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Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte

July 30, 2012

PictureOn July 30, 1818 Emily Bronte was born in Thornton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.  Although best known for her novel, Wuthering Heights, Miss Bronte was also an artist.   Included in The Life and Eager Death of Emily Bronte: a Biography (1936), by Virginia Moore, which we have in our Shaw Collection, are three of her illustrations.  The one I like best is this watercolor of  Hero, her pet merlin-hawk.

Included in our copy of The Life and Eager Death of Emily Bronte: a Biography are two items of interest.  One is a review written by David Garnett in the Current Literature column of The New Statesman and Nation, September 5, 1936, where he states he was going to write about this book but decided not to because it “irritated” him, so instead he read Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Emily’s sister.  The other is a letter to the editor from Virginia Moore in response to his column (10/10/1936 is handwritten on this letter).  She is essentially telling him that it is common courtesy between authors that before expressing an opinion about a book that one should read it.  She also says that if she made errors in her book as another Bronte scholar made in his (and was corrected for), that she could bear it if she were corrected for any errors in her book.  Her letter ends with this sentence “For my real task, was to collate the many uncollected facts of Emily Bronte’s life.”

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