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Today we’re going to learn about the famous writers, the Brontë sisters.
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë
were nineteenth century English poets and novelists
whose works include Jane Eyre,
Wuthering Heights , and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
now considered classics of English literature
They were three of six children born to Patrick Brontë,
an Irish clergyman, and his wife Maria
The girls lived with their family at the parsonage in Haworth,
in Yorkshire, England.
In 1821 their mother died,
when Charlotte was 5,
Emily was 3, and Anne was only one year old.
Maria’s sister, Elizabeth Branwell,
moved in with the Brontës to help care
for the six young children
In 1824 the four oldest girls
Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Emily
玛利亚 伊丽莎白 夏洛蒂和艾米丽
were sent to school at Cowan Bridge
Conditions at the school were terrible,
and the next year, Maria Brontë, age 11
and Elizabeth, age 10, died of tuberculosis.
Charlotte and Emily were immediately pulled from the school
and returned home to Haworth,
and for the next six years
the four remaining Brontë children were educated at home.
Charlotte, Emily, Anne,
夏洛蒂 艾米丽 安妮
and their brother Branwell would write stories together
elaborate stories about imaginary countries they invented,
inspired by magazines and newspapers their father bought.
The siblings recorded these adventures in tiny books
they made from scraps of paper and bound with thread.
the girls attended another school the Roe Head School
where they each studied for a short time
But because the Brontës were poor
the girls went to work as quickly as possible.
Charlotte and Emily became teachers
as soon as they turned 19,
while Anne went to be a governess,
teaching the children of a wealthy family.
The girls did not much enjoy their jobs,
and in 1842 Charlotte and Emily traveled to Brussels to study
This did not last long, however,
for later that year
their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, died,
and the sisters returned home.
Aunt Branwell had left her nieces
enough money to pay off all their debts
and ensure that they did not need to teach anymore.
In 1846, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
1846年 夏洛蒂 艾米丽和安妮
used the money to publish a book of poems.
They published under male pen names,
pretending to be three brothers instead of three sisters,
because they felt that their writing would not be taken seriously
if anyone knew they were women
Charlotte wrote as Currer, Emily wrote as Ellis,
and Anne wrote as Acton Bell.
The book of poems did very badly,
only selling two or three copies in its first printing,
but the sisters were not discouraged.
Instead, each one wrote a novel
which was published in 1847
Charlotte’s Jane Eyre,
Emily’s Wuthering Heights,
and Anne’s Agnes Grey
The reaction to these books was incredible.
They were very popular,
selling many copies
and attracting the attention of literary critics.
In 1848 Anne published another book,
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,
which sold even better than her first book had.
This success was short-lived, however.
In September of 1848
their brother Branwell died
most likely of tuberculosis.
He had never been successful,
although he had tried many different occupations
including those of writer, teacher, and painter,
and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope,
which worsened his health
and possibly led to his death.
Three months later,
Emily Brontë also died of tuberculosis,
when she was only 30 years old.
The following spring Anne died
also of tuberculosis,
at the age of 29.
Charlotte Brontë was left alone with her father.
Despite her fame and success which only increased
when she revealed her true identity as a woman,
she felt very lonely.
In 1854 she married her father’s assistant,
Arthur Bell Nichols,
and became pregnant.
Shortly afterward she died of complications from the pregnancy
just before her 39th birthday.
Although the lives of the Brontë sisters were short,
their contributions to literature
are still considered some of the greatest
in the English language
I hope you enjoyed learning about the Brontë sisters today.
Goodbye till next time!
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