Emily Bronte Biography & Facts
Emily Jane Brontë (, commonly ; 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. She also published a book of poetry with her sisters Charlotte and Anne titled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell with her own poems finding regard as poetic genius. Emily was the second-youngest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.
Early life and loss
Emily Brontë was born on 30 July 1818 to Maria Branwell and an Irish father, Patrick Brontë. The family was living on Market Street in the village of Thornton on the outskirts of Bradford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Emily was the second youngest of six siblings, preceded by Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Branwell. In 1820, Emily's younger sister Anne, the last Brontë child, was born. Shortly thereafter, the family moved eight miles away to Haworth, where Patrick was employed as perpetual curate. In Haworth, the children would have opportunities to develop their literary talents.When Emily was only three, and all six children under the age of eight, she and her siblings lost their mother, Maria, to cancer on 15 September 1821. The younger children were to be cared for by Elizabeth Branwell, their aunt and Maria's sister.
Emily's three elder sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, and Charlotte, were sent to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge. At the age of six, on 25 November 1824, Emily joined her sisters at school for a brief period. At school, however, the children suffered abuse and privations, and when a typhoid epidemic swept the school, Maria and Elizabeth became ill. Maria, who may actually have had tuberculosis, was sent home, where she died. Emily, Charlotte and Elizabeth were subsequently removed from the school in June 1825. Elizabeth died soon after their return home.
The four youngest Brontë children, all under ten years of age, had suffered the loss of the three eldest females in their immediate family.Charlotte maintained that the school's poor conditions permanently affected her health and physical development and that it had hastened the deaths of Maria (born 1814) and Elizabeth (born 1815), who both died in 1825. After the deaths of his older daughters, Patrick removed Charlotte and Emily from the school. Charlotte would use her experiences and knowledge of the school as the basis for Lowood School in Jane Eyre.
The three remaining sisters and their brother Branwell were thereafter educated at home by their father and aunt Elizabeth Branwell. A shy girl, Emily was very close to her siblings and was known as a great animal lover, especially for befriending stray dogs she found wandering around the countryside. 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.
Inspired by a box of toy soldiers Branwell had received as a gift, 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. 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. The heroes of Gondal tended 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". 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.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." Emily returned home and Anne took her place. At this time, the girls' objective was to obtain sufficient education to open a small school of their own.
Emily became a teacher at Law Hill School in Halifax beginning in September 1838, when she was twenty. Her always fragile health soon broke under the stress of the 17-hour work day and she returned home in April 1839. 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.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. 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:
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. However, the illness and death of their aunt drove them to return to their father and Haworth. 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.In 1844, Emily began going through all the poems she had written, recopying them neatly into two.... Discover the Emily Bronte popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Emily Bronte books.