Wuthering Heights was published 1847, the only novel written by Emily Bronte. It was published under the 'pen name' of Ellis Bell. Her life had been largely confined to the village of Haworth, Yorkshire, where her father was a local vicar. Mrs. Bronte died when the children were quite young and were reared by maiden aunts and housekeepers. Very little formal education was experienced by the Brontes until they decided on careers. All three sisters became published writers. Charlotte; "Jane Eyre", Anne; "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and Emily; "Wuthering Heights". The novel was written between 1845 and 1847 and its first edition succeeded in selling only 7 copies. The death of Emily in 1949 prompted Charlotte to write a preface to the second edition, published in 1951. As Charlotte was a well known author in this height, the book gained popularity and by the 20th century, the love story of Heathcliff and Catherine became a classic of literature. The novel was influenced by the two styles of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The late 18th century was dominated by the Gothic novel, in which the supernatural played the role. This reached its highest point with the publication of "Dracula" by Brahm Stoker. This also influenced Mary Shelly to write "Frankenstein". The early 19th century was dominated by the novels of Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austin. These novelists were influenced by the romantic movement of Wordsworth and Colderidge. Both of these influences are seen in "Wuthering Heights", where the house itself and its inhabitants, the servants and the dogs are typical of the Gothic novel, where Thrushcross Grange by contrast is more typical of the world of Jane Austin. Therefore Wuthering Heights can be interpreted as a compendium as both the Gothic and romantic novels of the periods immediately proceeding 1847. Emily Bronte herself was the youngest of six children. Her father was born Patrick Prunty on the 17 March 1777 in Co. Down. He was ambitious and won a place at Cambridge, a magnificent achievement for the son of a story-teller. He changed the spelling of his name to Bronte in about 1799, after Nelson was created Duke of Bronte. When he left Cambridge he became a Church of England clergyman and he married Marie Branwell in 1812. She was from Penzance in Cornwall, they had 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy, Branwell. In 1820, the family moved to Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire, which was located on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, the family lived there until he died in 1861. In 1821, tragedy struck the family with the death of Marie, and the task of raising the family was then taken on by the mother's sister. Her personality is reproduced in the character of Joseph in Wuthering Heights. In 1824, 4 of the girls were sent to Cowanbridge Boarding School, to begin their education, within a month 2 were dead due to the inhumane regime. The others, Emily and Charlotte, returned home to be educated by their father. He had inherited his fathers story-telling talents and he entertained his children in the Parsonage. In 1826, Branwell received a present of a box of toy soldiers, the children gave each soldier a name, invented a land where these characters would live, called Angria, while Emily and Anne in turn invented another place called, Gondal, a practice then began of the children writing chronicles of their own fabled country. In 1835, Emily was again sent to the school of RoeHead, where Charlotte was a teacher, however she returned home after 3 months. In 1837, she spent 6 months as a teacher in Halifax. Charlotte was of the opinion that the sisters should open their own school, so in 1842, they went to Brussels to approve their proficiencies in European languages, however they soon had to return home for the funeral of their aunt and Emily never left Haworth again. Charlotte then published a collection of their poems which sold only two copies. The sisters then each decided to write a novel, Emily's Wuthering Heights seemed to be both a commercial and literature failure when it was published in 1847. Meanwhile , their brother Branwell died in September 1848 and while attending his funeral, Emily caught a chill and it developed into consumption, she refused all medical aid and died on 19 December 1848. In 1850, Charlotte published a second edition of Wuthering Heights to which she had written a preface, on this occasion it met with both critical and commercial success, and by the end of the century it was regarded as one of the greatest novels ever written.

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