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Charlotte Braun is a minor female character from the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. Her name is a corruption of Charlie Brown's.

History

The first appearance of Charlotte Braun in the strip from November 30, 1954.

Charlotte's first appearance was on November 30, 1954. She was introduced as a female counterpart to Charlie Brown (a role later taken up by Sally). Charlotte has a very dominating personality, complete with obnoxious, loud-mouthed voice. She usually appears with Violet. She denies having anything in common with her wishy-washy near namesake, forcing Charlie Brown to shout in one strip, "You don't have to be so insistent!"

Charlotte's life in the strip was very short-lived. She made only 10 appearances, the last of which was on February 1, 1955; a victim of being an under-used supporting character with limited comic potential. Her bossy, loudmouthed traits survived, however, in the form of Lucy, who gained much storyline potential after her personality was changed in the mid-1950s (until that time Lucy had functioned as a wide-eyed child of wonder).

Though her days in Peanuts were short-numbered, she could have been the one to replace Shermy, a character who was quickly disappearing from the strip. Shermy, when Charlotte was introduced, had only appeared once since July and had not spoken since May. In fact, he was completely absent throughout Charlotte Braun´s life in the strip. Shermy´s last appearance before Charlotte was introduced was on October 13, 1954. As mentioned below, Charlotte´s first appearance was on November 30 of the same year. His next appearance would be on February 15, 1955 exactly two weeks after Charlotte Braun´s final appearance.

In 2000, In April of this year, two months after Schulz died, a Peanuts fan named Elizabeth Swaim informed the Library of Congress that she would be donating a letter to the library, which was revealed that she had written to Schulz in 1955, requesting him to remove Charlotte Braun from the strip. Schulz replied that he would be willing to do so but said that the person who wrote to him would be responsible for "the death of an innocent child". Schulz concluded the letter with a picture of Charlotte Braun with an ax in her head. The letter is now in the United States Library of Congress.

However, some theories argued that Swaim was not the only reader who wants to get rid of Charlotte Braun because she didn’t have the warmth or the humor of the other characters.[1]

Discarding Charlotte Braun response from Schulz saying, "Dear Miss Swaim, I am taking your suggestion regarding Charlotte Braun and will eventually discard her. If she appears anymore it will be in strips that were already completed before I got your letter or because someone writes in saying that they like her. Remember, however, that you and your friends will have the death of an innocent child on your conscience. Are you prepared to accept such responsibility? Thanks for writing, and I hope that future releases will please you. Sincerely, Charles M. Schulz."

Some strips which featured Charlotte Braun were included in the 2001 book, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz . All strips featuring the character were finally reproduced in 2004 and 2005 in the second and third volumes of The Complete Peanuts.

Trivia

References

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