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A look back

Charlotte Brontë

Remembering the author who gave Jane Eyre life

(CNN) -- Love and independence were major themes in the work, and the life, of Charlotte Brontë. The English novelist and poet who wrote "Jane Eyre" was infatuated with living life, taking it by storm, rather than reacting to the ebb and flow of the lives around one.

"It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity," she once wrote. "They must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it."

Brontë was born on April 21, 1816 in Hartshead, Yorkshire, England. Along with her two sisters, Emily and Anne, the Brontës made an indelible mark on the literary world, writing with lyrical intensity that distinguished their novels as English classics.

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In the 1840s, while Emily wrote "Wuthering Heights" and Anne penned "Agnes Grey," Charlotte created the unforgettable "Jane Eyre," the story of a governess and her passionate love for her employer, Mr. Rochester.

Brontë married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nichols, in 1854, but died the following year. In addition to her most famous novel (1847), Brontë's works include "Shirley" (1849), "Villette" (1853), and "The Professor" (published posthumously in 1857).


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