In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bellappeared on the British Literary scene. The three psuedonymous poets, the Brontë sisters went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year.
As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories abotu an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte's discovery of Emily's more mature poems in the autumn of 1845. Charlotte later recalled: "I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting....I looked it over, amd something more than surprise seized me -- a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar music -- wild, melancholy, and elevating."
The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Brontë a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily's verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were deited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Brontë scholars.
Originally released in 1923, Hatfield's collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily's poems from her sisters' and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on "The Gondal Story" by Miss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontë's Web of Childhood, the edition is the definitive collection of Emily Brontë's poetical works.