Plenty of writers hit stumbling blocks before becoming the biggest authors we know. Some of those obstacles: spelling and grammar. Writers like Jane Austen (who once wrote a work originally called Love and Freindship — oops), Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, and more have all been documented to have issues with manipulating language, and now you can add Charlotte Brontë to the list.
According to the British Journal of Education, who republished a report from when the four Brontë sisters were admitted to the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge, Charlotte's grade school experience didn't exactly reflect what you would have expected from someone who wrote the seminal Jane Eyre.
Charlotte's teachers said she “[wrote] indifferently” and “[knew] nothing of grammar, geography, history, or accomplishments.” At least instructors pointed out that she "worked neatly"?
As for sister Emily, author of Wuthering Heights, her evaluation was best. She "reads very prettily and works a little,” her teachers wrote. The other two sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, were both evaluated as writing "pretty well," although each sister was also knocked for her grammar. Slate has a great shot of the reports here.
Of course, we all know the rest of the narrative — at least for literary success. Makes you feel pretty good if you're the kind of writer who crutches on spell check, no?
Image: Wikimedia Commons