Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30 - Emily Brontë

Novelist and poet Emily Brontë was born on July 30, 1818, in Yorkshire, northern England, an area still known for its heather moorland. Her older sister, Charlotte, and her younger sister, Anne, both became authors. Raised by a deeply religious aunt, the children began writing fiction and created fantasy worlds for themselves. In the 1840s they jointly published a book of poems under the masculine names Currer Bell, Ellis Bell and Acton Bell (based on their respective initials), believing that publishers and the public were prejudiced toward women authors. Little is known about Emily because she was reclusive in her brief 30 years of life and had few friends outside her family. Her only novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), is set on her native moors, where the doomed love affair between the passionate Catherine and the intense, Byronic Heathcliff plays out amid supernatural encounters and psychological torment. Brontë’s readers were disturbed by the book’s overt sexual passion, powerful imagery and themes of revenge, religion and class prejudice.

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