Daily Archives for: December 26th, 2014

Charlotte Brontë’s Preface to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Charlotte Brontë was fiercely protective of the work and reputations of her literary sisters, Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë, both of whom barely lived to age 30 due to what was then known as consumption (tuberculosis). The sisters first published their works under pseudonyms, thinking that their work would be not only more readily accepted for publication, but for public consideration.

Charlotte was Currer Bell,  Emily was Ellis Bell, and Anne was Acton Bell. These vague, identity-veiling names, explained  Charlotte, as  “the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women.”

Here is Charlotte’s perspective on her sister Emily’s only novel, considered a classic in the canon of English literature. The novel was originally published in 1847 to mixed public and critical reception; this preface accompanies the 1850 edition. Emily died in 1848, one year after Wuthering Heights was published. She was thirty years old. Read More→

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