Thursday, 27 September 2012

JANE AUSTEN AND CHARLOTTE BRONTE - PARALLEL LIVES

Picture from Austenprose


Jane Austen, famous for her books Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (to name a few), and fellow English writer, Charlotte Bronte, known for having penned the classics Jane Eyre, Villette among others, belong to the elite of great female writers of all time.  However, they have more than just that in common. 

A Century Apart
Jane Austen was born in the Georgian era,on 16 December, 1775, while Charlotte Bronte was a Victorian, born eighty years later, on 21 April, 1855.  While they lived a century apart, both were born at a time when women had few rights. If they were not married, they depended on their fathers or brothers to support them financially.  They lived in an age in which middle class women were only accepted to work as companions or as governesses.  Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte both defied their time – they wrote, got published and later on were recognized for their genius.


Genteel Folk
Both their mothers came from prominent and wealthy families.  Cassandra Austen,had titled connections and Maria Bronte was from a rich and landed family who owned many properties in Cornwall. George, Jane’s father’s family were woollen manufacturers, while Patrick Bronte descended from Irish smallholders and both later served in the Anglican church, George as rector and Patrick as a curate.

Educated at Home
The young Jane and Charlotte were both sent away to school.  Due to poverty, both later ended up being educated at home.  However, they were lucky to be born into families who had a passion for books and both had the chance to further their education by reading and being taught by their fathers. 

Young Writers
Their passion for writing both started at a very young age.  As young writers, they both entertained their families with plays and stories they have written.  Charlotte though was not the only writer in the family - her brother and her parents were also writers in their own right.  However, it was the famous Bronte trio of sisters– Charlotte, Emily (author of Wuthering Heights) and Anne (author of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) who were made famous by their novels. 

Sister Love
Jane Austen came from a large family of six brothers and one sister, Cassandra whom she was very close to – both Austen sisters died as spinsters.  Of the Bronte sisters (who were also very close), it was only Charlotte who married in the later in her life.

Strong Women
Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte both wrote about strong and intelligent women, even though they were caught up in the restrictions of Georgian and Victorian times where women’s roles were restricted to domestic duties.  Having lived sheltered lives within the four corners of their homes, they both lived vicariously through their characters. They also believed in the right to love.  Jane Austen once wrote, “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love”.True to her word, she never did find a man worthy of her love.

Perhaps the most poignant similarity is that both died at a relatively young age.  Jane Austen died agedforty one, whereas Charlotte Bronte, even more tragically died in the early days of her pregnancy, at thirty eight, less than a year after she was married.

Guest blogger 
Sarah Stone is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about education, career, motivation and resume writing. CV templates is where she collects best cv writing practices and templates.

Sources 
1        1. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen (accessed 19 September 2012)
          2.  Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Bronte (accessed 19 September 2012)
3    3. Jane Austen Quotes, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jane_austen.html (accessed  20 September 2012).




4 comments:

Paula said...

You know, I'm big fan of Jane Austen and Bronte sisters. Every book is magic. Austen and Bronte are very similar :)

Valerie said...

I am a huge Austen fan, & I do love Bronte's Jane Eyre - I knew about some of their similarities, but the info you've shared shed more light on their comparisons ... Really enjoyed it :)

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