The abiding mystery surrounding Wuthering Heights since it was first published in 1847 is who wrote it? Years later, when the author’s identity was known, critics asked how did Emily Brontë, without any previous writing experience, craft the masterpiece Wuthering Heights? Charlotte Brontë’s Thunder explores the theory that perhaps ‘Emily’ was a pen name for the real author, her older sister Charlotte.
A ludicrous and preposterous claim to a modern reader, but early reviewers in 1847 found the book had similar styles and subject matter to Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre. The critics concluded that one author was writing under two names.
More surprising is that historical and biographical facts support their suspicions that Charlotte, not Emily, wrote Wuthering Heights. Charlotte Brontë’s Thunder takes the reader on a journey into the closed world of this literary icon’s efforts to tell her most private truth and gives a glimpse of what it must have been like to be a brilliant woman living among uneducated men.
Brontë fans from around the world as well as curious readers will see how Charlotte left a complicated pattern of cryptography that enabled her to craft clues, riddles, and anagrams into her correspondence, novels, and poetry to tell the public that she, not her sister, wrote Wuthering Heights.
But why deny authorship of such a great novel? If Charlotte wrote the book, why not just take credit for it? The Brontë sisters and their story contain many unanswered questions and conflicting mythologies that continue to plague scholars, but Charlotte left hints inside her writing that answer each question and resolve every puzzle.
In Charlotte Brontë’s Thunder, the code takes a parallel path alongside Brontë’s life, anchoring the biographical facts to her secrets. She lifts the veil and shows her readers the truth about her writing and her real life, refuting the fictional tale she wove for the public. The uncovered facts are shocking and disturbing as they divulge a unique tale of corruption, cover-ups, and murder, but they also reveal the inner workings of a remarkable woman’s genius and her incredible obsession that compelled her to write Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
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