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Emily Bronte was born in Thornton on July 30, 1818 and later moved with her family to Haworth, an isolated village on the moors. Her mother, Maria Branwell, died when she was only three years old, leaving Emily and her five siblings, Maria, Elizabeth, and Charlotte, Anne, and Branwell to the care of the dead woman’s sister. Emily, Maria, Elizabeth, and Charlotte were sent to Cowan, a boarding school, in 1824. The next year while at school Maria and Elizabeth came home to die of tuberculosis, and the other two sisters were also sent home. Both spent the next six years at home, where they picked up what education they could.
In 1835, Charlotte became a teacher at the school at Roe Head and Emily joined her as a student. After three months Charlotte sent her home again, afraid that Emily was extremely homesick from her beloved moors. For a short time in 1837 Emily moved to Halifax in order to teach at the Law Hill School. She returned to Haworth when her health again began to fail. After this agonizing experience, Emily remained at home for five years. During this period, she wrote poetry and short stories to fill her time. In 1842,
she attended school in Brussels with her sister Charlotte. There they studied music and foreign language. Emily also wrote her French essays at this time. Charlotte and Emily were described as “literary geniuses.';
All the family was reunited at home, in 1845. In the course of time, the Brontes gave up hope for a school of their own. Branwell, working on a novel, told his sisters of the profitable possibilities of novel writing. In the autumn of 1845 Charlotte discovered Emily’s poems and convinced her sister to collaborate on a volume of poems. One year later, the volume was titled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Action Bell and was published. The first venture into publishing was a failure. By July, Wuthering Heights was finished, along with Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. All three
were seeking a publisher and finally had their novels published in late 1847. Initially, the results of Wuthering Heights were poor, selling few copies.
In 1848, Branwell died. Emily left home for the last time to attend his funeral service, and caught a severe cold which developed into inflammation of the lungs.
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