Emily Bronte was born July 30, 1818, in the village of Thornton in Northern England. She was the fifth of six Bronte children, including Charlotte and Anne Bronte. The family moved to Haworth in 1820. A year later, Emily's mother died of cancer, and the three eldest girls were sent to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge. At the age of six, Emily joined her sisters there for a short time, but when a typhoid epidemic swept through the school, their father brought all four girls home. Maria and Elizabeth Bronte, the two eldest sisters, died a few days after.
The children were educated at home by their father and aunt. In their spare time, they created a fantasy world called Angria, inspired by a box of toy soldiers their brother Branwell had received as a gift. They wrote stories about this fantasy world and enacted the adventures with the toy soldiers. At the age of thirteen, Emily and Anne withdrew from the Angria story and created a world of their own called Gondal, which would occupy them throughout their lives.
In 1846, Charlotte, Anne, and Emily published a book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. This was a collection of poems by the three sisters, published under pseudonyms because of the prejudice against female writers during that time. Their book had little success, and the girls turned to writing novels instead.
Emily published her only novel Wuthering Heights in 1847 under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell. It was met with mixed reviews. Many believed it was a novel that could have only been written by a man because of the firey violence and passion contained within the story. Emily's name was not associated with it until 1850. Despite the mized reviews, however, the novel quickly became a literary classic. It is widely regarded as one of the most fiercely original books in the English language.
Emily Bronte died shortly after her brother did, in 1848, of tuberculosis. She never found out how famous her book would become, as she died only a year after its publication.
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