Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday marked in Britain

Hannah Bateman, a dancer from the Northern Ballet, who will play the role of Jane Eyre in the Northern Ballet's forthcoming World premiere of 'Jane Eyre', pose for photogrphers alongside a portrait of Charlotte Bronte, by artist George Richmond, at the National Gallery in central London on April 20, 2016. The Northern Ballet and the National Portrait Gallery have united to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth on April 21, 1816. The National Gallery's exhibition 'Charlotte Bronte: 1816 – 1855' opened in February, and is set to run until August 14, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'N / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION


London / AFP

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Bronte, whose intense and passionate vision of rural life in “Jane Eyre” has haunted generations of readers, was marked in Britain.
Fans hosted a birthday party in the house in northern England where Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne grew up and wrote their books.
The anniversary highlights the
enduring global popularity of the Brontes, whose works are seen as among the most important ever written by female authors.
A wreath was will be laid for Bronte in Westminster Abbey on
Friday and a ballet version of “Jane Eyre” is opening next month, while the National Portrait Gallery is hosting an exhibition in her honour.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, a remote village on the edge of moors in Yorkshire, draws tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year, while the sisters’ books are staples of British bookshops and school curriculums.
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were a clergyman’s daughters who wrote for pleasure and dreamt of
becoming published authors but feared they would not be taken
seriously because they were women.
They therefore adopted the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell when they sent “Jane Eyre”, “Wuthering Heights”, “Agnes Grey” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” to publishers in the 1840s.
Emily Bronte fell ill with consumption and died in 1848, followed by Anne the following year. Charlotte lived for a further six years before dying in Haworth in 1855 aged 38.
“Jane Eyre”, which has never been out of print in Britain, tells the story of the heroine’s youth as an orphan and how she falls in love with her employer, Rochester, while working as a governess.
Charlotte Bronte’s other works
include “Shirley” and “Villette”.
Her biographer Claire Harman said that she was someone “who both longed to be ‘forever known’, but clung to anonymity.

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