Emily Bronte occupies a special place in the English literary canon. And rightly so: the incomparable Wuthering Heights is a novel that has bewitched us for almost 200 years, and the character of Heathcliff is, perhaps, the ultimate romantic hero - and villain. But Emily herself remains an enigmatic figure, often portrayed as awkward, as a misanthrope, as "no normal being". That's the conventional wisdom on Emily as a person, but is it accurate, is it fair? In this biography with a twist, Claire O'Callaghan conjures a new image of Emily and rehabilitates her reputation by exploring the themes of her life and work - her feminism, her passion for the natural world - as well as the art she has inspired, and even the "fake news" stories about her. What we discover is that she was, in fact, a thoroughly modern woman. And now, in the 21st century, it's time for the real Emily Bronte to please stand up.
Dr Claire O'Callaghan is a Lecturer in English in the School of Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University, where her research focuses on Victorian and neo-Victorian literature and culture, with an emphasis on gender, sexuality and queerness. She has published widely on these topics.