Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's. "We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."
One of the most universally loved and admired English novels, Pride and Prejudice was penned as a popular entertainment. But the consummate artistry of Jane Austen (1775–1817) transformed this effervescent tale of rural romance into a witty, shrewdly observed satire of English country life that is now regarded as one of the principal treasures of English language. In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are his headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy — two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's first and only published novel, written between October 1845 and June 1846, and published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. The decision to publish came after the success of her sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.Wuthering Heights is the name of the farmhouse where the story unfolds. The book's core theme is the destructive effect of jealousy and vengefulness both on the jealous or vengeful individuals and on their communities.
The Brontë Sisters
by Charlotte Brontë; Keith Carabine (Contribution by); Sally Minogue (Intro and Notes by)
Publication Date: 1997-09-01
Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College. Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester. However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.
by Charlotte Brontë
Publication Date: 1998-04-01
With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Department of English, Canterbury Christ Church University College. Based on Charlotte Bronte's personal experience as a teacher in Brussels, Villette is a moving tale of repressed feelings and subjection to cruel circumstance and position, borne with heroic fortitude. Rising above the frustrations of confinement within a rigid social order, it is also the story of a woman's right to love and be loved.
by Anne Brontë; Kathryn White (Intro and Notes by)
Publication Date: 1994-01-01
An expose of the frequently isolated, intellectually stagnant and emotionally-starved conditions under which many governesses worked in the mid-19th century, Agnes Grey has a power and poignancy which mark it out as a landmark work of literature
by Charlotte Brontë; Barnita Bagchi (Introduction by)
Publication Date: 2016-07-01
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) was a major English novelist whose portrayal of strong, independent heroines kindled a movement in feminism in literature in the nineteenth century. Her works remain central to discussion of feminism in literature today and continue to stimulate and intrigue readers. This complete collection of her four novels - 'Jane Eyre', 'Shirley', 'Villette' and 'The Professor' - presented in a single volume is an essential edition for collectors, students and general lovers of the Brontës alike.
born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, The United Kingdom, July 30, 1818
died, December 19, 1848
Emily Jane Brontë was a British novelist and poet, now best remembered for her only novel Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature. Emily was the second eldest of the three surviving Brontë sisters, being younger than Charlotte Brontë and older than Anne Brontë. She published under the masculine pen name Ellis Bell.
Emily was born in Thornton, near Bradford in Yorkshire to Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell. She was the younger sister of Charlotte Brontë and the fifth of six children. In 1824, the family moved to Haworth, where Emily's father was perpetual curate, and it was in these surroundings that their literary oddities flourished. In childhood, after the death of their mother, the three sisters and their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë created imaginary lands (Angria, Gondal, Gaaldine, Oceania), which were featured in stories they wrote. Little of Emily's work from this period survived, except for poems spoken by characters (The Brontës' Web of Childhood, Fannie Ratchford, 1941).
In 1842, Emily commenced work as a governess at Miss Patchett's Ladies Academy at Law Hill School, near Halifax, leaving after about six months due to homesickness. Later, with her sister Charlotte, she attended a private school in Brussels. They later tried to open up a school at their home, but had no pupils.
It was the discovery of Emily's poetic talent by Charlotte that led her and her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, to publish a joint collection of their poetry in 1846, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. To evade contemporary prejudice against female writers, the Brontë sisters adopted androgynous first names. All three retained the first letter of their first names: Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell, and Emily became Ellis Bell. In 1847, she published her only novel, Wuthering Heights, as two volumes of a three volume set (the last volume being Agnes Grey by her sister Anne). Its innovative structure somewhat puzzled critics. Although it received mixed reviews when it first came out, the book subsequently became an English literary classic. In 1850, Charlotte edited and published Wuthering Heights as a stand-alone novel and under Emily's real name.
Like her sisters, Emily's health had been weakened by the harsh local climate at home and at school. She caught a chill during the funeral of her brother in September, and, having refused all medical help, died on December 19, 1848 of tuberculosis, possibly caught from nursing her brother. She was interred in the Church of St. Michael and All Angels family capsule, Haworth, West Yorkshire, England.