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The Bronte's should be 1,2 AND 3!

According to UKTV Drama, who carried out a survey of 2,000, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is the most loved love story. Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet came second and third. However, if the judgement had been mine alone, Jane Eyre would have been second and the much under-rated Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall third; Austen could make do with fourth.

The Brontes were experts at conveying the passion that lies seething within a bleak backdrop, which is no surprise, considering where they grew up. I also have a theory: I think that the Brontes 'wild' nature (wild compared to their peers and the earlier Austen) was due in part to their Irish DNA – Marxist literary theorist Terry Eagleton referred to this in his paper, Heathcliff and the Great Hunger, meaning the Irish famine. Could Heathcliffe have been Irish, coming in as he did into Liverpool? The Brontes father was Irish, and wasn't Bronte, but Brunty. There have been stories about him burning their Wellingtons on the stove, something that could have come straight out of Wuthering Heights.

Another point to consider is the fact that most of the women who were this country's earliest recorded feminists or whose works had strong feminist elements, Mary Wollstonecraft, Caroline Norton, the Bronte sisters, Maria Edgworth, were all of Irish descent. Or is it just a coincidence?





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