Bronte, Charlotte. Born in 1816. English author, the eldest of the three Bronte sisters. After some experience as a governess, she became engaged with her sisters in the writing of novels, and in 1846 published with them a small volume of poems under the names of Currier, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In 1847 she published the well-known story, "Jane Eyre." Its success was instantaneous and complete. Although adversely and severely criticized, it was and is admitted to be one of the most remarkable of English novels. Her second story, "Shirley," was published in 1849, and her third and last, "Villette," in 1853. Another story, "The Professor," which had been refused by the publisher before "Jane Eyre" had made its author famous, was published after her death. In June, 1854, she married the Rev. Mr. Nicholls, who had been for a time her father's curate. But soon after her marriage, consumption, which had carried off her sisters and brothers, settled on her, and she died in her fortieth year (1855).