I was appalled to read in Writing Magazine today (July edition) that when Charlotte Bronte wrote to British poet Robert Southey, asking for his thoughts on whether she could be a successful writer, he replied:
'Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure she will have for it, even as an accomplishment and recreation. To those duties you have not yet been called, and when you are, you will be less eager for celebrity.'
(From Jon Winokur's Advice to Writers, 1999)
Thank goodness times have moved on and, may I say, who is more remembered for their writing? I bet that if he could see things now, he would wish that he could be an nth as much of a 'celebrity' as she is. Her writing has influenced writers for many a year and long may it continue. She may have been ahead of her time, but I think it can safely be said, that he was not.