The Brontë family
Emily Brontë was the fifth child of Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell. She is known for her intense gothic novel, Wuthering Heights, which has remained consistently among the top three best-selling English language classic novels.
Emily’s is reported to have been unsociable and extremely shy. After her death from tuberculosis, Charlotte said the following about her:
“My sister’s disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favoured and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people round was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced. And yet she knew them: knew their ways, their language, their family histories; she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word.”
Facts about Emily Bronté
Some interesting facts and stories about Emily are as follows:
Emily was good at art, as were her siblings Charlotte, Anne and Branwell. Emily was largely self-taught and learned to draw by copying images from manuals and popular prints of the day. There are 19 surviving illustrations created by Emily and these include a series of pen and ink sketches, some paintings, mainly water colours, a few pencil drawings, some engravings and a geometry exercise.
Emily and her sisters all had portable writing desks. When opened, the lid and bottom formed one continuous sloped surface for writing. They closed up into rectangular cases not much larger than a shoebox. The girls used these desks to store their writing and keep other precious possessions. Emily found pens troublesome and this is apparent from the stained appearance of her writing slope and her ink blotted manuscripts. She dug the nib of her pen into the paper and cleaned it by dragging it along the page. Her blotting paper has holes in it from her hasty clearings of her nib.
Emily was a dog lover and owned a large animal named Keeper. Keeper’s collar is on display at the Brontë Museum in Yorkshire. There is an interesting story told about Emily and her relationship with Keeper: When Keeper first arrived at the parsonage, the dog had a habit of going upstairs and jumping on the bed and stretching out on the clean bedspreads for his naps. Emily cured him of this habit by beating him about the eyes until he was almost blind from the swelling. She then led him into the kitchen and tended to his wounds herself.
Emily featured dogs in her novel, Wuthering Heights. In one instance, Hareton Earnshaw hangs a litter of puppies from a chair back. This was a normal way to kill unwanted dogs on a working farm at this time. Heathcliff also hangs Isabella’s springer, named Fanny, by a handkerchief after they elope together. The dog almost dies as a result.
Emily and her sister, Anne, created an imaginary world called Gondal, a sprawling imaginary island located in the Pacific Ocean that was led by women. The two ladies wrote long poems that described Gondal’s dynasties and political battles. The poems by Emily that were included in the combined poetry book she published with Charlotte and Anne were based on Gondal, but were amended to remove the references to this world and its women-led aspects.
Emily had to pay to have her novel Wuthering Heights published in December 1847 by Thomas Cautley Newby. It appeared as a double volume with Anne’s Agnes Grey and the pair had to pay the publisher £50.
To find out more about the Brontë family, click HERE to read a review by Olga Nunez Miret of The Mother of the Brontës: When Maria Met Patrick by Sharon Wright (@penswordbooks) Highly recommended to Brontës fans and to early XIX century historians.
“They were from different lands, different classes, different worlds almost.
The chances of Cornish gentlewoman Maria Branwell even meeting the poor Irish curate Patrick Brontë in Regency England, let alone falling passionately in love, were remote.
Yet Maria and Patrick did meet, making a life together as devoted lovers and doting parents in the heartland of the industrial revolution.”
About the author
Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).
All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.
Find and follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Books by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Through the Nethergate
Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
It is available from Lulu.com here: Lulu.com
It is also available from TSL Publications as a soft copy book here: TSL Publications
While the Bombs Fell
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.
Robbie also writes as Robbie Cheadle
The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery
… a perfect recipe for sharing with children. Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.
You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:
or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at email@example.com.
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