Yoon Joung Lee
An English novelist and poet, Emily Bronte, was born in 1818 in Yorkshire, England to an Anglican minister as the fifth child of the six children. Her mother passed away from cancer when she was only three years old. In 1825, the Clergy Daughters’ School where her three older sisters attended was swept by a typhoid epidemic and Emily lost two of her sisters- Maria and Elizabeth to the illness as well as tuberculosis.
After her two sisters’ deaths, her father and aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, educated the four Bronte siblings at home very strictly. Even though they didn’t have a formally ranked education or many social engagements with society, they met the world and society through access to various books and magazines. When she turned seventeen in 1835, Emily tried to attend a regular school, Roe Head girl’s school, where her sister, Charlotte was a teacher for three months, but she returned back to home in Haworth due to homesickness.
In 1942, Emily and her sister Charlotte attended at the Pensionnat Heger in Belgium together to learn French, German and Music. There, nine of her French essays are still famous and the president of this academy, Constantin Heger, was also very impressed by her writings. Although the sisters enjoyed their studies and learned a lot from there,
they had to come back to Haworth 9 months later due to the death of their aunt. The sisters wanted to establish their own school in Haworth one day. To gain experience, Emily became a teacher but she couldn’t do it long due to the extremely long hours of work. After she came back to her home, she focused on domestic chores especially taking care of her father and brother.
In 1846, Emily and her two sisters published a collection of poems. They chose masculine names to avoid the prejudgment of female poets. In 1847, Emily published her well-known novel, Wuthering Heights, containing a powerful story of love, sorrow and death. The novel became a classic of English literature.
With a severe alcohol problem and drug addictions, her brother died in 1948. Emily’s health got dramatically weakened after her brother’s funeral due to the harsh local climate. She also died three months after her brother’s death.