Emily Bronte: One of the ‘Bell Brothers’.


Emily Jane Bronte was born the 30th July 1818 and died the 19th of December 1848. She was 30 years old when she died. Emily is best known for the novel Wuthering Heights, this was the only novel that Emily ever published. Wuthering Heights is about a farm in the Yorkshire moors where a treacherous story of love and revenge takes place over many years. Wuthering Heights was considered very controversial for it’s time, but these days is considered part of classic literature. Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Emily:

Emily secretly published Wuthering Heights under the pen name Ellis Bell. This could be for obvious reasons like the fact that male writers were held with higher esteem than female counterparts. Her other two sisters also wrote under the name of Bell. Charlotte wrote as Currer Bell, and Anne wrote as Acton Bell.

Emily Bronte was considered the odd one of the family. She was a bit of a recluse, didn’t like socialising with people and was very strong-willed for a lady of that era.

Emily’s mother died when she was 2. Emily also had a brother called Patrick. Emily and her sisters didn’t stay in school for long due to sickness. Shortly after the children were removed from school by their father, Emily’s other sister Elizabeth died. It seems that their father was very strict towards the children.

Emily taught herself how to play the piano and speak German.

Emily had an affinity with nature and animals, this was also depicted in Wuthering Heights“My sister Emily…loved the moors…they were far more to her than a mere spectacle; they were where she lived in and by as much as the wild birds…She found in the bleak solitude many and dear delights, not the least and best loved was liberty.” – Charlotte Bronte

It has been said that Emily would go into a strange state like trance when writing. Her mind would disappear into different worlds. Emily was considered anorexic, thin and pale. Her trance like states could have been due to her starving herself.

Emily was very attached to a dog she called ‘Keeper.’ It seems this dog was very loyal to her and that ‘Keeper’ was her only best friend, other than her sisters.

Emily was the only one with a middle name in the family.

Not much of Emily’s work or writing was left after she died. It is believed that Charlotte, her older sister burned a lot of her notebooks.

Wuthering Heights is considered a great piece of work, even maybe more so than Jane Eyre written by her sister Charlotte. It is nice to wonder what else Emily Bronte may have written if she had lived past the age of 30. Judging by her novel Wuthering Heights she may have been an even bigger success than her sister Charlotte.



9 thoughts on “Emily Bronte: One of the ‘Bell Brothers’.

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  1. Wuthering Heights have been among my favourites. So many times, I wished that there was one more like it from the same author. We had studied something (not much) about Emily, still most of these details are quite new for me.

  2. Wuthering Heights is my favourite book. A dark tale swirling in mists of passion and yearning gone awry. There are no more books certainly but her poetry is wonderful and informs WH to a large degree. Here is an example:
    High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending (December 13, 1836)

    High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
    Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
    Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
    Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
    Man’s spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
    Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.
    All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending
    One mighty voice to the life-giving wind;
    Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending,
    Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
    Wider and deeper their waters extending,
    Leaving a desolate desert behind.

    Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
    Changing for ever from midnight to noon;
    Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
    Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
    Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
    Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

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