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The Bronte Sisters - Charlotte, Emily & Anne:
Posters, Books, Links for Learning
for the literature, language arts and social studies classrooms.

literature > notable women writers > BRONTE SISTERS < women < social studies

Bronte Sisters by Patrick Branwell BronteThe 19th century British novelists Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, and Anne Bronte were the children of Reverend Patrick Bronte and his wife Maria Branwell Bronte. The children grew up in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where the moorland setting had a profound influence on their art.

Literature and Language Arts

Great British Writers - Charlotte Brontë Wall Poster
Charlotte Brontë
Great British Writers - Wall Poster

Great British Writers -
Charlotte Brontë Wall Poster
b. 4-21-1816
d. 3-31-1855
"This was a demoniac laugh— low, suppressed, and deep— uttered, as it seemed, at the very keyhole of my chamber door. The head of my bed was near the door, and I thought at first the goblin-laugher stood at my bedside—or rather, crouched by my pillow: but I rose, looked round, and could see nothing; while, as I still gazed, the unnatural sound was reiterated: and I knew it came from behind the panels. My first impulse was to rise and fasten the bolt; my next, again to cry out, "Who is there?" — Jane Eyre

Great British Writers - Emily Brontë Wall Poster
Emily Brontë
Great British Writers - Wall Poster

Great British Writers -
Emily Brontë Wall Poster
b. 7-30-1818; Yorkshire
d. 12-19-1848

Poster Text:"Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind; not as a pleasue, any more tha I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my whole being." — Wuthering Heights

Poet and novelist Emily Jane Brontë was born in England in 1818, the fifth of six children. Her father was a clergyman and her family lived in a home on the moors, or swampy fields, in Haworth, Yorkshire. When Emily was three, her mother died, and she and her five siblings were raised by their father and their mother's sister, Aunt Branwell. In 1825, the four oldest Brontë daughers went to boarding school. Later that year, the two oldest sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, became ill and died. After this, Mr. Brontë educated his children at home. At this time, it was common for girls to be taught only the "accomplishments," mainly sewing, cooking, art, and music – things that would prepare them to be successful housewives. It was not typical for girls to learn foreign languages, math, or geography. But Mr. Brontë treated all his children as intellectual equals and taught his daughters the same subjects he taught his son, Branwell. Mr. Brontë also isolated his children almost completely from the outside world for years. To amuse themselves, the sibling created make-believe kingdoms and wrote long stories and plays about imaginary characters. The children also explored the world around them, tramping through the moors near their home.

In her late teens, Emily spent time at various schools, both as a pupil and a teacher, but she disliked being away from Haworth. Many of the poems Emily wrote while away at school reflect her longing to be back home. In 1842, after the death of her Aunt Branwell, Emily returned to Haworth and took on the housekeeping duties. Emily enjoyed being near the moors she knew so well, and did her studying and writing at home. Her older sister Charlotte wrote that she often saw Emily kneading bread dough while studying from a book. Some of Emily's most famour poems were written around this time.

Portrait of Emily Bronte, Giclee Print
Portrait of Emily Bronte, Giclee Print

Emily, Charlotte, and their younger sister Anne spent much of their spare time writing. In 1846, the three Brontë sisters published a collection of poetry under male pen names. They hoped that their work would be received well if people thought it was written by men. However, the collection did not get good reviews and sold only two copies. Still, the sisters were determined to become writers. In 1847, each of them published a novel. Emily's book was Wuthering Heights, a dark story of love and revenge set on the moors of Yorkshire. Wuthering Heights tells the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, who fall in love but are kept apart by circumstances, selfishness, and pride. Critics did not like the book, calling it too dark, too harsh, and too intense. The following year, Emily died of tuberculosis. She was only 30 years old. In the years following her death, Wuthering Heights gained popularity, and today it is considered one of the masterpieces of 19th century English literature.

• more Great British Writers posters

Charlotte Bronte, British Author, Giclee Print
Charlotte Bronte, British Author,
Giclee Print

Charlotte Bronte, Writer, Giclee Print
Charlotte Bronte, Writer, Giclee Print

Portrait of Anne Bronte from a Drawing in the Possession of the Rev. A. B. Nicholls
Anne Bronte,
Giclee Print

Anne Bronte
b. 1-17-1820; England
d. 5-28-1849

Portrait of Anne Bronte from a drawing in the possession of the Rev. A. B. Nicholls.

The Bronte Sisters painted by Patrick Branwell Bronte
The Bronte Sisters painted by Patrick Branwell Bronte

The Brontë sisters, painted by Patrick Branwell Brontë, c. 1834. From left to right, they are Anne, Emily, and Charlotte; Branwell originally painted himself between Emily and Charlotte, but later painted himself out.

Wuthering Heights Mini Poster
Wuthering Heights Mini Poster

Emily Bronte's only published work, Wuthering Heights, was made into a movie in 1939.

FYI - The word “wuthering” refers to “turbulent weather”.

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Books by and about the Bronte Sisters

Charlotte & Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels - Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, and The Professor by Charlotte Brontë and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Jane Eyre is a classic romance novel by Charlotte Brontë - The story is that of a governess, Jane Eyre, who despite her plainness, captures the heart of her enigmatic employer, Edward Rochester, but who has a secret that jeopardizes hope of happiness between them.Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë's only novel, is a tale of how the all encompassing love between Catherine and Heathcliff eventually destroys them both. The name comes from the manor on which the story centers.

Selected Works of the Bronte Sisters - Jane Eyre, Villette; Wuthering Heights; Agnes Gray and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell - Elizabeth Gaskell's Life appeared in 1857 to immediate popular aclcaim among Victorian readers curious to discover more about the writer who had given Jane Eyre the subtitle, An Autobiograohy. In writing about Charlotte Bronte, who she greatly admired, but whose novels she did not entirely like, Elizabeth Gaskell protrays the struggle of a woman artist for whom she had, until her late marriage, ‘foreen the single life’. The resulting work– the first full-lenght biography of a woman novelist by a woman novelist – almost single-handedly created the Bronte myth. (back cover)

Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters - Careful selection of 47 poems by talented literary siblings. Twenty-three poems by Emily (including “Faith and Despondency” and “No Coward Soul is Mine”), 14 poems by Anne (including “The Penitent” and “If This Be All”) and 10 poems by Charlotte (including “Presentiment” and “Passion”). Reproduced from standard editions.

The Bronte Myth - Combination of biography, literary criticism, and history, The Bronté Myth shows how Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronté became cultural icons whose ever-changing reputations reflected the obsessions of various eras.
When literary London learned that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights had been written by young rural spinsters, the Brontés instantly became as famous as their shockingly passionate books. Soon after their deaths, their first biographer spun the sisters into a picturesque myth of family tragedies and Yorkshire moors. Ever since, these enigmatic figures have tempted generations of readers–Victorian, Freudian, feminist–to reinterpret them, casting them as everything from domestic saints to sex-starved hysterics. In her bewitching “metabiography,” Lucasta Miller follows the twists and turns of the phenomenon of Bront-mania and rescues these three fiercely original geniuses from the distortions of legend.

The Brontes: A Life in Letters - Upon its publication in 1995, Juliet Barker's The Brontës was deemed a monumental achievement that set a new standard in literary biography; it garnered rave reviews and was cited as a New York Times Notable Book of 1995 and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 1995. In The Brontes: A Life in Letters, the much anticipated follow-up to that landmark biography, Barker uses newly discovered letters and manuscripts, some appearing in print for the first time, to reveal the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters. The letters detail the siblings' self-absorbed childhood, highlighted by wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before they took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as Branwell, Emily, and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness, and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in literary society. (book description)

The Brontes A to Z: The Essential Reference to Their Lives and Works - a good introduction to readers unfamiliar with the Brontës as well as a worthwhile resource for scholars and fans.


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