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Sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë lived more than a century ago, but their words have thrived through generations. Their beloved novels are still widely cherished today, and odds are you’ve read at least one of the their works. Perhaps you’re even a self-proclaimed “Charlottan” — a super fan of Charlotte and her younger siblings. If you’re not quite there, though, we’ve got four reasons to adore these literary ladies!
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1. Their novels, including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, introduced us to the mysterious, moody moors of Yorkshire, England. The sisters, having grown up surrounded by these natural environs, painted dramatic scenes among the moors that make us shiver with delight.
2. Before there was the brooding Edward Cullen, there was Charlotte’s Edward Rochester and Emily’s Heathcliff. Whether or not the bad boys appeal to you, their passion is deliciously tangible. The Brontë women conjured intense and memorable, although sometimes tragic, love stories. Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights said it best. “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
3. While in reality they often preferred quiet lives, these gals let their creativity run wild on the page. We love that they had the courage to give their talents free reign. Even as children, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell crafted vibrant stories in tiny manuscripts to entertain themselves. And when they reached adulthood, the sisters realized the socially acceptable employment options available to them at the time — teaching and governessing — were not going to lead to fulfillment. Instead, they braved rejection and were rewarded with becoming published authors by age 30 and younger.
4. Strong women begat strong female protagonists. Sure, the Brontë brood initially assumed male pen names — Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell — in order to stand a better chance of getting published in Victorian England. But their striking and passionate texts predominantly feature females at the helm. Their stories embraced once-taboo topics like alcoholism and women’s rights. Jane Eyre’s unwavering self-reliance, Catherine Earnshaw’s dalliance with her passionate nature, and the fact that Bell was eventually outed as Brontë certainly made strides for women writers.
+ Do you have a favorite Brontë novel? Sound off in the comments!