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About the Brontës

Did you know there were 6 of them?  Most people I think have heard of either or both Charlotte and Emily.  Anne is something of a surprise if you don’t read a lot of classics.

250px-Painting_of_Brontë_sisters

The only boy, who you don’t see is, is Branwell who painted this portrait.

I really don’t know who is more famous Charlotte or Emily.  Certainly Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are both stupidly successful.  I mean, its been 166 years since Wuthering Heights was published.  There have been who knows how many film adaptations.  Ditto for Jane Eyre.  Speaking of…have you seen the one with these two actors?

jane

It’s one of my favorite literature adaptations EVER.  EVER.

I’m not kidding–ever!

And, I think, even more interesting is that at a time when female education was less valued–they weren’t going to colleges, this set of sisters wrote novels that are still in print and still read today.  They were innovative, sexy, and thoughtful reflecting–in my opinion–the thoughts and passions of a set of sisters who had to little chance to express those feelings beyond their novels.

Would Charlotte have been as successful without Emily or Emily without Charlotte–I don’t know.  As for Anne, her books were ones that were never assigned in any of my classes.  I eventually read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and I have to say 1) awesome and 2) stupidly scandalous for its day.

*****SPOILER*****

Did you know it has a wife who leaves her husband and then falls in love with someone else?

True story.

Well, it’s not a true story in that those people in the novel really lived, but that really is the plot.  lol

Back to the other two Brontës.  The ones who didn’t write novels or paint pictures.  Have you read Jane Eyre?  Little Jane goes to school, makes 1 solitary friend, who dies in an illness that sweeps the school?  Maybe she wouldn’t have died if the food were better or if they had warm beds.  Well that’s how Charlotte’s sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died.

After that, the other children were then educated by their dad at home.  They wrote fiction at home for fun and sound, generally, awesome.  In my head, they’re the British version of the girls in Little Women.  Except they weren’t made up.  It’s not surprising, then, that three of them published novels later.

Branwell was the only boy.  He fell in love with a married lady who, when later widowed, wouldn’t marry him and–consequently–he became addicted to opiates and alcohol.  After this, poor Branwell got the tuberculosis which his drug and alcohol using masked until it was too late.  He died.

The tragedies continue to Emily who becomes ill, goes home, has no friends outside her family, wanders the moors, catches the tuberculosis, refuses to see a doctor, and dies at 30–her last words being, “If you will send for a doctor, I will see him now.”

As if that weren’t enough for the family, Anne, super sad about Emily dying, also caught the tuberculosis.  She, took the medicine, but she still died about a year later at the age of 29.

Charlotte, the last of the Brontës, marries her dad’s curate who had long been in love with her.  She got knocked up, got sick, and died soon after–still preggers.

Isn’t that sad?

The tone of this blog was too often joke-ish.  But honestly, its tragic that so much loss happened to this family.  I think I would have liked them so much–their books make you want to know them like Holden Caulfield talks about in Cather in the Rye.  They’re authors I wish I could call up and just talk to them.

~Amanda

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