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Five Facts About Your Favorite Brontë Sisters

April 3, 2018

The Brontë family is one of the most loved families in classic literature. Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's Agnes Grey are novels that are still some of the most popular classic novels today. Here are five fun facts about the sisters and their family.

1. The Bell Brothers

The sisters all adopted male pseudonyms in fear that their work would not be taken seriously if written by female authors. Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell, and Emily became Ellis Bell.

2. Poetry Flop

The sisters published their first volume of poems in 1846 at the ages of 26, 28, and 30 years old. This first volume sold only two copies.

3. Novel Success

Instead of being discouraged after the first volume flopped, the women were inspired to write novels. Wuthering HeightsJane Eyre, and Agnes Grey were published soon after.

4. Luck o' the Irish

The authors' father, Patrick, was born into a poor, basically illiterate, Irish family. He set a different precedent for his own family by attending St. John's College, Cambridge. Shortly after, he changed his extremely Irish name from Brunty to the name you know today, Brontë.

5. Tuberculosis is a Family Affair

Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell all died of tuberculosis within a year of one another in 1848 and 1849. Experts believe that Charlotte continued writing for a few years until the same disease took her life in 1855.