Happy Birthday to Charlotte Brontë – The Book Fairies celebrate!

“I’ll borrow of imagination what reality will not give me.”

The Book Fairies have been sharing copies of Charlotte Brontë’s novels to celebrate her birthday today! Here are some pics and info about some of the books we hid today.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.


The Shirley of the title is a woman of independent means; her friend Caroline is not. Both struggle with what a woman’s role is and can be. Their male counterparts – Louis, the powerless tutor, and Robert, his cloth-manufacturing brother – also stand at odds to society’s expectations.

The novel is set in a period of social and political ferment, featuring class disenfranchisement, the drama of Luddite machine-breaking, and the divisive effects of the Napoleonic Wars. But Charlotte Brontës particular strength lies in exploring the hidden psychological drama of love, loss and the quest for identity. Personal and public agitation are brought together against the dramatic backdrop of her native Yorkshire. As always, Brontë challenges convention, exploring the limitations of social justice whilst telling not one but two love stories.

The Professor

The Professor is Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, in which she audaciously inhabits the voice and consciousness of a man, William Crimsworth. Like Jane Eyre he is parentless; like Lucy Snowe in Villette he leaves the certainties of England to forge a life in Brussels. But as a man, William has freedom of action, and as a writer Brontë is correspondingly liberated, exploring the relationship between power and sexual desire.

William’s first person narration reveals his attraction to the dominating directress of the girls’ school where he teaches, played out in the school’s ‘secret garden’. Balanced against this is his more temperate relationship with one of his pupils, Frances Henri, in which mastery and submission interplay. The Professor was published only after Charlotte Brontë’s death; today it gives us a fascinating insight into the first stirrings of her supreme creative imagination.


The Book Fairies celebrate Charlotte Brontë's birthday by sharing books

Based on Charlotte Bronte’s personal experience as a teacher in Brussels, Villette is a moving tale of repressed feelings and subjection to cruel circumstance and position, borne with heroic fortitude.

Rising above the frustrations of confinement within a rigid social order, it is also the story of a woman’s right to love and be loved.

Lucky finders!

We love hearing from those lucky people who find the books we leave behind. Here are a few of the posts we spotted today!

Not lucky enough to find one?

Do not worry! You can click here to see the Charlotte Brontë collection on the Wordsworth website and order through there. These editions are also available in all good bookshops!

Would you like to be a book fairy?

Anyone can join in! Please get started by ordering some official stickers right away 🙂

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