Two Short Pieces by Charlotte Bronte (Biographical Notice of Ellis
and Acton Bell; Preface to 'Wuthering Heights').
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF ELLIS AND ACTON BELL
IT has been thought that all the works published under the names of
Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell were, in reality, the production of
one person. This mistake I endeavoured to rectify by a few words
of disclaimer prefixed to the third edition of 'Jane Eyre.' These,
too, it appears, failed to gain general credence, and now, on the
occasion of a reprint of 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Agnes Grey,' I am
advised distinctly to state how the case really stands.
Indeed, I feel myself that it is time the obscurity attending those
two names - Ellis and Acton - was done away. The little mystery,
which formerly yielded some harmless pleasure, has lost its
interest; circumstances are changed. It becomes, then, my duty to
explain briefly the origin and authorship of the books written by
Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
About five years ago, my two sisters and myself, after a somewhat
prolonged period of separation, found ourselves reunited, and at
home. Resident in a remote district, where education had made
little progress, and where, consequently, there was no inducement
to seek social intercourse beyond our own domestic circle, we were
wholly dependent on ourselves and each other, on books and study,
for the enjoyments and occupations of life. The highest stimulus,