Wuthering Heights (Bronte)

Author Bio
Birth—July 30, 1818 
Where—Thornton, Yorkshire, UK
 Death—December 19, 1848 
Where—Haworth, Yorkshire 
Education—Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in
   Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head; Pensionnat
   Heger (Belgium, to study French and German)


Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818, in Thornton, Yorkshire, in the north of England, the third child of the Reverend Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell Bronte. In 1820 the family moved to neighboring Haworth, where Reverend Brontë was offered a lifetime curacy. The following year Mrs. Brontë died of cancer, and her sister, Elizabeth Branwell, moved in to help raise the six children.

The four eldest sisters—Charlotte, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth—attended Cowan Bridge School, until Maria and Elizabeth contracted what was probably tuberculosis and died within months of each other, at which point Charlotte and Emily returned home. The four remaining siblings—Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne—entertained themselves by reading Shakespeare, Milton, Virgil and the Bible. They played on the Yorkshire moors and dreamed up fanciful, fabled worlds, creating a constant stream of tales, such as the Young Men plays (1826) and Our Fellows (1827). It was at this time that young Emily began to write stories and poetry.

Emily spent a few years as governess at Law Hill Hall in West Yorkshire and later, with Charlotte and Anne, attended the Pensionnat Heger in Belgium Brussels to study French and German. Her studies were interrupted by the death of their Aunt Branwell, and Emily alone returned to Haworth, remaining with her father, where she continued writing and editing her poems.

When Charlotte and Anne returned home, the three published their poetry in 1846 under the psuedonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. A year later, in 1847, Emily published Wuthering Heights to (at first) mixed reviews. The novel, however, was soon hailed as an inventive and original work. Their brother Branwell died in 1848; at his funeral Emily caught cold and died soon after, on December 18, 1848. (Adapted from Penguin Classics edition of Jane Eyre.)

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