The definitive biography of an extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman 'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day ...' With these words Charlotte Bronte began Jane Eyre and changed English literature irrevocably. Now, on the 200th anniversary of Charlotte's birth, Claire Harman's landmark biography provides a bold new view of one of Britain's best loved writers, uncovering an inner life that touched the furthest extremes of human emotion. Harman shows us an intense and troubled young woman from an astonishingly creative family, whose early works were produced in total secrecy. Struggling against the conventional limitations of both life and literature, Charlotte created a new kind of heroine which both shocked and inspired her Victorian contemporaries. Love, loss, ambition and heartbreak: the anonymous author poured everything into her ground-breaking books, but lived it first.