Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell)

Charlotte, Emily and Anne were the three Brontë sisters whose novels have become enduring classics of English literature. They were influenced by their father's library of Walter Scott, Byron, Tales of the Genii and The Arabian Nights. The three sisters and their brother Branwell Brontë created imaginary lands (Angria, Gondal, Gaaldine), which featured in stories they wrote. They began chronicling the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of their imaginary kingdoms. Charlotte and her brother Branwell wrote stories about their country - Angria - and Emily and Anne wrote articles and poems about theirs - Gondal. The sagas were elaborate and convoluted (and still exist in part manuscripts) and provided them with an obsessive interest in childhood and early adolescence, which prepared them for their literary vocations in adulthood.

To evade contemporary prejudice against female writers, the Brontë sisters adopted androgynous first names. All three retained the first letter of their first names: Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell, and Emily became Ellis Bell.

In May 1846, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne published a joint collection of poetry under the assumed names of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Although the book failed to attract interest (only two copies were sold) the sisters decided to continue writing for publication and began work on their first novels. Charlotte continued to use the name 'Currer Bell' when she published her first two novels.

Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Bronte Books
Emily Bronte
Emily Bronte Books
Anne Bronte
Anne Bronte Books
Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell
Editor's Preface to the New Edition of 'Wuthering Heights'
Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte