The Poems of Emily Brontë

The Poems of Emily Brontë

The Poems of Emily Brontë

The Poems of Emily Brontë


Emily Bront"e's achievement as a poet has been eclipsed by her masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. The Poems of Emily Bront"e is the first edition to appear with full scholarly apparatus, and to preserve the writer's original (sometimes unorthodox) presentation and revisions. With no manuscript of Wuthering Heights extant, this edition of her sometimes undervalued poetry gives the reader the rare chance of seeing the writer's creative mind at work. Recreating the literary context of the poems, this edition also takes into account recent critical insights. The enlightening introduction and commentary place the poems in their literary context, and a large number of echoes and parallels from Scott, Byron, Moore, and other authors are identified.


This edition owes a great deal to the work of Dr Edward Chitham, who was originally named as co-editor. His initiative and perseverance led to the decipherment of many of the cancelled readings which are presented for the first time in this volume. His own edition of Emily Brontë's poems, presented at the University of Sheffield as a doctoral thesis, has been freely made available for consultation, and he has responded generously to many requests for advice and information. The editor thanks him warmly for this assistance, while accepting sole responsibility for all shortcomings in the present work. Help and advice have also been given by Dr Christine Alexander, Dr Juliet Barker, Dr Clive Upton, and, with endless patience, by Mrs Margaret Smith.

For permission to transcribe from Emily Brontë's manuscripts and for photographs, thanks are due to the following institutions: the British Library (Additional MS 48483, Ashley MS 175); the Brontë Society (Bonnell MS 127); the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations (manuscripts in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection); the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (MA 2615, 2696 in the Bonnell Collection); the Princeton University Library (manuscripts in the Robert H. Taylor Collection); the Rare Book and Special Collections Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign; and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin. For their friendly help the editor thanks the librarians in all these institutions, and especially the staff of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth--in past years Dr Juliet Barker and Miss Sally Johnson, and more recently Dr Jane Sellars, Ms Kathryn White, and Ms Ann Dinsdale. Finally, thanks are due to Mr William Self for permission to transcribe from record papers by Emily and Anne Brontë.

D. S. R.

July 1995 . . .

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