Emily Bronte ()
Emily Brontë, perhaps the greatest writer of the three Bronte sisters - Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
She published only one novel, Wuthering heights (1847), a story of the doomed love and revenge. In 1848 a volume of poems by the three sisters was published under the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, but only two copies of the book were sold.
Emily Brontë was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, in the north of England. Her father was made dean of Hawort in 1820.
Her education was directed at home by her father, who let his children read freely and treated them as intellectual equals. The early death of their mother and two older sisters drove the remaining children into an intense and private intimacy.
The children spent most of their time in reading and composition. To escape their unhappy childhood, Anne, Emily, Charlotte and their brother Branwell created imaginary worlds - perhaps inspired by Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726).
As the children matured, their personalities diverged. Emily and Anne created the realm of Gondal. Located somewhere in the north, it was, like the West Riding, a land of wild moors. Unlike Charlotte and Branwell's emotional dreamworld Angria, Gondal's psychological and moral laws reflected those of the real world.
Between the years 1824 and 1825 Emily attended the school at Cowan Bridge with Charlotte, and then was largely educated at home.
In 1835 Emily Brontë departed for school at Roe Head to be with her older sister Charlotte. This was the beginning of her career path as a school teacher, but suffered from homesickness and returned after a few months to the moorland scenery of home.
In 1837 she became a governess at Law Hill, near Halifax, where she spent six months. To facilitate their plan to keep school for girls, Emily and Charlotte Brontë went in 1842 to Brussels to learn foreign languages and school management.
Emily returned in the same year to Haworth, where she stayed for the rest of her brief life.
Her first novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), a story-within-a-story, did not gain immediate success as Charlotte's Jane Eyre, but it has acclaimed later fame as one of the most intense novels written in the English language.
Emily introduced an unreliable narrator, Lockwood. He constantly misinterprets the reactions and interactions of the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. More reliable is Nelly Dean, his housekeeper, who has lived for two generations with the novel's two principal families, the Earnshaws and the Lintons.
Set in the moors, it is the story of the effect of a foundling named Heathcliff on two neighbouring families. Loving and hating with elemental intensity, he impinges on the conventions of civilization with demonic power.
Emily Brontë died of tuberculosis in the late 1848. Refusing all medical attention, she struggled to perform her household tasks until the end.
Annate: 2004 (1)