Emily Brontë

(1818-1848)

English novelist and poet. Her only novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), is steeped in gothic themes and imagery, including: dark pasts and family secrets that haunt the characters, violence, malevolent lovers, suggestions of spirits, and foreboding landscapes.

Brontë is often described by her contemporaries as a very shy and quiet person, although to what extent this is true is disputed. She was also remembered as being extremely fond of animals. As a child, she had a pet dog called 'Keeper', whose early death she was said to never fully recover from.

At twenty years old, Brontë began working as a teacher at a local school, but she left the position due to her poor health. After returning home, she assumed various domestic duties, and also taught herself German and the piano. A few years later, she would also learn French. 

Like her sister, Charlotte, Brontë also grew up reading various dark and thrilling tales, and enjoyed creating adventurous and dangerous narratives with her siblings. Brontë also created a fantasy world with her other sister Anne (who she was very close to), which they called ‘Gondal’. The juvenilia set in this world often describes it as a gloomy wilderness, an atmosphere that would later resurface in Wuthering Heights

Upon its publication, one reader described the novel as "a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors". In spite of the judgement and disdain of its contemporary audience, Wuthering Heights is now often recognised as an English classic.

  • Wuthering Heights (1847, published in 3 installments under her pseudonym, Ellis Bell)