Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Currer,Ellis,

& Acton Bell

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Bronte Sisters and their works
Bronte Sisters and their works

The

Brontë

Sisters

 and their works

Anne, Emily & Charlotte

by their brother

Patrick Branwell Brontë

(National Portrait Gallery)

 

 

Portrait of Anne & Emily Bronte by their brother, Branwell Bronte - National Portrait Gallery
Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by her brother, Branwell Bronte - National Portrait Gallery

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Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell
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Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte
Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte
Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell      

Published by Aylott & Jones, Paternoster Row, London

1846

After persuading Emily that her poems should be published, Charlotte and Anne added some of their own, and the sisters had this book produced. One of the purchasers of the book, Frederick Enoch of Warwick, was so impressed that he asked the publishers for the autographs of the poets. He was sent the now famous piece of paper bearing the signatures of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.

‘. . . our book is found to be a drug, no man needs it or heeds it. In the space of a year our publisher has disposed of but two copies and by what painful efforts he succeeded in getting rid of those two - himself only knows.’

Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Jane Eyre, An Autobiography Edited by Currer Bell      

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London (October)

1847

Printed in three volumes. This edition sold out within three months and was reprinted the following January and April. For the second edition Charlotte added a preface and dedication to Thackery. Also, ‘Edited By’ was changed to just ‘By’. For the third edition she added a 'Note' refuting rumours that she was the author of other books by the Bells.

Wuthering Heights by Ellis Bell and Agnes Grey by Acton Bell

Published by Thomas Cautley Newby, Cavendish Square, London (Dec)

In three volumes - the first two comprising Wuthering Heights, and the third Agnes Grey. The publisher was supposed to produce 350 copies but only 250 were printed.

Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte
Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Acton Bell      

Published by Thomas Cautley Newby, Cavendish Square, London (June)

1848

The first edition sold out, so a second edition of this book was produced in August, just six weeks later, to which Anne added a preface. The first American edition came out in July, published by Harper and Brothers. It mistakenly says on the title page that the book is by the author of Wuthering Heights.

‘To represent a bad thing it its least offensive light is, doubtless, the most agreeable course for a writer of fiction to pursue, but is it the most honest, or the safest?’

Anne Brontë

Preface to the Second Edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell       

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London (October)

Charlotte’s publishers - Smith, Elder & Co. - purchased the unsold copies of this book from Aylott & Jones and reissued the book.

The first American edition appeared two months earlier in August, published by Lea & Blanchard, New York.

‘Tuesday night and morning saw the last hours, the last agonies, proudly endured till the end. Yesterday Emily Jane Brontë died in the arms of those who loved her.’

Charlotte Brontë

Following her brother Branwell’s death in September, Emily’s health declined and on 19th December she died from consumption.

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Shirley, A Tale by Currer Bell      

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London

1849

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

1850

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Villette by Currer Bell      

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London

1853

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Professor by Currer Bell      

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London

1857

Printed in three volumes. Charlotte had started writing this book when her sisters were alive and finished it after their deaths. She told Mrs Gaskell that the character of Shirley was based on Emily.

‘Whether it is right or advisable to create such things like Heathcliff, I do not know. I scarcely think it is.’

Charlotte Brontë

Preface to the 1850 Edition of Wuthering Heights

A new edition revised, with a Biographical Notice of the authors, a selection from their literary remains, and a Preface by Currer Bell.

‘She died without struggle - resigned - trusting in God - thankful for release from a suffering life . . .’

Charlotte Brontë

Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte

‘I do not deny that I am somewhat excentrick. Had I been numbered amongst the calm, sedate, concentric men of the world, I should not have been as I am, and I should, in all probability, never have had such children as mine have been.’

Rev. Patrick Brontë

 

Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Life of Charlotte Brontë by E. C. Gaskell       

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London

The Reverend Patrick Brontë died in 1861 in his 84th year.

Following his death Arthur Bell Nicholls returned to his native Ireland where he spent the rest of his life, dying there in 1906, aged 88.

‘. . . an oppressive sadness comes over my heart, when I reflect that my Dear Daughter is forever gone . . .’

Rev. Patrick Brontë

Charlotte’s last novel, published in three volumes.

This two volume novel was actually the first one written by Charlotte; during her lifetime Smith, Elder and Co. had declined to publish it.

Following Charlotte’s death, Patrick Brontë asked her friend Elizabeth Gaskell to undertake the task of writing an account of his daughter’s life, which was also published this year:

On 28th May, Anne also died from consumption, at Scarborough, where she is buried, the only member of the family not buried under Haworth church.

In 1854 Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate. She died the following year, on 31st March 1855, from complications relating to pregnancy.

‘. . . my opinion, and the reading world's opinion of the 'Memoir' is that it is every way worthy of what one Great Woman should have written of Another, and that it ought to stand, and will stand in the first rank of Biographies, till the end of time..’

Rev. Patrick Brontë

to Elizabeth Gaskell about

The Life of Charlotte Brontë

Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte
Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte

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Signatures of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell

Wuthering Heights by Ellis Bell and Agnes Grey by Acton Bell

Published by Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill, London

'There is a coarseness of tone throughout the writing of all these Bells, that puts an offensive subject in its worst point of view . . .'

Review in the Spectator - July 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.

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