The Brontë sisters have a renewed hold upon our imagination. They were gifted, well-educated, especially self-educated, and desperate. Their seriousness and poverty separated them forever from the interests and follies of respectable young girls. It was Charlotte’s goal to represent the plight of plain, poor, high-minded young women. Sometimes she gave them more rectitude and right thinking than we can easily endure, but she knew their vulnerability, the neglect they expected and received, the spiritual and psychological scars inflicted upon them, the way their frantic efforts were scarcely noticed, much less admired or condoned.