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From Garrison Keillor’s “The Writers’ Almanac”:
It’s the birthday of the novelist Emily Brontë, born in Thornton, England (1818). Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights (1847), considered one of the greatest love stories of all time, but she never had a lover. She and her sisters Anne and Charlotte and their brother Branwell educated themselves at home by reading their father’s large collection of classic literature. They invented elaborate fantasy kingdoms and filled notebooks with the history and inhabitants of these places. Emily was the most reserved of the children.
Emily is most famous for Wuthering Heights, but she also wrote poetry; and when her sister Charlotte discovered some of Emily’s poems, she said: “Of course, I was not surprised, knowing that she could and did write verse: I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me — a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, not at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear, they had also a peculiar music — wild, melancholy, and elevating.” In 1836, Charlotte — who was the most outgoing and confident of the sisters — decided to publish their poetry, but she figured it wouldn’t sell if they used their real names, so she gave them all male names, and Poems by Currier, Ellis and Acton Bell was published in 1846. Wuthering Heights came out in 1847, and a year later, Emily died of tuberculosis at age 30, standing in the living room of her family’s parsonage.
I’m sorry about Emily, but I can’t get over the image of her dying while standing. Is that possible?