If the answer to the question in the headline is “no” or “just a little”, here you have a good chance to know several interesting biographical details about these novelist sisters. The author of this entry is your Philosophy teacher: Mr Isidoro Laso. Enjoy the reading and try to read some novels written by the Brontë sisters!!
When I was given the assignment of writing an entry for the blog I was mulling over for a while about what subject I’d like to write. Finally I found a sort of thread around which I could express my admiration and appreciation; and as it happens I look up to those women that in the course of the History have stood out for achieving hard goals in their lives, very often going through hardship or having trouble trying to fulfill their fates.
Therefore, I’m going to start writing about the Brontë sisters: Mary, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Mary and Elizabeth died very early, and the other three sisters were the ones who became writers.
They were the daughters of a vicar and lived in the area of Yorkshire, in the north of England. They became orphans very soon because their mother died (it was very frequent in that time) giving birth. Their father, Patrick Brontë, was a strict and demanding father that focused his attention in his only son, Branwell, in who he invested the little money he had. Nevertheless he didn’t ignore his daughters. He encouraged them to read and discussed with them the current news; besides, he saw it was appropriate for them to write.
All the sisters with the exception of Anne, were sent to Cowan Bridge school, almost a charity school because it was so cheap. The four sisters lived in terrible conditions. A teacher called Miss Andrews get obsessed with Mary and scolded and punished her all the time, even when she was ill. She was likely a sadistic person.
Seven out of fifty three students who there were in school died because of illnesses. Among them were Mary and Elizabeth, who finally died as a result of tuberculosis. That’s why Patrick withdrew Emily and Charlotte from that terrible school and from then on they stayed in their father’s house. This school was recreated by Charlotte in her novel Jane Eyre, named as Lowood in it, a terrible school as Cowan Bridge was.
The Brontë lived almost isolated, in their own daydreams, making up stories and writing them. The vicarage was outskirts of the town, the last house in the last town before a really extended wasteland. There Emily ended up writing her only novel, Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature. Emily never fell in love, closed on herself ; she was likely anorexic. It seems that Charlotte was near the edge of anorexia too, maybe during all her life. They were not specially pretty, intelligent, cultivated, proud and poor. At that time it was impossible for women go to University and their only chance, apart from marriage, was become governess or teachers, both jobs being poorly paid and humiliating.
Charlotte sent some poems to Southey, a famous poet, asking his opinion about them, and he answered to her that the poems were really good but also told her that literature can not be an objective in a woman life. Instead of giving in her a goal, she wrote Jane Eyre, a great novel that would be a classic of English literature, as Emily’s novel. Anne also will wrote, but not at the same high level than her sisters’s. Jane Eyre was a great success, as well as Wuthering Heights, but critics considered both novels as “rude, brutal and hatred”. Charlotte finally confessed to her father after publishing the novel that she was Currer Bell, a male name that he had used as a pseudonymous.
But the miserable fate of this family would get back again in the shape of Emily’s death in 1848, at thirty. And Anne would follow her in 1849, at twenty nine. Their brother Branwell had died some months before the two sisters. Charlotte left alone and desperate. She admitted to be the author of Jane Eyre and wrote another two novels. She would get married with her father’s assistant, another vicar who loved her passionately but for a brief period of time. Only some months after the wedding in 1855 she died. She was pregnant and everybody thought that her vomiting were caused for this reason, but It’s probably them (and her death) were produced by typhus.
None of the sisters hardly ever got the chance from their poor house and the empty wasteland, but they got dared to think, trespassing limits and social conventions, and conquered bright territories only stepped by men. They wrote powerful and immortal words.