The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë

The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë

The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë

The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë

Synopsis

The renowned Hatfield edition includes verse from an early, pseudonymous volume entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after Bront¿'s death in 1848.

Excerpt

In the Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell, printed in the 1850 edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey, Charlotte Brontë says:

About five years ago, my two sisters and myself, after a somewhat prolonged period of separation, found ourselves re-united and at home. Resident in a remote district, where education had made little progress, and where, consequently, there was no inducement to seek social intercourse beyond our own domestic circle, we were wholly dependent on ourselves and each other, on books and study, for the enjoyments and occupations of life. The highest stimulus, as well as the liveliest pleasures we had known from childhood upwards, lay in attempts at literary composition; formerly we used to show each other what we wrote, but of late years this habit of communication and consultation had been discontinued; hence it ensued, that we were mutually ignorant of the progress we might respectively have made.

One day, in the autumn of 1845, I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting. Of course, I was not surprised, knowing that she could and did write verse: I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me -- a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar music -- wild, melancholy and elevating.

My sister Emily was not a person of demonstrative character, nor one on the recesses of whose mind and feelings even those nearest and dearest to her could, with impunity, intrude unlicensed; it took hours to reconcile her to the discovery I had made, and days to persuade her that such poems merited publication. I knew, however, that a mind like hers could not be without some latent spark of honourable ambition, and refused to be discouraged in my attempts to fan that spark to flame.... We agreed to arrange a small selection of our poems. ... We veiled our names under those of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell . . .

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