Brontë was born at Thornton, in Yorkshire, England, the eldest surviving daughter of a clergyman, Patrick Brontë (who had changed his surname from Brunty or Prunty). In 1820, the family moved to the now world-famous rectory at Haworth, where the children created their own fantasy world which would inspire them to take up writing. Charlotte's mother died when she was five, and she was sent, with three of her four sisters, to a boarding school where the appalling conditions had a long-term effect on their health. Two of her sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died.
In 1835, Charlotte returned to her former school to work as a teacher, a career in which she continued, on and off, for several years. In 1846, she and her two younger sisters, Anne and Emily published a joint collection of poetry, under male pseudonyms, Charlotte going by the name of Currer Bell.
Her novels are:
- Jane Eyre, published 1847
- Shirley, published 1849
- Villette, published 1853
- The Professor, published 1857