Sometimes when I'm talking to schoolchildren one of them asks why do you write?
Well, there are several answers to that - money, for example - but the most important answer, for me, is that when you write fiction you can go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone.
Charlotte Bronte, whose 150th birthday is on the 21st April, is a good example of someone who used her writing to take her somewhere she very much wanted to be.
This was, basically, with a Belgian schoolmaster.
Charlotte Bronte fell in love with a Belgian schoolmaster, Constantin Héger, when she was teaching in Brussels. Unfortunately he was married, so Charlotte came home again.
Charlotte lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, but in her fiction she continued to visit her love, firstly in The Professor (the hero of this book isn't quite a Belgian schoolmaster, he's an English schoolmaster teaching in Belgium. There is a real Belgian schoolmaster in the cast, too, though), then in Shirley (which involves two brothers, one a Yorkshire Mill owner and the other, yes, a Belgian schoolmaster) and finally in Villette - a book which has one of those colossally staggering endings (this one involving a Belgian schoolmaster) that I've been collecting over the last year or so.
Dear Charlotte. She didn't have an easy life. I'm glad she found a way to escape it and go somewhere she really wanted to be.
And I'm even more glad that her means of escape meant that we can go with her.
Word To Use Today: Belgian. The name Belgium comes from the Latin Gallia Belgica, a Roman Province inhabited by the people called Belgae.