Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte
Emily Bronte was born on July 30th, 1818, the 5th child of the Reverend Patrick Bronte, a stern Evangelical curate, and his wife Maria. When Emily was three years old, her mother died of cancer, and her Aunt Branwell, a strict Calvinist, moved in to help raise the children. They lived in a parsonage in Haworth with the bleak moors of Yorkshire on one side and the parish graveyard on the other. When Emily was 6 years old she went to a boarding school run by charity. The students were kept hungry, cold, tired, and often ill. In 1825 Maria and Elizabeth both died of tuberculosis, the disease that was later to claim Emily?s own life, and that of her younger sister Anne. Following these new bereavements, the surviving sisters Charlotte and Emily were taken home, but they would never forget the terrors and the hardship of their lives at school.
Life at home was much better for Emily and her siblings. In their isolated childhood on the moors, they developed an extremely close relationship partly based on their mutual participation in a vibrant game of make-believe. They developed two empires. They were Angria and Gondal.

She left home to be a governess in 1837 and to study in Belgium in 1842, but both times she found she was unable to bear being away from home and her beloved, wild countryside. In 1845 Charlotte, Emily, and Anne published a book of poetry under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. They sold only two copies, but did not give up writing. Wuthering Heights was probably written in 1845. Wuthering Heights (by Ellis Bell), was published in 1847, and attracted considerable critical attention. Many people were shocked and horrified by sheer violence of Emily?s novel.

At Branwell?s funeral, Emily got sick and never recovered. Tuberculosis killed her rapidly. Her death has been attributed to the high lead content in the well her family used for drinking water. She died with heroic fortitude on December 19th, 1848, at the age of 30. Emily Bronte?s stern self-discipline and passionate creative vision have continued to entrance modern readers through her poetry and especially her masterpiece, Wuthering Heights.

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