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Charlotte Bronte – Author
Alias: Currer Bell
Perhaps one of the most well-known female authors to publish under the name of a man, Charlotte Bronte penned many novels, including Jane Eyre, as Currer Bell.
Charlotte first published a collection of poems with her sisters, all of whom used pseudonyms to hide their gender. On this decision, Charlotte wrote:
“We had the vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice” and that “at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called feminine.”
The success of novels such as Jane Eyre lead to the revealing of Charlotte’s identity, and with it, new criticisms of her work. Despite this, Charlotte and her sisters continued to write and publish novels, with many pieces considered classics of English literature today. Her work challenged the landscape for women in the literary world, and contributed to silencing the notion of what a successful writer could look like.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”