Emily Bronte Was Not a Man

Sherry points out Emily Bronte’s birthday today. She writes: “Some critics insisted that Emily‚Äôs novel, Wuthering Heights, must have been written by a man because no woman could have written such a passionate story. Emily Bronte died of tuberculosis one year after the publication of her only novel. She was 30 years old.”

Why do critics argue stupid points like this? I guess it was a different era, when women were not considered valuable members of society or at least literary culture. Our era has its own stupid ideas, such as a constitutional right to privacy and global warming.

3 thoughts on “Emily Bronte Was Not a Man”

  1. Well, just remember that the works of Shakespeare were really written by another man of the same name … and Moses obviously couldn’t have written the Pentateuch … and Jesus obviously couldn’t have said the things in the Gospels that the Jesus Seminar doesn’t like … was it C.S. Lewis who called it “chronological snobbery”?

  2. But were those contemporary critics? Emily Bronte, like other women authors, had to use a male pseudonym to get published (Ellis Bell). So I can understand some confusion.

    If, however, later or contemporary critics are suggesting that Emily Bronte was a man, then I agree they are daft.

  3. Yes, I was thinking along those lines, Maxine, that the critics in question were from her day. Still it’s a bad idea. I guess I understand societal roles, which could be the motive of arguing this way, but I don’t understand believing classifications of people are not capable of fill-in-the-blank. Physically, we aren’t all capable of anything, and groups can be critiqued this way, but emotionally or intellectually, I don’t think such generalizations can be made. People still argue about it for some groups.

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