Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Words of Wisdom from Charlotte Brontë

Portrait of Charlotte Brontë
by George Richmond

The English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë (1816 –1855) was a the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood. She first published her works under the pen name Currer Bell.

What follows is the an excerpt from the Preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre. As with all words of wisdom, Brontë's sentiments expressed here are timeless.

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.
These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is - I repeat it - a difference; and it is good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.

Excerpt from the Preface to the Second Edition of Jane Eyre and signed:

Currer Bell
December 21st, 1847

Brontë's most famous works:

Jane Eyre (published 1847)
Wuthering Heights (published 1847)
Villette (posthumously published 1853)
The Professor (posthumously published 1857)

Bronte's pens names:

Currer Bell
Ellis Bell
Lord Charles Albert
Florian Wellesley

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