Brontë Family

   : Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848), Anne (1820-1849)
   The Brontë sisters and their brother, Branwell, were born to Patrick Brontë, the Irish-born rector of Haworth in Yorkshire. The girls have all become household names for their contribution to English literature, through novels as well as poetry. Sadly, Branwell's life ended in heartache, addicted to alcohol and opium and having had an affair with his employer's wife. When their mother died in 1821, Charlotte and Emily were sent to join their elder sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, at the Cowan Bridge School in Lancashire for the daughters of clergy. The fees were low, the food unattractive, and the discipline harsh. It was upon this bleak school that Charlotte based "Lowood" in her novel Jane Eyre. Charlotte and Emily were brought home after their sisters died, and at Haworth the girls, encouraged by Branwell, developed the imaginary kingdoms of Angria and Gondal. All three girls took a succession of unsatisfactory jobs as governesses or teachers and dreamed of opening a school together, which their aunt had agreed to finance. Prospectuses were issued, but no pupils were attracted to distant Haworth. Charlotte married her father's curate in 1854 in Haworth church. The sisters' first venture into poetry, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Action Bell (to which Anne contributed 21 poems) was not a success (Currer, Ellis and Action Bell are pseudonyms). The venture cost the sisters about Ј50 and only two copies were sold. Charlotte was the first in print with Jane Eyre (1847). It was followed by Emily's Wuthering Heights (1847), Anne's Agnes Grey (1847), and Anne's Tenant of Wildfall Hall (1848). Extreme interest forced the sisters into revealing their identities. Although the sisters are famous for their novels, they were all substantial poets. Some of Anne's poems: "A Reminiscence," "He Doeth All Things Well," "The Arbour," "The Captive Dove," "The Doubter's Prayer." Some of Charlotte's poems: "Home-Sickness," "Master and Pupil," "On the Death of Anne Brontë," "On the Death of Emily Jane Brontë," "The Fairies' Farewell." Some of Emily's poems: "A Day Dream," "A Little While, a Little While," "And When Thy Heart is Resting," "Harp of Wild and Dream Like Strain," "How Still, How Happy! Those Are Words," "Ladybird! Ladybird!" "Dream, Where Art Thou Now?" "The Evening Sun," "The Evening Sun was Sinking Down," "The Prisoner," "The Two Children," "When Days of Beauty Deck the Earth."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author. html). Everyman's Book of Victorian Verse. J.R. Watson, ed. J.M. Dent, 1982. Encyclopedia of Britain. Bamber Gascoigne. London, Macmillan, 1994. Gladly Learn and Gladly Teach: Poems of the School Experience. Helen Plotz, ed. Greenwillow Books, 1981. Selected Poems of Bronte Sisters (www.web-books.com/Classics/Poetry/Anthology/ Bronte). The Brontes (www.bronte-country.com/brontes. html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse. Christopher Ricks, ed. Oxford University Press, 1987. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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