Polish author claims Emily Bronte legacy a hoax
PR dla Zagranicy
The 1847 English literature classic “Wuthering Heights” was penned by the Bronte sisters’ brother Branwell Bronte, Polish author Eryk Ostrowski has said.
Title page for the first volume of the first edition of "Wuthering Heights", published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Houghton Library, Harvard University. (Public Domain)
In his new book entitled “The Secrets of Wuthering Heights”, Ostrowski said that Branwell Bronte (1817-1848) was not the black sheep of the Bronte family as history had made him out to be, and that even during the siblings’ lifetimes claims were made that only one author was behind all the Brontes’ works.
Branwell Bronte’s three sisters are all known for their contributions to 19th-century British literature.
The eldest sister, Charlotte Bronte (1916-1855) is famous for “Jane Eyre” and wrote three other books. Emily (1918-1948) is credited with writing the most famous of the Bronte works, “Wuthering Heights”, which was written under the alias of “Ellis Bell”, while Anne (1820-1849) penned two less-known books.
But Ostrowski claimed Branwell Bronte, who is often portrayed to have been an alcoholic and morphine addict, was also a talented painter and author.
According to Ostrowski, letters, poems, prose and stories written by Branwell Bronte are similar to the work of Ellis Bell.
“Branwell Bronte’s prose and poems show many scenes and dialogues which are repeated in ‘Wuthering Heights’,” Ostrowski said.
“We can even see prototypes of the main characters of ‘Wuthering Heights’ in some of his early works,” he added.
Ostrowski also said that a letter, written by the brother at about the same time as “Wuthering Heights” was being completed, includes a description of “a secret novel”. The description fitted “Wuthering Heights” to a tee, the Polish author said.
“We are probably dealing with the biggest hoax in modern literature. Everything that we know about the Bronte sisters comes from the oldest, Charlotte,” Ostrowski said.
“She corresponded with and talked to publishers. The manuscripts of Emily and Anne Bronte do not exist, and the first publisher to see them said they were written in the same handwriting.” (vb/pk)