Earlier in the spring I also enjoyed Claire Harman's biography Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart. Usually I find biographies offer too many details about parts of their subjects lives that don't interest me, but in this book I was fascinated by all aspects of Bronte's short life, from her experiences at boarding school, to her unrequited love with her Belgian tutor, and her adventures in publishing, both as Currer Bell and under her own name. Although I knew all the Bronte children died young and under tragic circumstances, I hadn't realized Charlotte had buried all of her sisters at such young ages, and I hadn't realized that Branwell Bronte, had died of alcohol and drug addiction. I also thought Charlotte hadn't died of tuberculosis like her sisters, Anne and Emily. Instead she died of severe morning sickness leading to dehydration, an ailment suffered by many women, including Kate Middleton. What a short and tragic life!
You can listen to Eleanor Wachtel's excellent interview with Claire Harman on Writers and Company. And if you haven't yet seen the 2011 version of Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, you can watch a clip of it here. The IMDB description of the film is as deliciously dramatic as the book itself: "a mousy governess softens the heart of her employer only to find out he is hiding a terrible secret."
For more Bronte reading, I also recommend Lena Coakley's World of Ink and Shadow. This YA novel is based on the teenage lives of four of the Bronte Siblings, Anne, Emily, Branwell and Charlotte. The Bronte siblings are well known for their published works, but also for the childhood writings, largely of imagined places. Coakley plays with the Bronte juvenilia by having the kids enter into the fictional world of Verdopolis that Branwell and Charlotte created. If you like all things Bronte, and YA fantasy, you might very well enjoy Worlds of Ink and Shadow.