What are the autobiographical elements in Jane Eyre?

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Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre in 1847, having failed to interest the publishers in a novel called The Professor, which featured a male protagonist and drew on her recent experiences in Belgium. Jane Eyre is subtitled "An Autobiography" and clearly draws on many of the author's own experiences, particularly in early life. Jane Eyre, like Charlotte Brontë, is left motherless at an early age and sent away to a school she hates. The harsh discipline and religious hypocrisy of Lowood School in the novel are based on Cowan Bridge School for Clergy Daughters, which Brontë attended, and where two of her sisters died. The headmaster, William Carus Wilson is generally regarded as the model for the sanctimonious Reverend Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre. Brontë's depiction of the school has sometimes been regarded as an exaggeration, but the author insisted that, if anything, she underplayed the squalor and the savagery of Cowan Bridge.

After school, Jane Eyre's early career follows Charlotte Brontë's, working as a governess and a teacher and even planning to open her own school. Despite the fact that they suffered similar privations and disappointments, the author was able to travel to Europe and live in Brussels for two years, something her heroine could only dream of doing. However, Jane's passionate longing for travel and adventure show that, even when their experiences begins to diverge, Jane Eyre closely resembles Charlotte Brontë in her ambitions and her approach to life.

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