Poems: Pocket Poets
Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780679447252, 256pp.
Publication Date: April 9, 1996
The Everyman's Library Pocket Poets hardcover series is popular for its compact size and reasonable price which does not compromise content. Poems: Bronte contains poems that demonstrate a sensibility elemental in its force with an imaginative discipline and flexibility of the highest order. Also included are an Editor's Note and an index of first lines.
Fantasy was the Bronte children's one relief from the rigors of religion and the bleakness of life in an impoverished region. They invented a series of imaginary kingdoms and constructed a whole library of journals, stories, poems, and plays around their inhabitants. Emily's special province was a kingdom she called Gondal, whose romantic heroes and exiles owed much to the poems of Byron.
Brief stays at several boarding schools were the sum of her experiences outside Haworth until 1842, when she entered a school in Brussels with her sister Charlotte. After a year of study and teaching there, they felt qualified to announce the opening of a school in their own home, but could not attract a single pupil.
In 1845 Charlotte Bronte came across a manuscript volume of her sister's poems. She knew at once, she later wrote, that they were not at all like poetry women generally write they had a peculiar music-wild, melancholy, and elevating. At her sister's urging, Emily's poems, along with Anne's and Charlotte's, were published pseudonymously in 1846. An almost complete silence greeted this volume, but the three sisters, buoyed by the fact of publication, immediately began to write novels. Emily's effort was Wuthering Heights; appearing in 1847 it was treated at first as a lesser work by Charlotte, whose Jane Eyre had already been published to great acclaim. Emily Bronte's name did not emerge from behind her pseudonym of Ellis Bell until the second edition of her novel appeared in 1850."