Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë


Today is Emily Brontë's birthday. Born in Thorton, Yorkshire, England, in 1818, she is the author of the literary classic, Wuthering Heights.


For some reason, I always imagine the Brontë sisters sitting in their drawing room, gazing out at the Moors for inspiration, then sharing their work, discussing plot lines and ironing out tough scenes. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. But it must have been an intense atmosphere, all of those creative siblings under one roof. Patrick Branwell Brontë, their brother, was an artist and also a poet who painted this famous portrait of his three sisters.


When it comes to the Brontës, readers seem to fall into two camps — Team Jane Eyre or Team Wuthering Heights — so I decided to check out Amazon's ratings. Wuthering Heights has 3.8 out of 5 stars, while Jane Eyre has 4.4 out of 5 stars.

That seems to echo a short documentary I saw recently, that said Jane Eyre was very well-received, while most of the critics did not like Wuthering Heights at first. It was only later on that the novel gained its momentum.

Poor Emily.

Yet, although penning only one novel and contributing to a small volume of poems, she is regarded one of the greatest authors in the English-speaking world. Figures it would happen after her death, right?

Sorry to say, although I think Wuthering Heights is a solid piece of work, I much prefer Charlotte's Jane Eyre.

How about you?

4 comments:

Kelly Hashway said...

I prefer Jane Eyre too. And the fact that my long-term sub who taught it was really crazy proves that it was good. I liked it despite his off the wall behavior. LOL

Author Leanne Dyck said...

I like both. Although I devoured them in different forms. Wuthering Heights by audio book and Jane Eyre by novel. Jane Eyre always seemed to me to be so harsh in its treatment of the mentally challenged. And, as I'm disabled, this always stuck in my craw. But I guess it simply reflects the times.
Thank you for this interesting post.

angel011 said...

I have to admit I haven't read Wuthering Heights yet. I enjoyed Jane Eyre.

Helen W. Mallon said...

I love both of these books.

When I was a child, I loved another Bronte-ish book called "Return of the Twelves" about a boy who discovers toy soldiers hidden beneath some floorboards...the soldiers, who come to life, were originally owned by the Bronte children.