The Brontë sisters (pronEng|ˈbrɒnte), Charlotte (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855), Emily (30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) and Anne (17 January 1820 – 28 May 1849), were English writers of the 1840s and 1850s. Their novels caused a sensation when they were first published and were subsequently accepted into the canon of great English literature.

Origin of name

The Brontë family can be traced to the Irish clan "mac Aedh Ó Proinntigh", which literally means 'son of Aedh, grandson of Proinnteach'."Aedh" is a male name derived from "Aodh", meaning "fire". [ [ Behind the Names] ] "Proinnteach" ("the bestower") originated as a byname for a generous person. Literally meaning "banquet hall", the word is composed of the Gaelic "proinn" ("banquet") (a cognate of the Latin "prandium" ["meal"] ) and "teach" ("house", "hall"). [ [ Dictionary of American Family Names] , Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4]

"Ó Proinntigh" was earlier anglicised as "Prunty" and sometimes "Brunty". At some point, the father of the sisters, Patrick Brontë (born Brunty), conceived of the alternate spelling with the dieresis over the terminal "e" to indicate that the name is of two syllables. It is not known for certain what motivated him to do so, and multiple theories exist to account for the change. He may have wished to hide his humble origins. As a man of letters, he would have been familiar with classical Greek and chosen the name after the cyclop Brontes (literally 'thunder').

Unrelated Bronte families are found in Sicily. The name indicates their origin from the town of Bronte.cite news|url=|publisher=Sicilian Surnames|title=Bronte|date=24 October 2007] In 1799 King Ferdinand of Naples bestowed the honour of "Duke of Bronte" to Lord Nelson for fighting off the French Navy. Patrick may have taken the name in honour of Lord Nelson

Three sisters emerge

The sisters grew up in Haworth, near Keighley in West Yorkshire (the region has come to be known as Brontë Country), surviving their mother and two elder sisters into adulthood. In 1824 the four eldest Brontë daughters were enrolled as pupils at the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge. The following year Maria and Elizabeth, the two eldest daughters, became ill, left the school and died; Charlotte and Emily were brought home.

They had written compulsively from early childhood and were first published, at their own expense, in 1846 as poets under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The book attracted little attention, selling only two copies. The sisters returned to prose, producing a novel each in the following year. Charlotte's "Jane Eyre", Emily's "Wuthering Heights" and Anne's "Agnes Grey" were released in 1847 after their long search to secure publishers.

The novels attracted great critical attention and steadily became best-sellers, but the sisters' careers were shortened by ill-health. Emily died the following year before she could complete another novel, and Anne published her second novel, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall", in 1848, a year before her death. Upon publication "Jane Eyre" received the most critical and commercial success of all the Brontë works, continuing to this day. Charlotte's "Shirley" appeared in 1849 and was followed by "Villette" in 1853. Her first novel, "The Professor", was published posthumously in 1857; her uncompleted fragment, "Emma", was published in 1860; and some of her juvenile writings remained unpublished until the late twentieth century. Charlotte died at the age of 38 in 1855 after a short illness, possibly related to her pregnancy. She had married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, less than a year earlier.

The first biography of Charlotte was written by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell and published in 1857. It helped create the myth of a doomed family living in romantic solitude.


Various twentieth-century choreographic works have been based on the lives and interrelationships of the Brontë sisters, notably among them Martha Graham's "Deaths and Entrances" (1943), titled after the Dylan Thomas poem, as well as Gillian Lynne's "The Brontës" (1995).


Further reading

* Alexander, Christine and Sellars, J. (1995) "The art of the Brontës", Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-43248-0
* Barker, Juliet (1995) "The Brontës", London : Phoenix Press, ISBN 1-84212-587-7

External links

* [ Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth]
* [ Brontë Parsonage Blog]
* [ The Brontës]

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  • Bronte — or Brontë is a common Christian name and surname.;People: *Brontë literary family: ** Charlotte Brontë ** Emily Brontë ** Anne Brontë ** Patrick Brontë ** Patrick Branwell Brontë * Bronte, term for the Duke of Bronte, Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount …   Wikipedia

  • Bronte — bzw. Brontë steht für: Geschwister Brontë, eine Schriftstellerfamilie aus dem 19. Jahrhundert Bronte (Sizilien), ein Ort in der italienischen Provinz Catania auf Sizilien Bronte (Texas), eine Stadt in Texas, USA Bronte (Sydney), ein Stadtteil von …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brontë — puede referirse a Las hermanas Brontë, novelistas británicas del siglo XIX (w:en) Emily Brontë Charlotte Brontë Anne Brontë Brontë (cráter), en el planeta Mercurio, en honor a las hermanas Brontë Véase también Bronte …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bronte — Administration Pays  Italie Région …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bronte — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bronte Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Brontë —   [ brɔnti], englische Schriftstellerinnen (Schwestern):    1) Anne, Pseudonym Acton Bẹll, * Thornton (ehemaliger County Yorkshire) 17. 1. 1820, ✝ Scarborough 28. 5. 1849; künstlerisch schwächste der drei Schwestern; trug zu deren gemeinsamer… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Bronte — Bronte, TX U.S. town in Texas Population (2000): 1076 Housing Units (2000): 502 Land area (2000): 1.438579 sq. miles (3.725902 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.438579 sq. miles (3.725902 sq. km) …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bronte, TX — U.S. town in Texas Population (2000): 1076 Housing Units (2000): 502 Land area (2000): 1.438579 sq. miles (3.725902 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.438579 sq. miles (3.725902 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bronté — Bronté, 1) Charlotte, pseudonym Currer Bell, Tochter des Pfarrers Patrik B., geb. 21. April 1816 in Thornton, erhielt einen Theil ihrer Schulbildung (1824 u. 1825) in Cowans Bridge, einer Erziehungsanstalt für Pfarrerstöchter unweit Leeds in… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Brontë — (izg. brȍnte) DEFINICIJA sestre, engleske književnice 1. Anne (1820 1848), pisala pjesme i romane (Stanarka napuštenog zamka) 2. Charlotte (1816 1855), najpoznatija po romanu Jane Eyre 3. Jane (1818 1849), napisala samo jedan roman (Orkanski… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Bronte — Bronte, Stadt in der sicilischen Intendantschaft Catania; Seminar, Tuch u. Papierfabriken; litt 1832 sehr durch Erdbeben; 8800 Ew. B. erhielt Nelson als Herzogthum zur Dotation …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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