A book of authors who have passed through the centuries

Zhang Ailing said that she is famous early. But it is difficult to be famous. It is even harder to be famous when a writer is famous. Moreover, when you have a writer and sister with enough fame and achievements, and want to occupy a place in the literary world, it is probably harder than going to heaven.

With such a family, the positive examples and the “negative examples” are all gathered together. Perhaps the most tortuous member of the fame experience can give us some reference for future generations. Yes, this is the Bronte three sisters, and the second sister Emily Bronte is the most highly rated of the three. Below, please check out this “Wuthering Heights” fame guide that spans more than one hundred years.


Although almost all readers around the world now know Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, both books have entered the ranks of literary classics, but since their publication more than 160 years ago, the three sisters have become famous for their fame. Know yourself. My sister Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” was published on the list of bestsellers; sister Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” was originally published under the name of her sister, but she did not One even experienced two extremes in different eras; not to mention the youngest sister, Anne Bronte, until today her fame is still far below her two sisters.

The story begins in 1847.

That year, London-based publisher Smith, Elder & Co published the work of an author named Currer Bell, Jane Eyre. Once published, Jane Eyre received a huge response, and the city of London was sold out quickly, and its pirated books became popular in the United States. In the same year, Wuthering Heights was published by another publisher, Thomas Cautley Newby, and through the huge name of his sister, the publisher secretly hinted that the author of Wuthering Heights was inextricably linked with the author of Jane Eyre. Even the second work of Currer Bell himself.

In 1848, based on various public speculations about Currer Bell, sister Charlotte Bronte and sister Anne Bronte decided to travel to London from the small town of Haworth to show their true colors to the public. It is worth mentioning that the Victorian era witnessed the rise and popularity of the novel, and female authors and female readers became a particularly important part of the publishing industry culture. It is a pity that at the time, the works of female writers were often “lower people”, and even if they were sold well, they could not get the attention of the works of male authors. The phenomenon of “Jane Eyre” is all the rage, but the days of “Wuthering Heights” are not so good.

In 1850, Charlotte re-edited and revised “Wuthering Heights” and wrote “Life” and “Preface” for it, so everyone is almost certain that the author of this book is Charlotte. The pirates in the United States have also introduced the cottage version of “Wuthering Heights” because of the popularity of “Jane Eyre”. They madly hinted at its connection with “Jane Eyre” in advertising, and even pointed out “and” directly on the page. Jane Eyre and belonged to the same author, and these two books also topped the list of the top ten best-selling books in the United States in 1847-49. If the death of the author is one of the most important literary ideas of the 20th century, then Emily Bronte of the 19th century seems to have lost control of his work from the beginning.

Unfortunately, it seems that no matter in which era people are difficult to draw the “bestseller” and “classic” equal, the 19th century is no exception. In addition to the rise of the novel, the popularity of the industrial revolution and printing has also led to the popularity of magazines and periodicals. It can be said that sales volume determines the popularity of a book, and the literary criticism in the journal determines the literary value of the book.

At that time, one of the most influential journals in London was called The Examiner. In 1848, a book review about Wuthering Heights was published. First, the power of this work was confirmed, but it was uncertain that it was a strange The work, it is too wild, confusing, the plot is not coherent, the meaning is puzzling. This is still polite. Another magazine in London, John Bull, is relatively straightforward. When evaluating Anne’s “Aignes Gray” and Emily’s “Wuthering Heights”, it is clear that “Agnes Gray” is much better than “Wuthering Heights”. The latter is simply disgusting, and it is doubtful why the author should use his only talents on the wrong subject.

It may be difficult for current readers to imagine how the literary critics of the time had the power to kill the writer. Each of them may be the combination of many large Vs today, and it is their responsibility to “improve the cultural literacy of the masses” and “protect the taste of the national reading.” Although they have more or less acknowledged the talents of the authors of Wuthering Heights and some fearful power of the text, but for the moral considerations of the masses, and in order to maintain the qualities of the “British literature” they are proud of, they still It is unanimously believed that Wuthering Heights is a book that cannot be put on the table.

Emily passed away in 1848 and never heard about her work. For a long time after that, “Wuthering Heights” ushered in a silence. People who don’t like it don’t like it very much, and even don’t want to mention it in the next few decades. The rest of the people, still immersed in the shock of this magical novel, can’t understand what makes this book so weird, both attractive and scary. Contrary to this, sister Charlotte seems to have entered the Hall of Fame of English Literature, and even in 1877 she was rated as an outstanding representative of British women with Elizabeth Browning. The same best-selling book of 1848, in the next thirty years, seems to have a very different fate.

The turnaround came from the end of the 20th century. In 1883, the first biography of Emily Bronte was published in the United States, and the publishing company was based in Boston, called Robert Brothers. This publishing house also published the classic “Little Women” of American literature, which was in 1658. Harvard College (there was no Harvard University at the time) was the predecessor of the publishing house. It can be said that this is also the founder of a “classic work” of an academic school.

After that, the academic research on the humanities in Europe and the United States has greatly improved. Everyone slowly explored the rules of the system in this field. Various associations have sprung up, and the understanding and evaluation of the three sisters. Also entered a new stage. In 1893, in Haworth, Yorkshire, the home of the Bronte sisters, the Bronte Research Association and the Museum was established, and two years later began publishing journals dedicated to the study of the Bronte sisters and their works.

In 1895, the famous scholar Sir Wemyss Reid gave a speech on Emily Bronte at the Royal Academy in the UK. Although he still thought that his sister Charlotte was the most talented person in the family, he also confirmed Emily’s talent in poetry. It is worth noting that this speech was held at the Royal Academy and the whole lecture was packed. Later, Freemans Journal, Ireland’s oldest newspaper, wrote that in recent years, the Bronte Museum-led research, more and more people have affirmed the value of Wuthering Heights. In the subsequent public activities on Wuthering Heights, the organizers increasingly cited the evaluations of professors and scholars to attract audiences.

After entering the 20th century, Virginia Woolf had a very high evaluation of Wuthering Heights:

“Wuthering Heights” is a more difficult book than Jane Eyre, because Emily is a poet who is even bigger than Charlotte. When Charlotte writes, he always has eloquence and brilliance. And passion said: “I love”, “I hate”, “I suffer”. Although her feelings are very strong, but at the same level as our feelings. However, there is no “in Wuthering Heights” I, there are no female teachers at home, and no employers. There is love, but not the kind of love between men and women.” – Woolf, “Ordinary Readers”

After that, scholars of both psychoanalysis and deconstruction are keen to interpret Wuthering Heights in different ways, and no one has any doubts about its “classic” status. Now, when I mention the Bronte three sisters, no one will just praise Charlotte and know nothing about Wuthering Heights, even though Anne and her works have not had two sisters in the next generation of the past 150 years. Good luck.

But ah, recalling the fame experience of “Wuthering Heights”, from the publisher’s use of anonymity, Emily’s premature death, to the rumors of journals and magazines, the critics of this book are incomprehensible and disdainful. Finally, it has experienced the rise of research institutions, museums, and scholars. The reason why a book can stand out from the works of the same period or through the storm of history comes to today’s readers. Its author and its literary value are often not the absolute reason for it to become a “classic”.

This “Wuthering Heights” records the love and pain of Catherine and Heathcliff and the entanglements that have spanned generations. In the history of the smoke, it also witnessed the novels and (pirated) booksellers, the power of literary critics, and The rise of research institutions and scholars. In the replacement of the right to speak, do not know which book of today, will become the “classic” of tomorrow?