Another Friday and another guest post. Again this time I’ve decided to bring you a classic writer, or rather, three!
I’m sure you’ve read about them. The Brönte sisters. These three talented women, Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived in the XIX century in England, Yorkshire to be more specific. And specific we must be, as particularly in the case of Emily, the setting is paramount in their stories. Their father was an Irish clergyman (Patrick) and their mother Maria died shortly after Anne’s (the youngest) birth, of cancer, when Emily was three. The family moved to Haworth were their father was given a parsonage. (It has now become a museum of all things Brönte and I thoroughly recommend a visit. Haworth is a beautiful place and if you love steam engines and nice shops and tearooms, and the odd pub or two, you’ll love it.) Their aunt Elizabeth moved in with the family to look after the children. Two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died of tb in their childhood. Due to this the girls were removed from school and spent more of their childhood at home, where they entertained themselves reading and writing stories (and creating beautiful miniature manuscripts that you can see if you visit the museum). The girls used male pseudonyms (Currer, Ellis and Acton) as their pen-names. Charlotte worked as a teacher and Emily attended her school for a while but felt homesick and went back home. She worked as a governess in Halifax and then the three sisters went to Brussels, Belgium (1842) to educate themselves planning on setting up a school. Emily left to attend his aunt’s funeral and did not return and eventually Charlotte and Anne abandoned the idea of setting up their own school and went back home. Their brother Patrick Branwell (‘Branwell’), who loved painting (although from the works I’ve seen…anyway…) became dependent on alcohol and opium and died in 1948. Emily died shortly after (as I’m a doctor I doubt it was of a ‘chill’ she caught at his graveside but…). Anne died in Scarborough the year after, leaving Charlotte the only surviving member of the family. The poems of the three sisters were published in 1846 and Wuthering Heights, Emily’s novel, a year later, to some mixed reviews. Charlotte, the oldest of the three, had been writing since her time as a teacher, and during the sisters stay in Brussels she wrote Villete and The Professor. She submitted The Professor to publishers before Jane Eyre but it was not published until after her death. Shirley had mixed reviews but opened the London literary world for her and she met other writers like Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. She decided to edit the work of her sisters. The curate of Haworth, Arthur Nicholls, proposed in marriage (her father did not see it with good eyes and Arthur left) and they got married some time later. Unfortunately Charlotte died shortly after whilst pregnant. Anne also studied with Charlotte and Emily and later worked as a governess for many years, obtaining inspiration for her novel Agnes Grey that was published (under name Acton Bell) to mixed reviews in 1847. Next year she published The Tenant of Wilfell Hall. She caught tuberculosis and died in Scarborough in 1849.
This link offers you information about Haworth, the family and even a 360º panoramic of the parsonage.
Jane Eyre (Charlotte)
The Professor (Charlotte)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne)
Agnes Grey (Anne)
Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (the three sisters)
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