Emily Bronte occupies a special place in the English literary canon. And rightly so: the incomparable Wuthering Heights is a novel that has bewitched us for almost 200 years, and the character of Heathcliff is, perhaps, the ultimate romantic hero – and villain. But Emily herself remains an enigmatic figure, often portrayed as awkward, as a misanthrope, as “no normal being”.
That’s the conventional wisdom on Emily as a person, but is it accurate, is it fair? In this biography with a twist, Claire O’Callaghan conjures a new image of Emily and rehabilitates her reputation by exploring the themes of her life and work – her feminism, her passion for the natural world – as well as the art she has inspired, and even the “fake news” stories about her. What we discover is that she was, in fact, a thoroughly modern woman. And now, in the 21st century, it’s time for the real Emily Bronte to please stand up.
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