Home » Emily Bronte Biography. Writer of Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte Biography. Writer of Wuthering Heights

Biography of Emily Bronte would start and end with her famous novel Wuthering Heights.

For those interested in personal life, Emily was born on 30 July 1818 to Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte in Thornton, near Bradford in Yorkshire. She was the fifth of six children and the younger sister of Charlotte Bronte and Patrick Branwell, her only brother and elder sister of Anne Bronte. Emily’s father was a perpetual curate in Haworth where the family moved, in 1824, and it was here that their literary gifts flourished. All the four siblings became writers.

Emily Bronte’ schooling was short

After the death of their mother, the older sisters Maria, Elizabeth and Charlotte were sent to the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge. Emily joined the school for a brief period. When a typhus epidemic hit the school, Maria and Elizabeth caught it. Maria died immediately. Elizabeth and Charlotte were subsequently removed from the school along with Emily. Elizabeth died soon after their return home.

emily bronte writer during victorian era
Emily Bronte was one of the famous Bronte sisters

The three sisters and their brother Patrick Branwell were then educated at home by their father and their mother’s Spinster sister Elizabeth Branwell.

In their leisure time, the children created, wrote and enacted about the imaginary adventures of their toy soldiers. Charlotte and Patrick Branwell created stories of an imaginary kingdom of Angria to entertain their younger sisters. When Emily was 13, she and Anne withdrew from participation in the Angria story and began a new one about Gondal, a large island in the North Pacific.

At seventeen, Emily attended the Roe Head girls’ school, where Charlotte was a teacher, before being overcome by extreme homesickness. She returned home within three months and Anne took her place. Beginning in September 1838, by the time she was 20, Emily became a teacher at Law Hill School in Halifax.

She returned home in April 1839 after her health broke under the stress of the 17-hour work day and became the stay-at-home daughter. She taught herself German out of books and practiced piano. In 1842, Emily accompanied Charlotte to Brussels, Belgium, where they attended a girls’ academy run by Constantin Heger. The sisters returned home upon the death of their aunt. They did try to open a school at their home but were unable to attract students to the remote area.

Emily Bronte’s Poems

In 1844, Emily began going through all the poems she had written, recopying them neatly into two notebooks. In the fall of 1845, Charlotte discovered the notebooks and insisted that the poems be published. Emily, furious at the invasion of her privacy, at first refused but relented when Anne brought out her own manuscripts and revealed she had been writing poems in secret as well. In 1846, the sisters’ poems were published in one volume as Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. You can read these poems at the digital library. Here is my suggested selection of poems Emily Bronte, Charlotte and Anne.


How clear she shines

A Word to the Elect

For offline reading, you can check out the poems PDF. If you are interested in just getting a glimpse of a short poem, here is

Love And Friendship – Poem by Emily Jane Brontë

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree —
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most contantly?
The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who wil call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green

The Bronte sisters had adopted pseudonyms for publication: Charlotte was Currer Bell, Emily was Ellis Bell and Anne was Acton Bell. The poetry, which was mostly Emily’s, received unfavorable reviews. It was this that drove them to begin their first professional novels.

Famous Emily Bronte Quotes

Here are some popular quotes by Emily Bronte. As you would expect, these are from her only novel, Wuthering Heights.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.

Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly-tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly?

I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.

The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him, they crush those beneath them.

I see heaven’s glories shine and faith shines equal…

Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.

A good heart will help you to a bonny face, my lad and a bad one will turn the bonniest into something worse than ugly.

Having leveled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.

A person who has not done one-half his day’s work by ten o’clock runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.

So, how many novels did Emile Bronte write? Ans: Just one

In 1847, Emily published her only novel, Wuthering Heights, as two volumes of a three-volume set (the last volume being Agnes Grey by Anne). When it first came out the book received mixed reviews and was often condemned for its portrayal of amoral passion. It subsequently became an English literary classic. In 1850, Charlotte edited and published Wuthering Heights as a stand-alone novel and under Emily’s real name.

By then Emily’s health had been weakened by unsanitary conditions at home. She caught a cold during the funeral of her brother in September 1848. She soon grew very ill, but rejected medical help and refused all the remedies. She died on 19 December 1848, merely 3 months after her brother’s death.

Also see: Famous Female Writers Of Victorian Era