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Despite the restrictions of her time, Emily Brontë managed to publish her only novel, the classic Wuthering Heights under the pen name Ellis Bell - allowing her to stay in our hearts and minds for the past 170 years as we celebrate the bi-centenary of Emily's birth.
On the 30th July, we celebrate the 200th Birthday Emily Brontë. The work of the famous Yorkshire author has inspired creativity over the past two centuries; from Sylvia Plath to Kate Bush.
The wild Yorkshire moors are famous the world over thanks to the tale of Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights - a twisted love story that has inspired song (see previous Kate Bush reference), films and spin-offs, such as Michael Stewart's Ill Will - the tale how Heathcliff found his fortune. Michael Stewart's book was reviewed by our Editorial Expert Liz Robinson, who found the book a 'provocative, disturbing, striking read, yet also strangely beautiful' and our reader review panel.
I fell in love with the Brontë sisters ten years ago, when I was in high school and Wuthering Heights quickly became one of my favourite novels. Apart from the fantastic descriptions (having been brought up in Yorkshire I can confirm that the moors can be as cold and bleak as described), larger than life characters and gripping plot, I was fascinated by the path the sisters took to have their work published (under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell in the case of Emily). The Brontës were privileged in a way, as they had the freedom to write and publish, even if under assumed male names and the Women's suffrage movement has been a focus of study for me ever since.
It's amazing that Emily Brontë's work is still popular and influencial today, and hopefully it will still be as popular in another 200 years.
Happy Birthday Emily!