Rare New Edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey; Edited and compiled by the eldest Bronte sister Charlotte with her preface disclosing the masterpieces' true authorship
Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey.
Brontë, Emily and Anne. Edited by Charlotte Brontë.
Item Number: 80212
London: Smith, Elder, and Co, 1850.
First revised edition and second appearance of both Emily and Anne Brontë’s singular masterpieces, originally published under the pseudonyms Ellis and Acton Bell. Octavo, original elaborately stamped cloth, gilt titles to the spine. Edited and compiled by Charlotte Brontë under the pseudonym Currer Bell with her Editor’s Preface, Biographical Notice of the Authors, and Selections from the Literary Remains of Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte was the driving force behind the publication of all three sisters’ works and survived both Emily (who died at the age of 30 in 1848, a year after the initial publication of Wuthering Heights) and Anne (who died at the age of 29 in 1849). Charlotte published this ‘New Edition’ if her sisters’ masterpieces in 1850 with the intention of publicly disclosing their true authorship and rectifying the rumor that all three sisters’ works were the production of one singular author. From the library of Virginia bibliophile and historian Christopher Clark Geest with his bookplate to the pastedown. In near fine condition. An exceptional example of this rare edition publicly disclosing the true authors of two of the finest masterpieces of English literature. The first edition of Wuthering Heights is virtually unattainable.
Raised in the mid 19th-century in a small village in the countryside of Northern England, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë created what have come to be considered some of the greatest works of literature, despite the isolation and often devastating conditions that defined their short lives. Charlotte, the eldest sister, was the driving force behind the publication of the sisters’ works; a passion that all three had developed very early in life as a form of play in the isolation of their father’s parsonage. She found it difficult to find a publisher willing to make the commercial risk of publishing women’s writing and finally published the sisters' first joint publication of poetry under the male pseudonyms of Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily), and Acton (Anne) Bell. The Poems of 1846 attracted little attention, but the following year Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Anne’s Agnes Grey were published (after dozens of rejections) and received glowing critical acclaim, leading to their relative fame when they were finally able to prove to be the works’ true authors.