Image of Emily Brontë

Emily Bronte

Poet, Novelist, Governess

Country:England

Lifetime: 1818 - 1848 Passed: ≈ 173 years ago

Emily Jane Brontë (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.

 

Emily Brontë remains a mysterious figure and a challenge to biographers because there is limited information about her,due to her solitary and reclusive nature.Except for Ellen Nussey and Louise de Bassompierre, Emily's fellow student in Brussels, she does not seem to have made any friends outside her family. Her closest friend was her sister Anne. Together they shared their own fantasy world, Gondal, and, according to Ellen Nussey, in childhood they were "like twins", "inseparable companions" and "in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption". In 1845 Anne took Emily to visit some of the places she had come to know and love in the five years she spent as governess. A plan to visit Scarborough fell through and instead the sisters went to York where Anne showed Emily York Minster. During the trip the sisters acted out some of their Gondal characters.

Emily Brontë remains a mysterious figure and a challenge to biographers because there is limited information about her,due to her solitary and reclusive nature.Except for Ellen Nussey and Louise de Bassompierre, Emily's fellow student in Brussels, she does not seem to have made any friends outside her family. Her closest friend was her sister Anne. Together they shared their own fantasy world, Gondal, and, according to Ellen Nussey, in childhood they were "like twins", "inseparable companions" and "in the very closest sympathy which never had any interruption". In 1845 Anne took Emily to visit some of the places she had come to know and love in the five years she spent as governess. A plan to visit Scarborough fell through and instead the sisters went to York where Anne showed Emily York Minster. During the trip the sisters acted out some of their Gondal characters.

 

Emily's health was probably weakened by the harsh local climate and by unsanitary conditions at home, the source of water being contaminated by run off from the church's graveyard. Branwell died suddenly, on Sunday, 24 September 1848. At his funeral service, a week later, Emily caught a severe cold which quickly developed into inflammation of the lungs and led to tuberculosis. Though her condition worsened steadily, she rejected medical help and all offered remedies, saying that she would have "no poisoning doctor" near her. On the morning of 19 December 1848, Charlotte, fearing for her sister, wrote:

She grows daily weaker. The physician's opinion was expressed too obscurely to be of use – he sent some medicine which she would not take. Moments so dark as these I have never known – I pray for God's support to us all

 

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Books by Emily Bronte