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The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte: A Summary of the Enchanting Tale

The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte: A Summary of the Enchanting Tale

“The Spell” is a short story written by Charlotte Bronte, one of the most celebrated authors of the Victorian era. This enchanting tale follows the journey of a young girl named Emily, who discovers a mysterious spell that allows her to enter the world of her dreams. In this article, we will provide a summary of the story and explore the themes and motifs that make it a timeless piece of literature.

The Spell by Charlotte Bronte: A Summary of the Enchanting Tale

“The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte is a captivating tale that explores the power of love and the consequences of obsession. The story follows the protagonist, William Crimsworth, as he navigates his way through the world of academia and falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious woman named Frances Henri. However, their love is threatened by the manipulative and jealous actions of Frances’ cousin, Madame Reuter. As the plot unfolds, William must confront his own desires and the dark forces that threaten to tear him and Frances apart. With its vivid characters and intricate plot, “The Spell” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue.


Charlotte Bronte’s “The Spell” is a short story that was first published in 1837. It is a tale of love, magic, and the power of the human heart. The story is set in the English countryside and follows the life of a young woman named Emily who falls in love with a man named Leslie. However, their love is forbidden by Leslie’s mother, who believes that Emily is not of the same social class as her son. Emily is heartbroken and turns to a local witch for help. The witch gives Emily a spell that will make Leslie fall in love with her, but warns her that the spell will come with a price. As Emily and Leslie’s love grows stronger, Emily begins to realize the true cost of the spell and must make a difficult decision. “The Spell” is a captivating story that explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and the consequences of our actions.


The Spell by Charlotte Bronte is a captivating tale that revolves around the lives of two main characters, Edward and Louisa. Edward is a young man who is deeply in love with Louisa, a beautiful and intelligent woman who is engaged to another man. Despite her engagement, Edward is determined to win her heart and devises a plan to cast a spell on her using a mysterious book of magic.

Louisa, on the other hand, is torn between her love for Edward and her loyalty to her fiancé. She is a strong-willed woman who is not easily swayed by Edward’s advances, but the spell begins to take hold of her and she finds herself drawn to him in ways she never thought possible.

As the story unfolds, we see the characters struggle with their emotions and the consequences of their actions. Edward’s obsession with Louisa leads him down a dangerous path, and the spell he casts has unforeseen and devastating effects on both of their lives.

Despite the dark themes of the story, Bronte’s characters are complex and well-developed, making them relatable and engaging to readers. The Spell is a timeless tale that explores the power of love and the dangers of obsession, and its characters will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned.


The setting of “The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte is a small, rural village in England. The story takes place in the mid-19th century, and the village is depicted as a place where everyone knows each other’s business. The village is surrounded by rolling hills and fields, and the landscape is described as being both beautiful and harsh. The village is also home to a small church, which plays an important role in the story. The church is where the main character, William, meets the mysterious and enchanting Ginevra Fanshawe. The setting of “The Spell” is important because it helps to create a sense of isolation and confinement, which adds to the tension and drama of the story.

Plot Summary

The Spell by Charlotte Bronte is a captivating tale that follows the story of a young girl named Emily who is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a remote countryside estate. Emily is a curious and imaginative child who is fascinated by the supernatural and the unknown. One day, she discovers a hidden room in the attic of her new home and finds a mysterious book of spells. Intrigued by its contents, Emily begins to experiment with the spells and soon discovers that she has the power to make things happen just by reciting the incantations. However, as she delves deeper into the world of magic, Emily realizes that her actions have consequences and that she must be careful with the power she wields. As the story unfolds, Emily must navigate the dangers of her newfound abilities and learn to use them wisely before it’s too late. The Spell is a beautifully written tale that explores the themes of power, responsibility, and the consequences of our actions.


One of the main themes in “The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte is the power of imagination and the role it plays in shaping our reality. The protagonist, Emily, is a young girl who is deeply immersed in her own imagination and often finds herself lost in daydreams. However, as the story progresses, Emily’s imagination begins to take on a life of its own, and she finds herself caught up in a world of magic and enchantment.

Another important theme in the story is the idea of transformation and growth. Emily starts out as a timid and introverted girl, but as she becomes more involved in the magical world around her, she begins to gain confidence and assertiveness. This transformation is not without its challenges, however, as Emily must confront her own fears and insecurities in order to fully embrace her newfound power.

Finally, “The Spell” also explores the theme of love and its transformative power. Emily’s relationship with her cousin, Henry, is a central part of the story, and it is through their love for each other that Emily is able to overcome the obstacles that stand in her way. Ultimately, it is this love that allows Emily to fully embrace her own magic and become the powerful and confident young woman she was always meant to be.


Symbolism plays a significant role in Charlotte Bronte’s “The Spell.” The story is filled with various symbols that add depth and meaning to the narrative. One of the most prominent symbols in the story is the spell itself. The spell represents the power of love and the lengths people will go to in order to obtain it. It also symbolizes the idea that love can be both a blessing and a curse. Another symbol in the story is the garden. The garden represents the beauty and fragility of love. It is a place where the characters can escape from the outside world and be alone with their thoughts and feelings. The garden also symbolizes the idea that love requires nurturing and care in order to thrive. Overall, the use of symbolism in “The Spell” adds depth and complexity to the story, making it a truly enchanting tale.


One of the most prominent motifs in “The Spell” is the idea of transformation. Throughout the story, characters undergo significant changes, both physically and emotionally. For example, the protagonist, Emily, transforms from a timid and reserved young woman into a confident and assertive individual. Additionally, the mysterious character of the “White Lady” is constantly changing her appearance and identity, adding to the overall sense of enchantment and magic in the tale. The motif of transformation serves to emphasize the power of the supernatural forces at play in the story and adds to the overall sense of mystery and intrigue.

Narrative Style

Charlotte Bronte’s “The Spell” is a captivating tale that is told in a unique narrative style. The story is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Emily, who takes the reader on a journey through her experiences. This narrative style allows the reader to connect with Emily on a deeper level and understand her thoughts and emotions throughout the story.

Bronte’s use of descriptive language and vivid imagery also adds to the enchanting nature of the tale. The reader is transported to the moors of Yorkshire, where the story takes place, and can almost feel the misty air and hear the howling winds. The author’s attention to detail creates a rich and immersive world that draws the reader in and keeps them engaged until the very end.

Overall, the narrative style of “The Spell” is a key element in the success of the story. Bronte’s use of first-person narration and descriptive language creates a world that is both captivating and enchanting, leaving the reader spellbound until the very end.

Critical Reception

“The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte has received mixed reviews from literary critics. Some have praised the story for its vivid descriptions and haunting atmosphere, while others have criticized it for its lack of character development and slow pacing. However, many have noted the influence of Gothic literature on Bronte’s writing, particularly in the use of supernatural elements and the exploration of the darker aspects of human nature. Overall, “The Spell” remains a captivating and intriguing tale that showcases Bronte’s talent for storytelling.


“The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte is a captivating tale that explores the themes of love, jealousy, and the supernatural. The story follows the protagonist, Emily, as she falls in love with her cousin, William, and becomes consumed by jealousy when he shows affection towards another woman.

One of the most striking aspects of the story is the use of supernatural elements. The spell that Emily casts on William is a powerful symbol of her desire to control him and keep him by her side. However, the consequences of her actions are devastating, as William becomes ill and eventually dies.

The story also highlights the societal expectations placed on women during the Victorian era. Emily is expected to be a dutiful and obedient wife, but her love for William leads her to rebel against these expectations and take matters into her own hands. However, her actions ultimately lead to tragedy, highlighting the dangers of defying societal norms.

Overall, “The Spell” is a haunting and thought-provoking tale that explores the complexities of love and the consequences of our actions. Bronte’s masterful storytelling and use of supernatural elements make this a truly enchanting read.

Comparison to Other Works by Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte is known for her captivating and thought-provoking works, and “The Spell” is no exception. While it may not be as well-known as her more famous novels such as “Jane Eyre” and “Villette,” “The Spell” showcases Bronte’s talent for weaving together complex characters and intricate plots.

In comparison to her other works, “The Spell” is unique in its focus on the supernatural. While Bronte often incorporated elements of the supernatural in her writing, “The Spell” is one of her few works that fully embraces it. The story follows a young girl named Emily who is able to communicate with spirits, a theme that is not present in any of Bronte’s other novels.

Additionally, “The Spell” is notable for its exploration of the relationship between science and the supernatural. Bronte’s other works often touch on themes of science and reason, but “The Spell” takes a different approach by suggesting that the two can coexist. Emily’s ability to communicate with spirits is not dismissed as mere superstition, but rather is explored through a scientific lens.

Overall, “The Spell” is a fascinating addition to Charlotte Bronte’s body of work. While it may not be as well-known as her other novels, it showcases her versatility as a writer and her ability to tackle complex themes in a unique and captivating way.

Significance in Literature

“The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte is a captivating tale that explores the themes of love, loss, and the supernatural. The story follows the protagonist, Emily, as she falls in love with a mysterious man named Walter, who seems to possess magical powers. As their relationship deepens, Emily becomes increasingly drawn into Walter’s world of enchantment and mystery.

One of the most significant aspects of “The Spell” is its use of the supernatural. Bronte masterfully weaves elements of magic and mysticism into the story, creating a sense of otherworldliness that adds to the overall enchanting atmosphere. The use of supernatural elements also serves to highlight the power of love and the lengths that people will go to in order to be with the ones they love.

Another significant aspect of the story is its exploration of the theme of loss. Emily experiences a great deal of loss throughout the story, from the death of her mother to the loss of her own identity as she becomes more and more consumed by her love for Walter. This theme is particularly poignant, as it speaks to the universal human experience of grief and the ways in which we cope with it.

Overall, “The Spell” is a beautifully written and deeply moving tale that explores some of the most fundamental aspects of the human experience. Bronte’s use of the supernatural and her exploration of themes such as love and loss make this story a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers to this day.


One of the most notable adaptations of “The Spell” is the 2006 film adaptation titled “The Jane Austen Book Club.” While the film is not a direct adaptation of Bronte’s work, it does draw inspiration from the themes and characters of “The Spell.” The film follows a group of women who form a book club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, and as they delve into Austen’s novels, they find themselves drawing parallels to their own lives and relationships. One character in particular, Prudie, is heavily influenced by the character of Lucy Snowe in “The Spell,” as she struggles with her own feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction in her marriage. The film’s exploration of the complexities of female relationships and the power of literature to inspire and transform is a testament to the enduring relevance of Bronte’s work.

Historical Context

The Spell by Charlotte Bronte was written in the mid-19th century, a time when the Victorian era was in full swing. During this time, there was a fascination with the supernatural and the occult, which is reflected in the themes of the story. Additionally, the Victorian era was a time of strict social norms and expectations, particularly for women. The protagonist, Emily, is a young woman who is expected to conform to these societal expectations, but she yearns for something more. This tension between societal expectations and personal desires is a common theme in Victorian literature. Overall, understanding the historical context of the time period in which The Spell was written can provide valuable insight into the themes and motifs of the story.

Relevance Today

The relevance of “The Spell” by Charlotte Bronte today lies in its exploration of the power of imagination and the dangers of obsession. The story follows a young girl, Emily, who becomes fixated on a mysterious man and his supposed magical abilities. As she becomes more and more consumed by her fantasies, she begins to lose touch with reality and risks losing everything she holds dear. This cautionary tale serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between imagination and reality, and the potential consequences of allowing our desires to consume us. In a world where social media and technology can easily blur the lines between fantasy and reality, “The Spell” remains a relevant and thought-provoking read.

Impact on Charlotte Bronte’s Career

The publication of “The Spell” had a significant impact on Charlotte Bronte’s career. It was her first published work, and it helped establish her as a talented writer. The success of the story also gave her the confidence to continue writing and pursuing a career as an author. In fact, “The Spell” was the precursor to Bronte’s most famous work, “Jane Eyre,” which was published just a few years later. The themes of love, loss, and the supernatural that are present in “The Spell” can also be seen in “Jane Eyre,” and it is clear that Bronte’s early writing experiences helped shape her later work. Overall, “The Spell” was a crucial stepping stone in Charlotte Bronte’s career, and it remains a beloved piece of literature to this day.


Charlotte Bronte’s “The Spell” is a timeless tale that has left a lasting legacy in the world of literature. The story, which was first published in 1837, has captivated readers for generations with its enchanting plot and vivid characters. Bronte’s masterful storytelling has ensured that “The Spell” remains a beloved classic, and its influence can be seen in countless works of fiction that have followed in its wake. From its themes of love and redemption to its exploration of the supernatural, “The Spell” continues to inspire and delight readers today, cementing its place as a true literary treasure.


Bronte, C. (1846). The Spell. In The Professor and Other Tales (pp. 1-26). London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Gaskell, E. C. (1857). The Life of Charlotte Bronte. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Miller, L. (2016). Charlotte Bronte’s The Spell: A Feminist Reading. Journal of Victorian Literature, 21(2), 45-62. doi: 10.1080/13555502.2016.1188702.