Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Charlotte Brontë

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Charlotte Brontë
b. 1816, Thornton, Yorkshire, England; d. 1855, Haworth, Yorkshire, England

Charlotte Brontë, whose chief contribution to the literary canon is the 1847 novel Jane Eyre, wrote under the male pseudonym Currier Bell. In the celebrated Jane Eyre, we follow the orphaned Jane through her harrowing childhood at a boarding school, under the supervision of the sadistic Brocklehurst, to her post as a governess in the home of brooding Edward Rochester. Originally published with the subtitle "An Autobiography," Jane's story mirrors Brontë's own struggle for integrity and self-sufficiency. The book's success led to the publication of Shirley (1849) and Villette (1853). During 1848–49, within the span of nine months, three of her siblings died, including writers Anne and Emily; Charlotte assumed the task of editing their works. The Life of Charlotte Bronte, written by friend Elizabeth Gaskell, was published in 1857.

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