 15 September 1821 leaving five daughters and a son to be taken care of by her sister Elizabeth Branwell. In August 1824 Charlotte was sent with three of her sisters Emily Maria and Elizabeth to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). Its poor conditions Charlotte maintained permanently affected her health and physical development and hastened the deaths of her two elder sisters Maria (born 1814) and Elizabeth (born 1815) who died of tuberculosis in June 1825 soon after their father removed them from the school on 1 June. At home in Haworth Parsonage small rectory close to the graveyard of a bleak windswept village on the Yorkshire moorsharlotte acted as ''the motherly friend and guardian of her younger sisters''. She and the other surviving childrenBranwell Emily and Anne began chronicling the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of their imaginary kingdoms. Charlotte and Branwell wrote Byronic stories about their country Angria and Emily and Anne wrote articles and poems about theirs Gondal. The sagas were elaborate and convoluted (and still exist in partial manuscripts) and provided them with an obsessive interest during childhood and early adolescence which prepared them for their literary vocations in adulthood. Charlotte continued her education at Roe Head Mirfield from 1831 to 32 where she met her lifelong friends and correspondents Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. During this period she wrote her novella The Green Dwarf (1833) under the name of Wellesley. Charlotte returned as a teacher from 1835 to 1838. In 1839 she took up the first of many positions as governess to various families in Yorkshire a career she pursued until 1841. Politically a Tory she preached tolerance rather than revolution. She held high moral principles and despite her shyness in company she was always prepared to argue her beliefs. In 1842 she and Emily travelled to Brussels to enroll in a boarding school run by Constantin Heger (1809 96) and his wife Claire ZoA Parent Heger (1814 91). In return for board and tuition Charlotte taught English and Emily taught music. Their time at the boarding school was cut short when Elizabeth Branwell their aunt who joined the family after the death of their mother to look after the children died of internal obstruction in October 1842. Charlotte returned alone to Brussels in January 1843 to take up a teaching post at the boarding school. Her second stay at the boarding school was not a happy one: she became lonely homesick and deeply attached to Constantin Heger. She finally returned to Haworth in January 1844 and later used her time at the boarding school as the inspiration for some of The Professor and Villette. In May 1846 Charlotte Emily and Anne published a joint collection of poetry under the assumed names of Currer El