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The wonderful novels of The Bronte Sisters. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights. Great classics of English literature.

Updated on February 14, 2016

Contents.

The Bronte Sisters. Imagination can transcend The Mundane.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte featuring young Elizabeth Taylor.

The Doomed Lovers. Wuthering Heights. The novel by Emily Bronte.

From ordinary comes Extraordinary

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters.
The Brilliant Bronte Sisters.
The Governess. This was the only career open to  "respectable poor" ladies
The Governess. This was the only career open to "respectable poor" ladies
Heathcliff and Catherine. The obsessed lovers of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte.
Heathcliff and Catherine. The obsessed lovers of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte.

The Bronte Sisters. Imagination can transcend The Mundane.

The power of the imagination is a strange thing. People can live in the most straitened of circumstances, with hardly any access to the influences that bear on the lives of their better off contemporaries, but if they have minds that can soar beyond the mundanities that govern their lives, they can still conjure into being stories and characters that can give immortality to their names, and enthral the generations that come after them.

Such was the destiny of The Bronte sisters of Haworth in the English county of Yorkshire.

The Bronte sisters did not have very long lives. Indeed Charlotte, the longest lived amongst them only lived to the age of 39. Emily was 30, and Anne was 29.

They lived lives of respectable poverty with their eccentric father Patrick Bronte, and their alcoholic, drug addicted brother Branwell in the village parsonage at Haworth, a village set amidst the moors of Yorkshire in the north of England.

From an early age the children used to write long and involved adventure stories, which they bound in tiny little books, only a couple of inches square. These can still be seen at their home, which is now a museum.

The life they lived outside of the parsonage was limited because of the strictures that were put on the women of "the respectable poor" in nineteenth century England. They could marry, if they were lucky enough to find a husband, they could become governesses, and teach the spoiled offspring of their "betters"; or they could become teachers in a "respectable school.

Charlotte and Anne both pursued career paths in those fields, and the humiliations they suffered are reflected in their books, especially "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte, and "Agnes Grey" by Anne.

Emily, who was painfully shy, spent the greater part of her short life at home. She did accompany Charlotte to Brussels to teach in a school there, but it did not work out very well, and she returned to end her short life in the village where she grew up.

And yet, the great wonder of The Bronte sisters, and the reason why their names will live forever amongst lovers of great literature, is that out of these almost unimaginably constrained lives, the power of their illimitable minds has brought forth some of the most brilliant and stirring books in the English language.


Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.

In this great novel by Charlotte, the eldest of The Bronte Sisters, the heroine Jane Eyre, has some really terrible childhood experiences at school.

When she grows up she goes to work as a governess for the darkly handsome Mr Rochester. They fall in love, and he asks her to marry him, but on the wedding day, some shocking news is disclosed, that totally ruins their plans.

To find out what that is, and whether they get past it, read the book. It is worth the effort.

This book was made into several films, and has been serialised in many notable television productions.

The most impressive version, I have seen, had Orson Welles playing Mr Rochester. It also featured the earliest screen appearance, which I know of, of Elizabeth Taylor. Well worth watching.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte featuring young Elizabeth Taylor.

Wuthering Heights. The novel by Emily Bronte.

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.

Wuthering Heights was the only novel produced by Emily Bronte, the most emotionally raw of The Bronte Sisters. So dark was it, and so graphically did it portray the passions, that the reading public didn’t believe it could be written by a woman.

It interweaves the stories of The Earnshaw Family, who lived at Wuthering Heights, and The Linton Family who lived at Thrushcross Grange. The central characters are Catherine Earnshaw, and the ravishingly saturnine anti-hero Heathcliff. Their obsessive love for each other is set against a background of windswept moorland, and bleak rock formations. So well is the book written, that you are literally swept along from chapter to chapter, unable to draw your eyes away from the unfolding stories of the riveting characters.

I hope you found that introduction to the brilliance of The Brontes interesting, and I further wish that acquaintance with some of the treasures, that stand as permanent memorials to their, too short lives, might leave you with an addiction to their fiction that is at least as strong as my own.


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Source

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