Charlotte Mary Brame (1st November 1836 – 25th November 1884)

Charlotte Mary Brame was Hinckley’s famous writer of over 200 romantic novels.

charlotte m.brame writer of romantic novels
Charlotte M.Brame

Charlotte was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire on 1st November 1836 to Benjamin and Charlotte Agnes Law, devout Roman Catholics as well as Master and Matron of The Hinckley Union Workhouse.

Charlotte wrote poems for the local press while still a child.

She was sent to a convent school in Bristol and Preston and then later on to a finishing school in Paris.

At the age of Seventeen Charlotte published her first short story.

1859 the untimely death of her farther Benjamin Law, Charlotte returned to Hinckley to help her mother.

7th January 1863 Charlotte married Phillip Edward Brame (1839-1886), she was twenty-seven at the time and Phillip was twenty-four. Once married the couple went to live in London (for a few years) were they went on to have nine children, which unfortunately only four lived into adulthood. Since Phillip was a poor businessman (Wholesale Jeweller) and a drunkard, then becoming bankrupt in the spring of 1866.

Charlotte was forced to support the family with her writing. Her books were very popular with the public but her earnings were diminished by piracy, mainly in the United States due to no copyright agreement in place.

Due to further business troubles the couple went on to live in Manchester during 1860s.

2nd December 1876 a cloth-bound duodecimo book called ‘The Discarded Wife’ (name shown as Bertha M.Clay) was released.

26th February 1877 Charlotte went under the name of Caroline M.Barton in the New York Weekly, as author of ‘Wife in Name Only’. In the same paper there was another on of Charlottes tails, entitled ‘Between Two Loves’.

Street and Smith of New York published Charlotte’s stories under a special contract from advance sheets for ten years. Charlotte used the name Bertha M.Clay in America and was also known as Dora Thorne after her most famous novel with the same name.

castle street hinckley
Castle Street, Hinckley

Charlotte was best known for her romantic love stories for the English lower classes, they were immensely popular.

The couple moved on to Brighton in the mid-1870s.

In 1879 the couple moved back to Hinckley (35 Castle Street) due to Charlotte’s health. Phillip was suffering with bouts of drunkenness and mental instability.

Charlotte died with heart trouble in Hinckley on 25th November 1884, she left the family with an estate worth £1,030. Charlotte was buried in the Ashby Road Cemetery.

Few of her stories appeared in book form during her lifetime, but after her death they were published in many editions both in England and America.

In May 1886 Charlotte’s husband would commit suicide by drowning, the four children were taken in to guardianship.

Charlotte would have the road ‘Brame Road’ in Hinckley named after her and a Blue Plaque placed on the side of her house at No.35 Castle Street in Hinckley.

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