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Referat: The Bronte Sisters

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The Brontë Sisters

1812 - Pastor Patrick Brontë marries Maria Branwell
1814 - January : Maria Brontë is born in Hightown
1815 - February : Elisabeth Brontë is born
May : the family moves to Thornton
1816 - April : Charlotte Brontë is born
1817 - June : Branwell Patrick Brontë is born
1818 - July : Emily Jane Brontë is born
1820 - January : Anne Brontë is born
April : the family moves to Haworth, they live in a rectory
1821 - their mother Maria dies of cancer, her sister Elisabeth moves to Haworth to
care for the children
1824 - Maria, Elisabeth, Charlotte and Emily go to school in Cowan Bridge. There
Maria and Elisabeth die because of the bad hygiene (“Jane Eyre”)
1826 - the children create their fantasy-world “Angria”. They write stories of
imaginary worlds in miniature books.
1831 - Charlotte goes to school in Roe Head. Emily and Anne create their fantasy-
world “Gondal”.
1842 - Charlotte and Emily go to Brussels to study languages. Charlotte falls in love
with a professor at school (“The Professor”).
1844 - their dream of opening a school can’t be realized
1846 - Charlotte, Emily and Anne publish their poems in a collection of poetry,
entitled “Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell”. The sisters begin writing
books to earn money.
1847 - “Jane Eyre”, “Wuthering Heights” and “Agnes Grey” are published
1848 - Patrick and Emily die of tuberculosis
1849 - Anne dies of tuberculosis
1854 - Charlotte marries Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls
1855 - Charlotte dies of tuberculosis and it is thought that complications in early
pregnancy hastened the process.
Their main works
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855): “Jane Eyre”, “The Professor”, “Shirley”, “Villette”,
Emily Brontë (1818-1848): “Wuthering Heights” and poems
Anne Brontë (1820-1849): “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”, “Agnes Grey”
“Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre” are counted as important books in English literature. They are set books of all English pupils.
The bad living conditions at school Cowan Bridge were model for the school Lowood in Charlottes novel “Jane Eyre”.
Anne Brontë was the youngest of the Brontë Sisters. In 1839 she became a governess. In “Agnes Grey” she describes her experiences as governess.
“Wuthering Heights” (Emily Brontë)
It is the least autobiographical af any of the sisters’ writings, depending more on imagination than on experience. It is the story of two families, the Earnshaws and the Lintons, and their relationship with Heathcliff, an orphan.
In around 1760, the farmer Earnshaw finds Heathcliff on the streets in Liverpool. He brings Heathcliff home with him to join his own family. His daughter Catherine and Heathcliff become fast friends. But her brother Hindley bullies Heathcliff when he can. Heathcliff and Cathy fall in love, but how can they get together? The old Earnshaw dies and Hindley bullies Heathcliff more and more. He leaves home and during his absence Cathy marries the prosperous and gentle Edgar Linton. But after Heathcliffs return they fall in love again.
Wuthering Heights exists on two levels, as a metaphysical novel of the destruction and re-establishment of cosmic harmony and as a realistic description of everyday live in Yorkshire in the mid-19th century.

Historical context
The sisters lived in a time where women weren’t always given a fair chance in the business world. Therefore they assumed the masculine names “Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell”, so that their books would have a better chance of being published.
In their books, the main character is usually a woman. For example Jane Eyre, the main character in Charlotte’s novel “Jane Eyre” and Agnes Grey, the main character in Anne’s novel “Agnes Grey”. These novels are fictitious autobiographies, Charlotte and Anne contribute things of their own lives.
After they had published their novels, the sisters were regarded as indecent and rebellious and their novels were regarded as completely unsuitable for young girls and well-behaved housewives. Today this picture changed, but in this time the Brontës were nearly out of place.

Angria and Gondal
In 1826 their father gave them a box with carved toy soldiers. The children loved their soldiers. With them they created stories and their own world. They developed the kingdoms “Angria” and “Gondal”. “Gondal” was created by Emily and Anne, “Angria” was made by Charlotte and Branwell. Angria and Gondal were the basis for their first books during their childhood. The stories of Angria still remain today.
Christine Ehrlich
Biographie der Bronte Sisters, ihre Hauptwerke, Beschreibung Wuthering Heights, Historischer Hintergrund, Angria und Gondal. (735 Wörter)
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