Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), English writer noted for her novel Jane Eyre (1847), sister of Anne Bronte and Emily Bronte. The three sisters are almost as famous for their short, tragic lives as for their novels. The collection of poems, Poems By Currer, Ellis And Acton Bell (1846), which Charlotte wrote with her sisters, sold only two copies. Her novel THE PROFESSOR never found a publisher during her lifetime. Undeterred by this rejection, Charlotte began Jane Eyre, which appeared in 1847 and became an immediate success. Jane Eyre was followed by Shirley (1848) and Vilette (1853). Lucasta Miller read English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She is the author of The Bronte Myth and writes for The Guardian. Jessica Cox is a research student and postgraduate tutorial assistant in the Department of English at the University of Wales Swansea. Her research interests include the sensation fiction of the 1860s, the feminist movement of the nineteenth century and the Victorians in the twentieth century.