Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte wrote only one novel in her life. Wuthering Heights written under her pen name, Ellis Bell, was published in 1847. Although, Wuthering Heights is said to be the most imaginative and poetic of all the Bronte's novels, Emily's book was not as popular as her older sister, Charlotte's, new release, Jane Eyre ("Bronte Sisters" 408). In looking at Bronte's writings, the major influences were her family, her isolation growing up, and her school experiences.
Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell lived with their father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte, in a parsonage high above the village at Haworth in Yorkshire, England ("Bronte Sisters" 408). The parsonage was amongst the largest houses in Haworth, though in comparison with the homes of clergymen in more affluent areas of Britain, it would have been considered small (www.bronte.org.uk). Patrick Bronte entered the church because it was the one career that offered to lift him out of his poor and Irish background. He was born in a cottage at Emdale, County Down, on the 17th of March in 1777. As a teacher in a boy's school at Glascar, as a tutor in a private family, and as teacher in the parish school at Drumballyroney, he made the grade and got a scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge, in October 1802 (Scott-Kilvert 105). Years later, with the crisis provoked by the Luddite riots (1811-1812)- in which the role of the clergy in industrial districts became one of an active peacekeeping force- Patrick was among the first, and the few, to carry pistols in defense of his parishioners' property. Over the remaining fifty years of his life, he primed his pistols daily, discharged them every morning, and lived in a mental state of siege ended only by his death in 1861.
To console himself for a missed military career, Patrick took to writing poetry. Both before and immediately after his marriage he wrote a great deal. He was genuinely in love, but the only verse form he could manage was the rhyming couplet; the only imagery he knew was that of the conventional eighteenth-century allegories, staled long since by use. He had an observant eye and a love for animals and nature.
Patrick Bronte was thirty-five before he married. His bride, Maria Branwell, of a Methodist Penzance family, was as unworldly as he, and considered poverty a positive benefit to the soul. Maria had a fine, witty mind, an independent spirit rare in women of her day, and physical endurance that only her own children would rival. The marriage took place on December 29, 1812. Six children were born as a result of it: Maria in April 1814, Elizabeth in February 1815, Charlotte in April 1816, Patrick Branwell in June 1817, Emily Jane in July 1818, and Anne in January 1820. In the year following Anne's birth, Mrs. Bronte died of cancer on September 15th. She...