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The Brontes - An Inspirational Family

Updated on February 26, 2008

Talent In Spades

The surviving Bronte children, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and brother Branwell, were a curious yet gifted brood that excelled in the arts of prose and drawing. All of them, with no formal artistic training, were accomplished writers, poets, and even artists.

Raised in a religious and strict home, the family was extremely close-knit and, though social and well-known in the local populace, very drawn to home and familial ties.

From this one family, and especially its three interminable and ill-fated adult daughters, we have some of the greatest, classical works of the past few centuries available to us.

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte, born 21 April 1816, was the eldest of the three famous authoring sisters. She is most well-known for the classic novel, Jane Eyre, and is considered the standard for English literature.

Charlotte died on 31 March 1855, nine months after her marriage to Arthur Bell Nichols, and pregnant with their first child. She was 38 years of age.

Emily Bronte

Though only known for her one, full novel, Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte is heralded as one of the world's great writers. A poet and author, Emily was born 30 July 1818, making her the second-eldest of her surviving siblings.

As an adult, Emily was perpetually homesick whenever she moved away from her family at Haworth, and seemed to rally only when near to those she loved and the comforts of home.

Her bright spark of genius was cut short at the tender age of 30 after she caught and succumbed to the tuberculosis that had claimed the life of her brother, Branwell, the proceeding September. She died on 19 December 1848.

Anne Bronte

The youngest of the novelist sisters and, in fact, all of the Bronte children, Anne Bronte was born on 17 January 1820. She is most well-known for the classic novel Agnes Grey.

A Christian Universalist, young Anne was the most pious of the Bronte sisters. She succumbed to tuberculosis, at the age of 29, just a year after the disease took her siblings, Emily and Branwell. She breathed her last on 28 May 1849.

A Time of Men

Another amazing feat of the talented sisters was their ability to be recognized and respected for their talents in the early to mid 1800s; an era when women were more seen and not heard, and certainly not treated as equals.

The times were so biased towards keen and ambitious women that the sisters originally published their works, including the volume of poetry, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, under pseudonyms in 1846. Currer Bell was Charlotte, Ellis Bell the chosen name for Emily, and Acton Bell the moniker for Anne.


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    • tokyobabydoll profile image

      tokyobabydoll 9 years ago

      Interesting...I never knew she had come from such a literary family.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 9 years ago from The Ozarks

      The Bronte children started writing when Branwell was presented with a box of toy soldiers by their father when he returned from a trip. They first acted out many of their earlier stories, then wrote them down in tiny letters in books that they put together. Anyone who observed their early efforts might have thought they were just playing dolls. This shows the creative power of role playing games.

    • RFox profile image

      RFox 9 years ago

      Wuthering Heights is one of my faves too. Heathcliff is such a dramatic and enduring character. Thumbs Up!

    • skatoolaki profile image

      skatoolaki 9 years ago from Louisiana

      Thank *you*, ITD! I truly appreciate the heartfelt compliments - it really inspires me to keep at this HUB thing (I'm a total noob - first day!). Wuthering Heights is my favorite book of all time, so the first thing that popped into my head for "unique family that inspires you" was the Brontes! Thanks again!

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

      This was an awesome, informative HUB. I love both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. These women died so young, imagine what other treasures we would have if they had lived longer. Thank you for answering this request and doing such a great job with this HUB.