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Emily Bronte's Letters and Diary Papers

Emily's Letter to Ellen Nussey, May 22?, 1843
Emily's Letter to Ellen Nussey, July 16?, 1845
Emily and Anne's Diary Paper, November 24, 1834
Emily and Anne's Diary Paper, June 26, 1837
Emily's Birthday Paper, July 30, 1841
Emily's Birthday Paper, July 30, 1845
Anne's Birthday Paper, July 30, 1841
Anne's Birthday Paper, July 31, 1845

The letters. Emily's letters are addressed to Ellen Nussey, Charlotte's close, lifelong friend. In the second letter, Emily is replying to a request for Charlotte to extend her visit to Ellen Nussey and her family in Derbyshire.

The diary and birthday papers. Emily and Anne wrote the diary papers together and both signed them. Then they seem to have agreed to write separate papers every four years on her birthday.

Letter of Emily J. Brontë to Ellen Nussey, May 22?, 1843

Dear Miss Ellen,

        I should be wanting in common civility if I did not thank you for your kindness in letting me know of an opportunity to send "postage-free."

        I have written as you directed though if "next Tuesday" means tomorrow, I fear it will be too late to go with Mr. Taylor.

        Charlotte has never mentioned a word about coming home. if you would go over for half a year perhaps you might be able to bring her back with you otherwise she might vegetate ‘there' till the age of Methusaleh for mere lack of courage to face the voyage.

        All here are in good health so was Anne according to the last accounts–the holydays will be here in a week or two and then if ‘she' be willing I will get her to write you a proper letter–a feat that I have never performed.

Letter of Emily Brontë to Ellen Nussey, July 16?, 1845

Dear Miss Ellen,

        If you have set your heart on Charlotte saying another week she has our united consent: I for one will take everything easy on Sunday–I'm glad she is enjoying herself: let her make the most of the next seven days & return stout and hearty–

        Love to her and you from Anne & myself and tell her all are well at home–Your affect–

Emily and Anne Brontë's Diary Paper, November 24, 1834

I fed Rainbow, Diamond Snowflake Jasper pheasant (alias) this morning Branwell went down to Mr. Driver's and brought news that Sir Robert Peel was going to be invited to stand for Leeds Anne and I have been peeling apples for Charlotte to make us an apple pudding and for Aunt nuts and apples Charlotte said she made puddings perfectly and she was of a quick but limited intellect. Taby said just now Come Anne pilloputate (i.e. pill a potato) Aunt has come into the kitchen just now and said where are your feet Anne Anne answered On the floor Aunt papa opened the parlour door and gave Branwell a letter saying here Branwell read this and show it to your Aunt and Charlotte–The Gondals are discovering the interior of Gaaldine Sally Mosley is washing in the back kitchen

It is past Twelve o'clock Anne and I have not tidied ourselves, done our bedwork or done our lessons and we want to go out to play we are going to have for Dinner Boiled Beef, Turnips, potatoes and applepudding. The Kitchin is in a very untidy state Anne and I have not done our music exercise which consists of b major Taby said on my putting a pen in her face Ya pitter pottering there instead of pilling a potate I answered O Dear, O Dear, O dear I will directly with that I get up, take a knife and begin pilling (finished) pilling the potatoes papa going to walk Mr. Sunderland expected.

        Anne and I say I wonder what we shall be like and what we shall be and where we shall be if all goes on well in the year 1874–in which year I shall be in my 54th year Anne will be going in her 55th year Branwell will be going in his 58th year And Charlotte in her 59th year hoping we shall all be well at that time we close our paper

Emily and Anne

Emily and Anne Bronte's Diary Paper, June 26, 1837

Monday evening June 26th 1837 A bit past 4 o'clock Charlotte working in Aunt's room, Branwell reading Eugene Aram to her–Anne and I writing in the drawing-room–Anne a poem beginning "Fair was the evening and brightly the sun"–I Augusta Almeda's life 1st V. 1-4th page from the last–fine rather coolish thin grey cloudy but sunny day Aunt working in the little room the old nursery Papa gone out Tabby in the kitchen–the Emperors and Empresses of Gondal and Gaaldine preparing to depart from Gaaldine to Gondal to prepare for the coronation which will be on the 12th July Queen Vittoria ascended the throne this month. Northangerland in Monkey's Isle–Zamora at Eversham. All tight and right in which condition it is hoped we shall all be this day 4 years at which time Charlotte will be 25 and 2 months Branwell just 24 it being his birthday–myself 22 and 10 months and a piece Anne 21 and nearly a half I wonder where we shall be and how we shall be and what kind of a day it will be then–let us hope for the best

Emily Jane Brontë–Anne Brontë

I guess that this day 4 years we shall all be in this drawing-room comfortable I hope it may be so. Anne guesses we shall all be gone somewhere comfortable We hope it may be so indeed. Aunt: Come Emily it's past 4 o'clock
Emily: Yes, Aunt Exit Aunt
Ann: Well, do you intend to write in the evening Emily: Well, what think you (We agreed to go out 1st to make sure if we got into the humour. We may stay in–)

Emily J. Brontë's Diary Paper, July 30, 1841

It is Friday evening–near 9 o'clock–wild rainy weather I am seated in the dining room 'alone'–having just concluded tidying our desk-boxes–writing this document–Papa is in the parlour. Aunt up stairs in her room–she has been reading Blackwood's Magazine to papa–Victoria and Adelaide are ensconced in the peat-house–Keeper is in the kitchen–Hero in his cage–We are all stout and hearty as I hope is the case with Charlotte, Branwell, and Anne, of whom the first is at John White Esq., Upperwood. House, Rawden; the second is at Luddenden foot and the third is I beleive at Scarborough - enditing perhaps a paper corresponding to this– A scheme is at present in agitation for setting us up in a school of our own as yet nothing is determined but I hope and trust it may go on and prosper and answer our highest expectations. This day 4 years I wonder whether we shall still be dragging on in our present condition or established to our heart's content Time will show–

        I guess that at the time appointed for the opening of this paper–we (i.e.) Charlotte, Anne and I–‘shall' be all merrily seated in our own sitting-room in some pleasant and flourishing seminary having just gathered in for the midsummer holydays our debts will be paid off and we shall have cash in hand to a considerable amount. papa Aunt and Branwell will either have been–or be coming–to visit us–it will be a fine warm summery evening. very different from this bleak look-out Anne and I will perchance slip out into the garden a minutes to peruse our papers. I hope either this or something better will be the case–

The Gondalians are at present in a threatening state but there is no open rupture as yet–all the princes and princesses of the royal royaltys are at the palace of Instruction–I have a good many books on hands but I am sorry to say that as usual I make small progress with any–however I have just made a new regularity paper! and I mean verb sap–to do great things–and now I close sending from far an exhortation of course courage! to exiled and harassed Anne wishing she was here

Emily Brontë's Diary Paper, Thursday, July 30, 1845

My birthday–showery–breezy–cool–I am twenty seven years old today–this morning Anne and I opened the papers we wrote 4 years since on my twenty third birthday–this paper we intend, if all be well, to open on my 30th three years hence in 1848–since the 1841 paper, the following events have taken place

          Our school-scheme has been abandoned and instead Charlotte and I went to Brussels on the 8th of Febrary 1842 Branwell left his place at Luddenden Foot C and I returned from Brussels November 8th 1842 in consequence of Aunt's death–Branwell went to Thorp Green as a tutor where Anne still continued–January 1843 Charlotte returned to Brussels the same month and after staying a year came back again on new years day 1844 Anne left her situation at Thorp Green of her own accord–June 1845 Branwell left–July 1845

Anne and I went our first long journey by ourselves together–leaving Home on the 30th of June-monday sleeping at York–returning to Keighley Tuesday evening sleeping there and walking home on Wednesday morning–though the weather was broken, we enjoyed ourselves very much except during a few hours at Bradford and during our excursion we were Ronald Macelgin, Henry Angora, Juliet Augusteena, Rosobelle Esualdar, Ella and Julian Egramont Catherine Navarre and Cordelia Fitzaphnold escaping from the palaces of Instruction to join the Royalists who are hard driven at present by the victorious Republicans–The Gondals still flourish bright as ever I am at present writing a work on the First Wars–Anne has been writing some articles on this and a book by Henry Sophona–We intend sticking firm by the rascals as long as they delight us which I am glad to say they do at present–I should have mentioned that last summer the school scheme was revived in full vigor–We had prospectuses printed, despatched letters to all aquaintances imparting our plans and did our little all–but it was found no go–now I dont desire a school at all and none of us have any great longing for it. We have cash enough for our present wants with a prospect of accumulation–we are all in decent health–only that papa has a complaint in his eyes and with the exception of B who I hope will be better and do better, hereafter. I am quite contented for myself–not as idle as formerly, altogether as hearty and having learnt to make the most of the present and hope for the future with less fidgetiness that I cannot do all I wish–seldom or ever troubled with nothing to do, and merely desiring that every body could be as comfortable as myself and as undesponding and then we should have a very tolerable world of it

          By mistake I find we have opened the paper on the 31st instead of the 30th Yesterday was much such a day as this but the morning was devine–

          Tabby who was gone in our last paper is come back and has lived with us–two years and a half and is in good health–Martha who also departed is here too. We have got Flossey, got and lost Tiger–lost the Hawk. Hero which with the geese was given away and is doubtless dead for when I came back from Brussels I enquired on all hands and could hear nothing of him–Tiger died early last year–Keeper and Flossey are well also the canary acquired 4 years since

          We are now all at home and likely to be there some time–Branwell went to Liverpool on 'Tuesday' to stay a week. Tabby has just been teasing me to turn as formerly to-'pilloputate'. Anne and I should have picked the black currants if it had been fine and sunshiny. I must hurry off now to my taming and ironing I have plenty of work on hands and writing and am altogether full of buisness with best wishes for the whole House till 1848 July 3oth and as much longer as may be I conclude

E J Brontë

Anne Brontë's Birthday Paper, July 30, 1841

This is Emily's birthday. She has now completed her 23rd year, and is, I believe, at home. Charlotte is a governess in the family of Mr. White. Branwell is a clerk in the railroad station at Luddenden Foot, and I am a governess in the family of Mr. Robinson. I dislike the situation and wish to change it for another. I am now at Scarborough. My pupils are gone to bed and I am hastening to finish this before I follow them.

We are thinking of setting up a school of our own, but nothing definite is settled about it yet, and we do not know whether we shall be able to or not. I hope we shall. And I wonder what will be our condition and how or where we shall all be on this day four years hence; at which time, if all be well, I shall be 25 years and 6 months old, Emily will be 27 years old, Branwell 28 years and 1 month, and Charlotte 29 years and a quarter. We are now all separate and not likely to meet again for many a weary week, but we are none of us ill that I know of and all are doing something for our own livelihood except Emily, who, however, is as busy as any of us, and in reality earns her food and raiment as much as we do.

How little know we what we are
How less what we may be!
Four years ago I was at school. Since then I have been a governess at Blake Hall, left it, come to Thorp Green, and seen the sea and York Minster. Emily has been a teacher at Miss Patchet's school, and left it. Charlotte has left Miss Wooler's, been a governess at Mrs. Sidgwick's, left her, and gone to Mrs. White's. Branwell has given up painting, been a tutor in Cumberland, left it, and become a clerk on the railroad.. Tabby has left us, Martha Brown has come in her place. We have got Keeper, got a sweet little cat and lost it, and also got a hawk. Got a wild goose which has flown away, and three tame ones, one of which has been killed. All these diversities, with many others, are things we did not expect or foresee in the July of 1837. What will the next four years bring forth? Providence only knows. But we ourselves have sustained very little alteration since that time. I have the same faults that I had then, only I have more wisdom and experience, and a little more self-possession than I then enjoyed. How will it be when we open this paper and the one Emily has written? I wonder whether the Gondalian will still be flourishing, and what will be their condition. I am now engaged in writing the fourth volume of Solala Vernon's Life.

        For some time I have looked upon 25 as a sort of era in my existence. It may prove a true presentiment, or it may be only a superstitious fancy; the latter seems most likely, but time will show.

Anne Brontë's Diary Paper, Thursday July 31, 1845

          Yesterday was Emily's birthday and the time when we should have opened our 1845 paper but by mistake we opened it to day instead. How many things have happened since it was written-some pleasant some far otherwise–Yet I was then at Thorp Green and now I am only just escaped from it. I was wishing to leave it then and if I had known that I had four years longer to stay how wretched I should have been–then too. I was writing the fourth volume of Sophalal but during my stay I have had some very unpleasant and undreamt of experience of human nature–Others have seen more changes Charlotte has left Mr White's and been twice to Brussels where she stayed each time nearly a year–Emily has been there too and stayed nearly a year–Branwell has left Luddenden foot and been a Tutor at Thorp Green and had much tribulation and ill health he was very ill on Tuesday but he went with John Brown to Liverpool where he now is I suppose and we hope he will be better and do better in future–This is a dismal cloudy wet evening we have had so far a very cold wet summer Charlotte has lately been to Hathersage in Derbyshire on a visit of three weeks to Ellen Nussy–she is now sitting sewing in the Dining-Room Emily is ironing upstairs I am sitting in the Dining Room in the Rocking chair before the fire with my feet on the fender Papa is in the parlour Tabby and Martha are I think in the Kitchen Keeper and Flossy are I do not know where little Dick is hopping in his cage–When the last paper was written we were thinking of setting up a school–the scheme 'has been' dropt and long after taken up again and dropt again because we could not get pupils–Charlotte is thinking about getting another situation–she wishes to go to Paris–Will she go? she has let Flossy in by the bye and he is now lying on the sopha–Emily is engaged in writing the Emperor Julius's life she has read some of it and I want very much to hear the rest–she is writing some poetry too I wonder what it is about–I have begun the third volume of passages in the life of an individual. I wish I had 'finished' it–This afternoon I began to set about making my grey figured silk frock that was dyed at Keigthley–What sort of a hand shall I make of it? E. and I have a great deal of work to do–when shall we sensibly diminish it? I want to get a habit of early rising shall I succeed? We have not yet finished our Gondal chronicles that we began three years and a half ago when will they be done?–The Gondals are at present in a sad state the Republicans are uppermost but the Royalists are not quite overcome–the young sovereigns with their brothers and sisters are still at the palace of Instruction–The Unique Society 'above' half a year ago were wrecked on a dezart Island as they were returning from Gaaldin–they are still there but we have not played at them much yet–The Gondals in general are not yet in first rate playing condition–will they improve? I wonder how we shall all be and where and how situated on the thirtyeth of July 1848 when if we are all alive Emily will be just '30' 1 shall be in my 29th year Charlotte in her 33rd and Branwell in his 32rd and what changes shall we have seen and known and shall we be much changed ourselves? I hope not–for the worse at least–I for my part cannot well be flatter or older in mind than I am now–Hoping the best I conclude Anne Brontë

Brontë: Table of Contents

Day 1

Overview of Emily Brontë
Publication of Wuthering Heights & Contemporary Critics
Later Critical response to Wuthering Heights
Film Versions of Wuthering Heights

Day 2 Themes in Wuthering Heights
The Narrator
Day 3 Wuthering Heights as Socio-Economic Novel
Psychological Interpretations of Wuthering Heights
Religion, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Wuthering Heights
The Gothic and Wuthering Heights
Romanticism and Wuthering Heights
Day 4

"I am Heathcliff"
Emily Bronte's Poetry


October 19, 2005