Today marks the birthday of Charlotte Brontë, and a day of celebration for one of the Victorian era’s most revered female authors. 200 hundred years after her birth, she is still known best for her semi-autobiographical novel, Jane Eyre, and her broader look at women and the complexities that are all too frequently dismissed by male authors. Brontë was a literary legacy even in her time, and a name synonymous with Victorian culture – stoic, austere, and dedicated. She devoted herself to disciplined writing, producing a style so manicured and phrases so precise, it’s no wonder the foreshadowing opening line of her infamous novel still hovers in memory: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”
In honor of our Victorian rock star, and in memory of so many other unforgettable lines, we’re sharing some of our favorite Brontë quotes for you to celebrate with.
Happy Birthday Charlotte!
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will…”
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last”
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste”
“No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.”
“I describe imperfect characters. Every character in this book will be found to be more or less imperfect, my pen refusing to draw anything in the model line.”
“Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
“To prolong doubt was to prolong hope”
“I would rather be happy than dignified”
“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow”