Charlotte Brame House English Novelist Nov 1st 1836 - Nov 25th 1884

The 25th November marks the 130th Anniversary of the passing of Charlotte Mary Brames, a well know but sometimes forgotten local novelist.

Charlotte Mary Brame (usually known as Charlotte M. Brame, appeared under pseudonyms in America, notably Bertha M. Clay, and was sometimes identified by the name of her most famous novel, Dora Thorne) She was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, to Benjamin and Charlotte Agnes Law, devout Roman Catholics. After attending convent schools in Bristol and Preston and after finishing school in Paris, she worked as a governess before marrying Phillip Edward Brame (1839-1886), a London-based jeweller, on January 7, 1863. The couple had nine children, of which four lived to adulthood. Since Brame was a poor businessman and a drunkard, Charlotte found herself forced to support the family with her writing.

Her books were very successful with the public, but her earnings were severely diminished by piracy, particularly in the United States. The family lived in London,Manchester, and Brighton before returning to Hinckley, where she died in 1884. She owed money at her death, and her children were taken into guardianship; her husband committed suicide in May 1886.

Her stories appeared in popular weekly publications such as Bow Bells, the London Reader, and the Family Herald. She was incredibly prolific, writing somewhere in the region of 130 novels during her lifetime. Charlotte Brame's fiction was invariably set in English country houses... Against this milieu, she reworked the theme of love in all of its multifarious aspects-old love, young love, jealousy, suspicion, misalliance, and improvident marriage. High morals such as honour, a sense of duty, and self-sacrifice are lauded as the greatest of virtues.

The books also contain strong descriptive passages, some of which are drawn from her associations with Leicestershire... Her literary endeavours, in a male-dominated field, her works of charity, and her personal stamina and resilience, in the face of family tragedy and ill health, represent a triumph in adversity.

The attached print is available for viewing at the Copy Shop Castle Street Hinckley.