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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143105831
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 672
  • RRP: $42.99

The Bronte Sister: Three Novels: Jane Eyre; Wuthering Heights; and Agnes Grey (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)


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UNDER THE ASSUMED NAMES of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, the three Brontë sisters authored works that have long survived their creators' tragically short lives. 

Both Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights – with their respective tales of a struggling orphan and the devastating passion between Heathcliff and Cathy-have stirred the romantic sensibilities of generations of readers.  For the first time ever, Penguin Classics marries these two favourite with the lesser known but no less powerful work by their youngest sister, Anne.  Drawn from Anne's own experiences as a governess, Agnes Grey offers a compelling view of Victorian chauvinism and materialism.  Uniting each of the sisters' best novels in one handsome volume, The Brontë Sisters is a must for anyone fascinated by this singularly talented family.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143105831
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 672
  • RRP: $42.99

About the Authors

Anne Bronte

Anne Bronte was born at Thornton in Yorkshire on 17 January 1820, the youngest of six children. That April, the Brontës moved to Haworth, a village on the edge of the moors, where Anne’s father had become the curate. Anne’s mother died soon afterwards. She was four when her older sisters were sent to the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge, where Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis and died. After that, Anne, Charlotte, Emily and Branwell were taught at home for a few years, and together, they created vivid fantasy worlds which they explored in their writing. Anne went to Roe Head School 1835–7. She worked as a governess with the Ingham
family (1839–40) and with the Robinson family (1840–45). In 1846, along with Charlotte and Emily, she published Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. She published Agnes Grey in 1847 and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1848. That year, both Anne’s brother Branwell and her sister Emily died of tuberculosis. A fortnight later, Anne was diagnosed with the same disease. She died in
Scarborough on 28 May 1849.

Anne Bronte, who was born in 1820, was brought up in the Yorkshire village of Haworth where her father was curate. She was educated at home and, as a child, she invented with her sister Emily the imaginary world of Gondal, for which she wrote copious chronicles and poems.

She held two positions as governess, with the Inghams at Blake Hall and, from 1840-45, with the Robinson family at Thorp Green. As a religious lyric poet, Anne Brontë's hymns and lyrics rank with those of Cowper. Her first novel Agnes Grey (1847), published under the pseudonym Acton Bell, is in the tradition of fictional spiritual autobiography, written with conciseness, integrity and irony. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) is a powerful feminist testament, attacking the marriage laws, double standards of sexual morality and the education of men and women.

Anne Bronte died at Scarborough in 1849. She was the youngest of the Brontë sisters, whose extraordinary gifts are only now receiving just appraisal.

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born on 21 April 1816. Her father was curate of Haworth, Yorkshire, and her mother died when she was five years old, leaving five daughters and one son. In 1824 Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth and Emily were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen's daughters, where Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis and died. The children were taught at home from this point on and together they created vivid fantasy worlds which they explored in their writing. Charlotte worked as a teacher from 1835 to 1838 and then as a governess. In 1846, along with Emily and Anne, Charlotte published Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.After this Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, Anne wrote Agnes Grey and Charlotte wrote The Professor. Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were both published but Charlotte's novel was initially rejected. In 1847 Jane Eyre became her first published novel and met with immediate success. Between 1848 and 1849 Charlotte lost her remaining siblings: Emily, Branwell and Anne. She published Shirley in 1849, Villette in 1853 and in 1854 she married the Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died the next year, on 31 March 1855.

Charlotte Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816. Her mother died in 1821, and Charlotte, her four sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, Emily and Anne, and her brother Branwell were left in the care of their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. Left to pursue their education mainly at home, all the Bronte children became involved in a rich fantasy life and Charlotte and Branwell collaborated in the invention of the imaginary kingdom of Angria. In 1824 Charlotte went with Maria, Elizabeth and Emily to a school for daughters of the clergy; her experiences there are fictionalized in the Lowood section of Jane Eyre (1847; written under the pseudonym of Currer Bell). She wrote three other novels, Shirey (1849) Vilette (1853) and She Professor (published posthumously in 1857). She also made occasional visits to London where she became known to various writers, including William Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. In 1854 Charlotte finally overcame her father's objections and married, but unfortunately she was to die in the following year.

Emily Bronte

Emily Brontë was born on 30 July 1818. Her father was curate of Haworth, Yorkshire, and her mother died when she was five years old, leaving five daughters and one son. In 1824 Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth and Emily were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen's daughters, where Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis and died. The children were taught at home from this point on and together they created vivid fantasy worlds which they explored by writing stories. Emily worked briefly as a teacher in 1938 but soon returned home. In 1846, Emily’s poems were published alongside those of her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, in Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The following year Wuthering Heights was published. Emily Brontë died of consumption on 19 December 1848.


Emily Bronte lived from 1818 to 1848. Although she wrote only Wuthering Heights and about a dozen poms she is accepted as one of the most gifted writers ever. Perhaps the intensity of her writing grew out of the extraordinary pressures of her home life.

Emily's mother died when she was three and she lived with her four sisters and one brother in a bleak, isolated Yorkshire village – Haworth. Her father doted on his only son, Branwell, and expected little from his daughters – they surprised him while Branwell wasted his life and died an alchoholic and drug addict. The girls suffered dreadfully at a cheap boarding school, the oldest two dying of malnutrition. Emily, Charlotte and Anne were brought home just in time but Emily never lost her terrible fear of institutions and of being closed in. The sisters later became governesses to help support Branwell, seen by their father as a future great artist. They also began to publish their writing, under male pen-names as there was much prejudice against women writers. Their first book, a collection of poetry, failed but Emily's novel Wuthering Heights, was highly acclaimed and is still widely read today.

Emily seldom left her home village yet produced one of the most powerful novels of the inner self ever written. She caught a cold at her brother's funeral in 1848 and died a few months later.


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