Page:Cousins's Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature.djvu/59
Bronté, Charlotte (1816-1855). -- Novelist, dau. of the Rev. Patrick B., a clergyman of Irish descent and of eccentric habits who embittered the lives of his children by his peculiar theories of education. Brought up in a small parsonage close to the graveyard of a bleak, windswept village on the Yorkshire moors, and left motherless in early childhood, she was "the motherly friend and guardian of her younger sisters," of whom two, Emily and Anne, shared, but in a less degree, her talents. After various efforts as schoolmistresses and governesses, the sisters took to literature and pub. a vol. of poems under the names of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, which, however, fell flat. Charlotte then wrote her first novel, The Professor, which did not appear until after her death, and began Jane Eyre, which, appearing in 1847, took the public by storm. It was followed by Shirley in 1849, and Villette in 1852. In 1854 she was married to her father's curate, the Rev. A. Nicholls, but after a short though happy married life she d. in 1855. EMILY B. (1818-1848). -- a woman of remarkable force of character, reserved and taciturn, pub. in 1848 Wuthering Heights, a powerful, but somewhat unpleasing, novel, and some striking poems; and ANNE (1820-1849), was the authoress of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey (1848). She had not the intellectual force of her sisters. The novels of Charlotte especially created a strong impression from the first, and the pub. of Jane Eyre gave rise to much curiosity and speculation as to its authorship. Their strength and originality have retained for them a high place in English fiction which is likely to prove permanent. There is a biography of Charlotte by Mrs. Gaskell (q.v.).
Complete ed. of the works of Charlotte B. have been issued by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (7 vols. 1899-1900), and by Sir W.R. Nicoll, LL.D. (1903). Note on Charlotte Bronté, A.C. Swinburne, 1877. A short Life in Great Writers Series by A. Birrell.
Brooke, Fulke Greville, Lord (1554-1628). -- Poet and statesman, b. at Beauchamp Court, Warwickshire, and ed. at Shrewsbury and Camb., was a Privy Councillor, and held various important offices of state, including that of Chancellor of the Exchequer (1614-21). In the latter year he was created a peer. He was murdered by a servant. His works, which were chiefly pub. after his death, consist of tragedies and sonnets, and poems on political and moral subjects, including Cælica (109 sonnets). He also wrote a Life of Sir P. Sidney, whose friend he was. His style is grave and sententious. He is buried in the church at Warwick, and the inscription on his tomb, written by himself, is a compendious biography. It runs: "Fulke Greville, servant to Queen Elizabeth, counsellor to King James, friend to Sir Philip Sidney."
Brooke, Henry (1703-1783). -- Novelist and dramatist, b. in Ireland, s. of a clergyman, studied law, but embraced literature as a career. He wrote poems, dramas, and novels; but the only work which has kept its place is The Fool of Quality (5 vols. 1766-70),