The Bronte siblings

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,692
Florania
The Bronte siblings were fairly literary.
First, we look at the novels:
Anne Bronte: Agnes Grey and the Tenant of Windfell Hall
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Height
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Villette, Shirley, the Professor
Branwell Bronte was known for his talent in painting and poetry as well.
All of the siblings were known for their poetic abilities, and all of them were known for their remarkably brief lifespans.
What cut their lives short? The medical level of the day might be a factor; it was not the only thing that cut their lifespans.
Why Branwell hardly found professional and literary successes while he was the only brother?
Would their talents be fully developed and appreciated if they were born in the 1970s?
 

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,686
Europe
I think it was the area they lived in that 'cut their lives short'.
Haworth was an industrial mill town (mostly cotton at that time). I posted some statistics on here a while ago on the average age of deaths in the area. The living conditions in Keighley/Haworth were squalid and people died young.
Being the daughters of Patrick Bronte, who campaigned for better conditions, they would have been involved in local causes and charitable acts which would have brought them into contact with the diseases of overcrowding and poverty.
Haworth was compared to the east end of London (sanitary reports I think?) and also descriptions of the remains of the dead 'oozing' out of the overcrowded grave yard into the church. Also of open uncovered public toilets in the main street, the contents flowing into dwellings.
Will look it up for you and provide sources if you like
 
Last edited:
Sep 2013
323
SouthWest USA
I don't know anything about the Bronte sisters to comment.

That said, in John J Ross M.D.'s book "Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Groans and Last gasps of Ten Great Writers," the author devotes a whole chapter to the Bronte sisters.

He states, "The clinical illnesses of Charlotte and her siblings were all consistent with TB .... There is also a substantial family burden of psychiatric disease, ...."

I recommend this book if you are interested in the health background of the Bronte sisters (and other authors).




guy also known as gaius
 
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Aug 2011
1,626
Sweden
The Bronte siblings were fairly literary.
First, we look at the novels:
Anne Bronte: Agnes Grey and the Tenant of Windfell Hall
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Height
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Villette, Shirley, the Professor
Branwell Bronte was known for his talent in painting and poetry as well.
All of the siblings were known for their poetic abilities, and all of them were known for their remarkably brief lifespans.
What cut their lives short? The medical level of the day might be a factor; it was not the only thing that cut their lifespans.
Why Branwell hardly found professional and literary successes while he was the only brother?
Would their talents be fully developed and appreciated if they were born in the 1970s?
I just until recently only remembered the name Bronte briefly, mostly because of old black and white film versions of Wuthering heights. Then for some reason I started to read of this amazing family, especially the genius sisters who in spite of their early deaths created such stories. Wuthering heights is a dark tale, perhaps reflecting Emily's personality. And then also discovering the siblings very early fantasy worlds long before scifi, which could have rivalled Tolkien if developed further. But destiny took them all. So genetics in combination with their fathers influence shaped their works. Some of them would probably getting a diagnose living today.