Emily Brontë

Emily Jane Brontë (/ˈbrɒnti/, commonly /-teɪ/;[2] 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848)[3] was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third-eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.

Emily Jane Brontë
The only undisputed portrait of Brontë, from a group portrait by her brother Branwell[1]
The only undisputed portrait of Brontë, from a group portrait by her brother Branwell[1]
Born30 July 1818
Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died19 December 1848 (aged 30)
Haworth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Resting placeSt Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth, Yorkshire
Pen nameEllis Bell
  • Poet
  • novelist
  • governess
EducationCowan Bridge School, Lancashire
  • Fiction
  • poetry
Literary movementRomantic Period
Notable worksWuthering Heights
RelativesBrontë family

Early life

Painting of Brontë sisters
The three Brontë sisters, in an 1834 painting by their brother Branwell Brontë. From left to right: Anne, Emily and Charlotte. (Branwell used to be between Emily and Charlotte, but subsequently painted himself out.)

Emily Brontë was born on 30 July 1818 in Market Street in the village of Thornton on the outskirts of Bradford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in Northern England, to Maria Branwell and an Irish father, Patrick Brontë. She was the younger sister of Charlotte Brontë and the fifth of six children. In 1820, shortly after the birth of Emily's younger sister Anne, the family moved eight miles away to Haworth, where Patrick was employed as perpetual curate; here the children developed their literary talents.[4]

After the death of their mother on 15 September 1821 from cancer,[5] Emily's three elder sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, and Charlotte, were sent to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge, where they encountered abuse and privations which Charlotte would later draw upon in her novel Jane Eyre. At the age of six on 25 November 1824, Emily joined her sisters at school for a brief period.[6] When a typhoid epidemic swept the school, Maria and Elizabeth caught it. Maria, who may actually have had tuberculosis, was sent home, where she died. Emily was subsequently removed from the school, in June 1825, along with Charlotte and Elizabeth. Elizabeth died soon after their return home.[7]

The three remaining sisters and their brother Patrick Branwell were thereafter educated at home by their father and aunt Elizabeth Branwell, their mother's sister. A shy girl, Emily was very close to her siblings and was known as a great animal lover, being especially noted for befriending the stray dogs she found wandering around the countryside.[8] Despite the lack of formal education, Emily and her siblings had access to a wide range of published material; favourites included Sir Walter Scott, Byron, Shelley, and Blackwood's Magazine.[9]

Gondal Poems
Emily's Gondal poems

Inspired by a box of toy soldiers Branwell had received as a gift, [10] the children began to write stories which they set in a number of invented imaginary worlds peopled by their soldiers as well as their heroes the Duke of Wellington and his sons, Charles and Arthur Wellesley. Little of Emily's work from this period survives, except for poems spoken by characters.[11][12] Initially, all four children shared in creating stories about a world called Angria, however, when Emily was 13, she and Anne withdrew from participation in the Angria story and began a new one about Gondal, a fictional island whose myths and legends were to preoccupy the two sisters throughout their lives. With the exception of their Gondal poems and Anne's lists of Gondal's characters and place-names, Emily and Anne's Gondal writings were largely not preserved. Among those that did survive are some "diary papers," written by Emily in her twenties, which describe current events in Gondal.[13] The heroes of Gondal tend to resemble the popular image of the Scottish Highlander, a sort of British version of the "noble savage": romantic outlaws capable of more nobility, passion, and bravery than the denizens of "civilization".[14] Similar themes of romanticism and noble savagery are apparent across the Brontë's juvenilia, notably in Branwell's The Life of Alexander Percy, which tells the story of an all-consuming, death-defying, and ultimately self-destructive love and is generally considered an inspiration for Wuthering Heights.[15]

At seventeen, Emily began to attend the Roe Head Girls' School, where Charlotte was a teacher, but suffered from extreme homesickness and left after only a few months. Charlotte wrote later that "Liberty was the breath of Emily's nostrils; without it she perished. The change from her own home to a school and from her own very noiseless, very secluded but unrestricted and unartificial mode of life, to one of disciplined routine (though under the kindest auspices), was what she failed in enduring... I felt in my heart she would die, if she did not go home, and with this conviction obtained her recall."[16] Emily returned home and Anne took her place.[17][a] At this time, the girls' objective was to obtain sufficient education to open a small school of their own.


Constantin Héger, teacher of Charlotte and Emily during their stay in Brussels, on a daguerreotype dated c. 1865

Emily became a teacher at Law Hill School in Halifax beginning in September 1838, when she was twenty.[18] Her always fragile health soon broke under the stress of the 17-hour work day and she returned home in April 1839.[19] Thereafter she remained at home, doing most of the cooking, ironing, and cleaning at Haworth. She taught herself German out of books and also practised the piano.[20]

In 1842, Emily accompanied Charlotte to the Héger Pensionnat in Brussels, Belgium, where they attended the girls' academy run by Constantin Héger in the hope of perfecting their French and German before opening their school. Unlike Charlotte, Emily was uncomfortable in Brussels, and refused to adopt Belgian fashions, saying "I wish to be as God made me", which rendered her something of an outcast.[21] Nine of Emily's French essays survive from this period. Héger seems to have been impressed with the strength of Emily's character, writing that:

She should have been a man – a great navigator. Her powerful reason would have deduced new spheres of discovery from the knowledge of the old; and her strong imperious will would never have been daunted by opposition or difficulty, never have given way but with life. She had a head for logic, and a capability of argument unusual in a man and rarer indeed in a woman... impairing this gift was her stubborn tenacity of will which rendered her obtuse to all reasoning where her own wishes, or her own sense of right, was concerned.[22]

The two sisters were committed to their studies and by the end of the term had become so competent in French that Madame Héger proposed that they both stay another half-year, even, according to Charlotte, offering to dismiss the English master so that she could take his place. Emily had, by this time, become a competent pianist and teacher and it was suggested that she might stay on to teach music.[23] However, the illness and death of their aunt drove them to return to their father and Haworth.[24] In 1844, the sisters attempted to open a school in their house, but their plans were stymied by an inability to attract students to the remote area.[25]

In 1844, Emily began going through all the poems she had written, recopying them neatly into two notebooks. One was labelled "Gondal Poems"; the other was unlabelled. Scholars such as Fannie Ratchford and Derek Roper have attempted to piece together a Gondal storyline and chronology from these poems.[26][27] In the autumn of 1845, Charlotte discovered the notebooks and insisted that the poems be published. Emily, furious at the invasion of her privacy, at first refused, but relented when Anne brought out her own manuscripts and revealed to Charlotte that she had been writing poems in secret as well. As co-authors of Gondal stories, Anne and Emily were accustomed to read their Gondal stories and poems to each other, while Charlotte was excluded from their privacy.[28] Around this time she had written one of her most famous poems "No coward soul is mine", probably as an answer to the violation of her privacy and her own transformation into a published writer.[29] Despite Charlotte's later claim, it was not her last poem.[30]

In 1846, the sisters' poems were published in one volume as Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The Brontë sisters had adopted pseudonyms for publication, preserving their initials: Charlotte was "Currer Bell", Emily was "Ellis Bell" and Anne was "Acton Bell".[31] Charlotte wrote in the 'Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell' that their "ambiguous choice" was "dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because... we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice".[32] Charlotte contributed 19 poems, and Emily and Anne each contributed 21. Although the sisters were told several months after publication that only two copies had sold,[33] they were not discouraged (of their two readers, one was impressed enough to request their autographs).[34] The Athenaeum reviewer praised Ellis Bell's work for its music and power, singling out his poems as the best: "Ellis possesses a fine, quaint spirit and an evident power of wing that may reach heights not here attempted",[35] and The Critic reviewer recognised "the presence of more genius than it was supposed this utilitarian age had devoted to the loftier exercises of the intellect."[36]

Personality and character

Emily Brontë cropped
Disputed portrait made by Branwell Brontë about 1833; sources are in disagreement over whether this image is of Emily or Anne.[1]

Emily Brontë remains a mysterious figure and a challenge to biographers because information about her is sparse[37] due to her solitary and reclusive nature.[38] Except for Ellen Nussey and Louise de Bassompierre, Emily's fellow student in Brussels, she does not seem to have made any friends outside her family. Her closest friend was her sister Anne. Together they shared their own fantasy world, Gondal, and, according to Ellen Nussey, in childhood they were "like twins", "inseparable companions" and "in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption".[39][40] In 1845 Anne took Emily to visit some of the places she had come to know and love in the five years she spent as governess. A plan to visit Scarborough fell through and instead the sisters went to York where Anne showed Emily York Minster. During the trip the sisters acted out some of their Gondal characters.[41]

Charlotte Brontë remains the primary source of information about Emily, although as an elder sister, writing publicly about her shortly after her death, she is not a neutral witness. Stevie Davies believes that there is what might be called Charlotte's smoke-screen and argues that Emily evidently shocked her, to the point where she may even have doubted her sister's sanity. After Emily's death, Charlotte rewrote her character, history and even poems on a more acceptable (to her and the bourgeois reading public) model.[42] Charlotte presented Emily as someone whose "natural" love of the beauties of nature had become somewhat exaggerated owing to her shy nature, portraying her as too fond of the Yorkshire moors, and homesick whenever she was away.[43] According to Lucasta Miller, in her analysis of Brontë biographies, "Charlotte took on the role of Emily's first mythographer."[44] In the Preface to the Second Edition of Wuthering Heights, in 1850, Charlotte wrote:

My sister's disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favoured and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people round was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced. And yet she knew them: knew their ways, their language, their family histories; she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word.[45]

Emily's unsociability and extremely shy nature have subsequently been reported many times.[46][47][48] According to Norma Crandall, her "warm, human aspect" was "usually revealed only in her love of nature and of animals".[49] In a similar description, Literary news (1883) states: "[Emily] loved the solemn moors, she loved all wild, free creatures and things",[50] and critics attest that her love of the moors is manifest in Wuthering Heights.[51] Over the years, Emily's love of nature has been the subject of many anecdotes. A newspaper dated 31 December 1899, gives the folksy account that "with bird and beast [Emily] had the most intimate relations, and from her walks she often came with fledgling or young rabbit in hand, talking softly to it, quite sure, too, that it understood".[52] Elizabeth Gaskell, in her biography of Charlotte, told the story of Emily's punishing her pet dog Keeper for lying "on the delicate white counterpane" that covered one of the beds in the Parsonage. According to Gaskell, she struck him with her fists until he was "half-blind" with his eyes "swelled up". This story is apocryphal,[53][b] and contradicts the following account of Emily's and Keeper's relationship:

Poor old Keeper, Emily's faithful friend and worshipper, seemed to understand her like a human being. One evening, when the four friends were sitting closely round the fire in the sitting-room, Keeper forced himself in between Charlotte and Emily and mounted himself on Emily’s lap; finding the space too limited for his comfort he pressed himself forward on to the guest’s knees, making himself quite comfortable. Emily’s heart was won by the unresisting endurance of the visitor, little guessing that she herself, being in close contact, was the inspiring cause of submission to Keeper’s preference. Sometimes Emily would delight in showing off Keeper—make him frantic in action, and roar with the voice of a lion. It was a terrifying exhibition within the walls of an ordinary sitting-room. Keeper was a solemn mourner at Emily’s funeral and never recovered his cheerfulness.[55]

In Queens of Literature of the Victorian Era (1886), Eva Hope summarises Emily's character as "a peculiar mixture of timidity and Spartan-like courage", and goes on to say, "She was painfully shy, but physically she was brave to a surprising degree. She loved few persons, but those few with a passion of self-sacrificing tenderness and devotion. To other people's failings she was understanding and forgiving, but over herself she kept a continual and most austere watch, never allowing herself to deviate for one instant from what she considered her duty."[56]

Emily Brontë has often been characterised as a devout if somewhat unorthodox Christian, a heretic and a visionary "mystic of the moors".[57]

Title page of the original edition of Wuthering Heights (1847)

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights was first published in London in 1847 by Thomas Cautley Newby, appearing as the first two volumes of a three-volume set that included Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey. The authors were printed as being Ellis and Acton Bell; Emily's real name did not appear until 1850, when it was printed on the title page of an edited commercial edition.[58] The novel's innovative structure somewhat puzzled critics.

Wuthering Heights's violence and passion led the Victorian public and many early reviewers to think that it had been written by a man.[59] According to Juliet Gardiner, "the vivid sexual passion and power of its language and imagery impressed, bewildered and appalled reviewers."[60] Literary critic Thomas Joudrey further contextualizes this reaction: "Expecting in the wake of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre to be swept up in an earnest Bildungsroman, they were instead shocked and confounded by a tale of unchecked primal passions, replete with savage cruelty and outright barbarism."[61] Even though the novel received mixed reviews when it first came out, and was often condemned for its portrayal of amoral passion, the book subsequently became an English literary classic.[62] Emily Brontë never knew the extent of fame she achieved with her only novel, as she died a year after its publication, aged 30.

Although a letter from her publisher indicates that Emily had begun to write a second novel, the manuscript has never been found. Perhaps Emily or a member of her family eventually destroyed the manuscript, if it existed, when she was prevented by illness from completing it. It has also been suggested that, though less likely, the letter could have been intended for Anne Brontë, who was already writing The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, her second novel.[63]


Emily's health was probably weakened by the harsh local climate and by unsanitary conditions at home,[64] the source of water being contaminated by runoff from the church's graveyard.[c] Branwell died suddenly, on Sunday, September 24, 1848. At his funeral service, a week later, Emily caught a severe cold which quickly developed into inflammation of the lungs and led to tuberculosis.[65][d] Though her condition worsened steadily, she rejected medical help and all offered remedies, saying that she would have "no poisoning doctor" near her.[67] On the morning of 19 December 1848, Charlotte, fearing for her sister, wrote this:

She grows daily weaker. The physician's opinion was expressed too obscurely to be of use – he sent some medicine which she would not take. Moments so dark as these I have never known – I pray for God's support to us all.[68]

At noon, Emily was worse; she could only whisper in gasps. With her last audible words she said to Charlotte, "If you will send for a doctor, I will see him now"[69] but it was too late. She died that same day at about two in the afternoon. According to Mary Robinson, an early biographer of Emily, it happened while she was sitting on the sofa.[70] However, Charlotte's letter to William Smith Williams where she mentions Emily's dog, Keeper, lying at the side of her dying-bed, makes this statement seem unlikely.[71]

It was less than three months since Branwell's death, which led Martha Brown, a housemaid, to declare that "Miss Emily died of a broken heart for love of her brother".[72] Emily had grown so thin that her coffin measured only 16 inches wide. The carpenter said he had never made a narrower one for an adult.[73] She was interred in the Church of St Michael and All Angels family vault in Haworth.

See also



  1. ^ At Roe Head and Blake Hall with pictures of the school then and now, and descriptions of Anne's time there.
  2. ^ Brontë's servant Martha Brown couldn't recall anything like this when asked about the episode in 1858. However, she remembered Emily extracting Keeper from fights with other dogs.[54]
  3. ^ A letter from Charlotte Brontë, to Ellen Nussey, Charlotte refers to the winter of 1833/4 which was unusually wet and there were a large number of deaths in the village — thought to be caused by water running down from the churchyard.
  4. ^ Though many of her contemporaries believed otherwise, "consumption", or tuberculosis does not originate from "catching a cold". Tuberculosis is a communicable disease, transmitted through the inhalation of airborne droplets of mucus or saliva carrying Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and anyone living in close proximity with an infected person would be in an increased risk of contracting it. However, it is also a disease that can remain asymptomatic for long periods of time after initial infection, and developing only later on when the immune system becomes weak.[66]


  1. ^ a b "The Bronte Sisters - A True Likeness? - The Profile Portrait - Emily or Anne". brontesisters.co.uk.
  2. ^ As given by Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature (Merriam-Webster, incorporated, Publishers: Springfield, Massachusetts, 1995), p viii: "When our research shows that an author's pronunciation of his or her name differs from common usage, the author's pronunciation is listed first, and the descriptor commonly precedes the more familiar pronunciation." See also entries on Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, pp 175–176.
  3. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 1992. p. 546.
  4. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, p. 16
  5. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, p. 28
  6. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, p. 35
  7. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, p. 31
  8. ^ Paddock & Rollyson The Brontës A to Z p. 20.
  9. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, pp. 44–45
  10. ^ Richard E. Mezo, A Student's Guide to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (2002), p. 1
  11. ^ The Brontës' Web of Childhood, by Fannie Ratchford, 1941
  12. ^ An analysis of Emily's use of paracosm play as a response to the deaths of her sisters is found in Delmont C. Morrison's Memories of Loss and Dreams of Perfection (Baywood, 2005), ISBN 0-89503-309-7.
  13. ^ "Emily Brontë's Letters and Diary Papers", City University of New York
  14. ^ Austin, p. 578.
  15. ^ Paddock & Rollyson The Brontës A to Z p. 199.
  16. ^ Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, p. 149
  17. ^ Fraser, The Brontës, p. 84
  18. ^ Vine, Emily Brontë (1998), p. 11
  19. ^ Christine L. Krueger, Encyclopedia of British writers, 19th century (2009), p. 41
  20. ^ Robert K. Wallace (2008). Emily Brontë and Beethoven: Romantic Equilibrium in Fiction and Music. University of Georgia Press. p. 223.
  21. ^ Paddock & Rollyson The Brontës A to Z p. 21.
  22. ^ Constantin Héger, 1842, referring to Emily Brontë, as quoted in The Oxford History of the Novel in English (2011), Volume 3, p. 208
  23. ^ Norma Crandall (1957). Emily Brontë, a Psychological Portrait. R. R. Smith Publisher. p. 85.
  24. ^ "Emily Brontë". Biography. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  25. ^ V., Barker, Juliet R. (1995). The Brontës (1st U.S. ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 440. ISBN 0312145551. OCLC 32701664.
  26. ^ Fannie Ratchford, ed., Gondal's Queen. University of Texas Press, 1955. ISBN 0-292-72711-9.
  27. ^ Derek Roper, ed., The Poems of Emily Brontë. Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-19-812641-7.
  28. ^ Harrison, David W (2003). The Brontes of Haworth. Trafford Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-55369-809-8.
  29. ^ Meredith L. McGill (2008). The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange. Rutgers University Press. p. 240.
  30. ^ Brontë, Emily Jane (1938). Helen Brown and Joan Mott, ed. Gondal Poems. Oxford: The Shakespeare Head Press. pp. 5–8.
  31. ^ Encyclopedia of British writers, 19th century (2009), p. 41
  32. ^ Gaskell, The life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), p. 335
  33. ^ Winifred Gérin, Charlotte Brontë: the evolution of genius (1969), p. 322
  34. ^ Margot Peters, Unquiet Soul: A Biography of Charlotte Brontë (1976), p. 219
  35. ^ In the footsteps of the Brontës (1895), p. 306
  36. ^ The poems of Emily Jane Brontë and Anne Brontë (1932), p. 102
  37. ^ Lorna Sage The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English (1999), p. 90
  38. ^ U. C. Knoepflmacher, Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (1989), p. 112
  39. ^ Fraser, A Life of Anne Brontë, p. 39
  40. ^ Barker, The Brontës, p. 195
  41. ^ Barker, The Brontës, p. 451
  42. ^ Stevie Davies (1994). Emily Brontë: Heretic. Women's Press. p. 16.
  43. ^ Austin, p. 577.
  44. ^ Lucasta Miller (2002). The Brontë Myth. Vintage. pp. 171–174. ISBN 0 09 928714 5.
  45. ^ Editor's Preface to the Second Edition of Wuthering Heights, by Charlotte Brontë, 1850.
  46. ^ The Ladies' Repository, February, 1861.
  47. ^ Alexander, Sellars, The Art of the Brontës (1995), p. 100
  48. ^ Gérin, Emily Brontë: a biography, p. 196
  49. ^ Norma Crandall, Emily Brontë: a psychological portrait (1957), p. 81
  50. ^ Pylodet, Leypoldt, Literary news (1883) Volume 4, p. 152
  51. ^ Brontë Society, The Brontës Then and Now (1947), p. 31
  52. ^ The Record-Union, "Sacramento", 31 December 1899.
  53. ^ Gezari, Janet (2014). "Introduction". The Annotated Wuthering Heights. Harward University Press. ISBN 978-0-67-472469-3.
  54. ^ Miller 2013, p. 203.
  55. ^ Fraser 1988, p. 296.
  56. ^ Eva Hope, Queens of Literature of the Victorian Era (1886), p. 168
  57. ^ https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/emily-bronte-and-the-religious-imagination-9781441166302/
  58. ^ Richard E. Mezo, A Student's Guide to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (2002), p. 2
  59. ^ Carter, McRae, The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland (2001), p. 240
  60. ^ Juliet Gardiner, The History today who's who in British history (2000), p. 109
  61. ^ Joudrey, Thomas J. "'Well, we must be for ourselves in the long run': Selfishness and Sociality in Wuthering Heights." Nineteenth-Century Literature 70.2 (2015): 165.
  62. ^ Wuthering Heights, Mobi Classics (2009)
  63. ^ The letters of Charlotte Brontë (1995), edited by Margaret Smith, Volume Two 1848–1851, p. 27
  64. ^ Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, pp. 47–48
  65. ^ Benvenuto, Emily Brontë, p. 24
  66. ^ "Chapter 2, Transmission and Pathogenesis of Tuberculosis (TB)" (PDF). CDC. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  67. ^ Fraser, "Charlotte Brontë: A Writer's Life", 316
  68. ^ Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, pp. 67
  69. ^ Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, pp. 68
  70. ^ Robinson, Emily Brontë, p. 308
  71. ^ Barker, The Brontës, p. 576
  72. ^ Gérin, Emily Brontë: a biography, p. 242
  73. ^ Vine, Emily Brontë (1998), p. 20


  • Austin, Linda (Summer 2002). "Emily Brontë's Homesickness". Victorian Studies. 44 (4). pp. 573–596.
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn (1857). The Life of Charlotte Brontë. 2. London: D. Appleton.
  • Robinson, F. Mary A. (1883). Emily Brontë. Boston: Roberts Brothers.
  • Gérin, Winifred (1971). Emily Brontë. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 01-9812-018-4.
  • Benvenuto, Richard (1982). Emily Brontë. Boston: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0-80576-813-0.
  • Paddock, Lisa; Rollyson, Carl (2003). The Brontës A to Z. New York: Facts On File. ISBN 0-8160-4303-5.
  • Vine, Steven (1998). Emily Brontë. New York: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0-80571-659-9.
  • Fraser, Rebeca (1988). The Brontës: Charlotte Brontë and her family. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-517-56438-6.
  • Barker, Juliet R. V. (1995). The Brontës. London: Phoenix House. ISBN 1-85799-069-2.

Further reading

  • Emily Brontë, Charles Simpson
  • In the Footsteps of the Brontës, Ellis Chadwick
  • Last Things: Emily Brontë's Poems, Janet Gezari
  • The Oxford Reader's Companion to the Brontës, Christine Alexander & Margaret Smith
  • Literature and Evil, Georges Bataille
  • The Brontë Myth, Lucasta Miller
  • Emily, Daniel Wynne
  • Dark Quartet, Lynne Reid Banks
  • Emily Brontë, Winifred Gerin
  • A Chainless Soul: A Life of Emily Brontë, Katherine Frank
  • Emily Brontë. Her Life and Work, Muriel Spark and Derek Stanford
  • Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters, Denise Giardina
  • Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontës, Jude Morgan
  • L. P. Hartley, 'Emily Brontë In Gondal And Galdine', in L. P. Hartley, The Novelist's Responsibility (1967), p. 35–53

External links

Quotations related to Emily Brontë at Wikiquote

Wikisource logo Works written by or about Emily Brontë at Wikisource

Media related to Emily Brontë at Wikimedia Commons

Brontë (Mercurian crater)

Brontë is a crater on Mercury. It has a diameter of 68 kilometres (42 miles). Its name was adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1976. Bronte is named for English writers Charlotte Brontë, who lived from 1816 to 1855, Emily Brontë, who lived from 1818 to 1848, and Anne Brontë, who lived from 1820 to 1849, and English writer and artist Branwell Brontë, who lived from 1817 to 1848.Brontë forms a crater pair with Degas immediately to the south.

Brontë Country

Brontë Country is a name given to an area of south Pennine hills west of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England. The name comes from the Brontë sisters, who wrote such literary classics as Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë), Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë), and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë) while living in the area.

Brontë family

The Brontës () were a nineteenth-century literary family, born in the village of Thornton and later associated with the village of Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. The sisters, Charlotte (1816–1855), Emily (1818–1848), and Anne (1820–1849), are well known as poets and novelists. Like many contemporary female writers, they originally published their poems and novels under male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Their stories immediately attracted attention for their passion and originality. Charlotte's Jane Eyre was the first to know success, while Emily's Wuthering Heights, Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and other works were later to be accepted as masterpieces of literature.

The three sisters and their brother, Branwell (1817–1848), were very close and during childhood developed their imaginations first through oral storytelling and play set in an intricate imaginary world, and then through the collaborative writing of increasingly complex stories set therein.

The deaths of first their mother, and then of their two older sisters marked them profoundly and influenced their writing, as did the relative isolation in which they were raised.

The Brontë birthplace in Thornton is a place of pilgrimage and their later home, the parsonage at Haworth in Yorkshire, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Cumbres Borrascosas (1976 TV series)

Cumbres Borrascosas (English: Wuthering Heights) is a Venezuelan telenovela written and adapted by Delia Fiallo for Venevisión in 1976. Based on the novel by Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights.Starring by José Bardina, Elluz Peraza, Eduardo Serrano and Mary Soliani.

Cumbres Borrascosas (1979 TV series)

Cumbres Borrascosas is a Mexican telenovela, produced by Ernesto Alonso for Televisa in 1979. It is based on the novel by Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Encadenados (1988 TV series)

Encadenados (English title: Notorious) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Ernesto Alonso for Televisa in 1988. Its original story of Marissa Garrido was based on Wuthering Heights by British author Emily Brontë and directed by Julio Castillo.

Christian Bach and Humberto Zurita starred as protagonists, while Sergio Jiménez, Julieta Rosen and Leonardo Daniel starred as antagonists.

Gondal (fictional country)

Gondal is an imaginary world or paracosm created by Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë that is found in their juvenilia. Gondal is an island in the North Pacific, just north of the island Gaaldine. It included at least four kingdoms: Gondal, Angora, Exina and Alcona. The earliest surviving reference comes from a diary entry in 1834. None of the prose fiction now survives but poetry still exists, mostly in the form of a manuscript donated to the British Museum in 1933; as do diary entries and scraps of lists. The poems are characterised by war, romance and intrigue. The Gondal setting, along with the similar Angria setting created by the other Brontë siblings, has been described as an early form of speculative fiction.

Lines (Emily Brontë poem)

"Lines" is a poem written by English writer Emily Brontë in December 1837. It is understood that the poem was written in the Haworth parsonage, two years after Brontë had left Roe Head, where she was unable to settle as a pupil. At that time, she had already lived through the death of her mother and two of her sisters. As the daughter of a parson, Bronte received a rigorously religious education, which is evident in much of her work. "Lines" is representative of much of her poetry, which broke Victorian gender stereotypes by adopting the Gothic tradition and genre of Romanticism, allowing her to express and examine her emotions.

Throughout their lives, the Brontë children struggled with leaving their own home in Haworth to which they felt so closely attached. The gender prejudice of the nineteenth century left little choice for young women like Brontë who were seeking employment, occupation or education. It was widely accepted that females would hold self-effacing roles as housewives, mothers, governesses or seamstresses. Any poetry written by females was expected to address issues of religion, motherhood and wifehood on an instructive and educative level.

The Brontës subverted these stereotypes, choosing to write on topics such as death and love. The family lived in a parsonage opposite the church graveyard and was plagued with poor health and loss of life; inevitably death appears frequently in the writings of each.

Lines (Unthanks album)

Lines (Parts One, Two & Three), a trilogy of albums with a poetic theme by English folk group the Unthanks, was pre-released on the band's website in November 2018, on 10" vinyl, CD and download, prior to an official release which is scheduled for 22 February 2019. They were made available as three separate albums and also packaged together in a slipcase.

Lines Part One: Lillian Bilocca is about the 1968 trawler disaster in Kingston upon Hull in which 58 men died. The songs were written by actor and writer Maxine Peake, with music by Adrian McNally. They were originally performed live by the Unthanks in The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca, a theatrical event written by Peake.

Lines Part Two: World War One is about the First World War. Its songs were originally conceived for a live audio-visual project in 2014, A Time and a Place. One of the songs, "Roland and Vera", is adapted from letters between the writer Vera Brittain who was a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in the war, and her fiancé Roland Leighton, a poet, who died from a gunshot wound sustained on the war front.Lines Part Three: Emily Brontë consists of ten poems by Emily Brontë, set to music by Adrian McNally. The songs were commissioned by the Brontë Society to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth.


A recluse is a person who lives in voluntary seclusion from the public and society. The word is from the Latin recludere, which means "shut up" or "sequester". Historically, the word referred to a hermit's total isolation from the world. Examples are Symeon of Trier, who lived within the great Roman gate Porta Nigra with permission from the Archbishop of Trier, or Theophan the Recluse, the 19th-century Russian Orthodox monk who was later glorified as a saint. Celebrated figures who spent, or have spent, significant portions of their lives as recluses include Virgil, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Emily Brontë, J. D. Salinger, Bobby Fischer, Emily Dickinson, Gustave Flaubert, Paul Cézanne, Nikola Tesla, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, H. P. Lovecraft, Marie Curie, Marcel Proust, Howard Hughes, Greta Garbo, Mina Mazzini, Jackson Pollock, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Glenn Gould, Jean-Luc Godard, Thomas Pynchon, John Swartzwelder, Paul Allen, Layne Staley, Richard Proenneke, Syd Barrett and Michael Jackson.

Songs from Heathcliff

Songs from Heathcliff is a studio album by English singer Cliff Richard, released in October 1995. It features ten songs from Richard's self-conceived musical Heathcliff, in which Richard played the title character. The musical is based on the Emily Brontë novel Wuthering Heights. The music was composed by John Farrar with lyrics written by Tim Rice. Olivia Newton-John is a guest on the album, featuring in five duets with Richard. The style of the music ranges from pop/rock to mock-period music, featuring instruments such as the harpsichord and violin.

Three Songs, 1926

Three Songs is a set of songs for voice and piano composed in 1926 by John Ireland (1879–1962). It consists of settings of three poems by various poets.A typical performance of the three songs as a set takes 8 minutes. The poems are:

"Love and Friendship" (Emily Brontë (1818–48), from Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey)

"Friendship in Misfortune" (poet not identified)

"The One Hope" (Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82), from Poems (1870))

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë's only novel, was published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell". It was written between October 1845 and June 1846. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre. After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.Although Wuthering Heights is now a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews were deeply polarised; it was controversial because of its unusually stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals regarding religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality. The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, although an admirer of the book, referred to it as "A fiend of a book – an incredible monster [...] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there."Wuthering Heights contains elements of gothic fiction, and another significant aspect is the moorland setting. The novel has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical, a ballet, operas, and a song by Kate Bush.

Wuthering Heights (1920 film)

Wuthering Heights is a 1920 British silent drama film directed by A. V. Bramble and starring Milton Rosmer, Colette Brettel and Warwick Ward. It is the first film adaptation made of the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. It is not known whether the film currently survives, and is considered to be a lost film.

Wuthering Heights (1954 film)

Wuthering Heights is a 1954 Mexican film directed by Luis Buñuel. Its original Spanish title is Abismos de pasión.

In 1931, Buñuel and Pierre Unik wrote a screenplay based on the Emily Brontë novel Wuthering Heights but were never able to get financing. The 1954 film was produced by Óscar Dancigers and Abelardo L. Rodríguez. It stars Irasema Dilián and Jorge Mistral as the Cathy and Heathcliff characters.

Wuthering Heights (1988 film)

Wuthering Heights (嵐が丘, Arashi ga Oka) is a 1988 Japanese drama film directed by Yoshishige Yoshida, based on the novel by Emily Brontë. It was entered into the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.

Wuthering Heights (1998 film)

Wuthering Heights is a 1998 British television film directed by David Skynner and produced by Jo Wright. It is based on the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The novel was adapted for the screen by Neil McKay. The film was released by ITV on 5 April 1998 in the United Kingdom and released by WGBH-TV on 18 October 1998 in the United States.

The film's tagline is Two hearts that beat as one.

Wuthering Heights (2009 TV serial)

Wuthering Heights is a two-part British ITV television series adaptation of the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The episodes were adapted for the screen by Peter Bowker and directed by Coky Giedroyc. The programme stars Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley in the roles of the famous lovers Heathcliff and Catherine or 'Cathy' Earnshaw.

The series was first broadcast in January 2009 in the US, as part of PBS's Masterpiece Classic programming. It eventually aired in the UK in two separate 90-minute instalments on consecutive nights, on 30 and 31 August 2009. It was broadcast on the terrestrial networks ITV & UTV, and in early 2010 on STV in Scotland.

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