"Reader, they doodled her". Charlotte Brontë, the English novelist, poet and the eldest of the three Bronte sisters who lived into adulthood, has been celebrated with a Google Doodle depicting her most famous novel, Jane Eyre.
Brontë, who was born on this day in 1816 in Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, was one of six children born to Maria (née Branwell) and Patrick Brontë (formerly surnamed Brunty or Prunty), an Irish Anglican clergyman.
She went on to write one of the most famous novels in the English language, Jane Eyre.
Originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography in 1847, under the pen name "Currer Bell", the book is the story of the titular character Jane, a willful young orphan raised by Mrs. Reed, her cruel, wealthy aunt.
The book follows Jane through school life to adulthood where she meets a dark, impassioned man named Rochester, with whom Jane finds herself falling in love.
The two are about to marry when it is revealed that the mysterious Rochester already has a wife, the insane Bertha Mason. Jane flees but the two are both later reunited after Rochester's wife sets fire to the house and commits suicide.
Rochester, who was injured in the house fire, fears that Jane will be repulsed by him. "Am I hideous, Jane?", he asks. “Very, sir: you always were, you know” she replies. The two eventually marry.
The novel has had a wide influence and has been adapted on a number of occassions for television and theatre, also drawing a number of reinterpretations and rewritings, including novels such as Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.
It remains one of the most popular British novels, ranking at number 10 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
The Google Doodle appears to depict Jane Eyre fleeing Rochester's residence 'Thornfield' after their abortive attempt to be married.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies