Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of
‘She should have been a man - a great navigator. Her powerful reason would have deduced
new spheres of discovery from the knowledge of the old; and her strong, imperious
will would never have been daunted by opposition or difficulty; never have given
way but with life.’
Monsieur Heger - who taught Emily at
the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels
‘I am afraid my recollections of Emily Brontë will not aid you much. I simply disliked
her from the first . . . She taught my three youngest sisters music for four months
to my annoyance, as she would only take them in their play hours, so as not to curtail
her own school hours, naturally causing many tears to small children, the eldest
ten, the youngest not seven.’
Laetitia Wheelwright - a friend of Charlotte’s
Emily Brontë 1818-1848
‘I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my
ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered
the colour of my mind.’
by her brother
Patrick Branwell Brontë
(National Portrait Gallery)
‘Her hair which was naturally as beautiful as Charlotte’s was in the same unbecoming
tight curl and frizz, and there was the same want of complexion. She had very beautiful
eyes, kindly, kindling, liquid eyes, sometimes they looked grey, sometimes dark blue
but she did not often look at you, she was too reserved. She talked very little.’
Ellen Nussey - Charlotte’s friend
(describing Emily at the age of 15 years)
‘I let Anne go to God, and felt he had a right to her. I could hardly let Emily go
- I wanted to hold her back then - and I want her back hourly now.’
'My sister Emily first declined. The details of her illness are deep-branded in my
memory, but to dwell on them, either in thought or narrative, is not in my power.
Never in all her life had she lingered over any task that lay before her, and she
did not linger now. She sank rapidly. She made haste to leave us. Yet, while physically
she perished, mentally, she grew stronger than we had yet known her. Day by day,
when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with an anguish of
wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but indeed, I have never seen her parallel
in anything. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone.'
'In Emily's nature the extremes of vigour and simplicity seemed to meet. Under an
unsophisticated culture, inartificial tastes, and an unpretending outside, lay a
secret power and fire that might have informed the brain and kindled the veins of
a hero . . . Her will was not very flexible . . . Her temper was magnanimous, but
warm and sudden; her spirit altogether unbending.'
Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell - 1850 Edition of Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights - published December 1847
'There is not in the entire dramatis personae a single character which is not utterly
hateful or thoroughly contemptible.'
Review in the Atlas - January 1848
'Fascinated by strange music we read what we dislike, we become interested in characters
which are most revolting to our feelings, and are made subject to the immense power
of the book . . . We are spell-bound, we cannot choose but read.'
Review in the Literary World - April 1848
'Wuthering Heights is a strange sort of book - baffling all regular criticism; yet,
it is impossible to begin and not finish it; and quite as impossible to lay it aside
afterwards and say nothing about it . . . We strongly recommend all our readers who
love novelty to get this story, for we can promise them that they never have read
anything like it before.'
Review in Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper - January 1848
The Brontës of Howarth - Brontë Sisters and Their Works - Novels by the Brontë Sisters Chronological information of publication dates of the Brontë sisters' works. With quotations from the Brontë family.