Western Winds: The Brontës’ Irish Heritage, by Edward Chitham

Western Winds: The Brontës’ Irish Heritage, by Edward Chitham

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Exploring the Irish heritage of the Brontës and the influence it had on their work

"Has it ever been sufficiently recognized that Charlotte Brontë is first and foremost an Irish woman?" asked Mary Ward in 1899.

The Irish heritage of the Brontë family has long been overlooked, partly because both Charlotte and her father Patrick did their very best to ensure that this was the case and partly because there was a strong understanding at the end of the nineteenth century that the Brontës were Yorkshire regional novelists.

Yet their ideas and attitudes, and perhaps even their storylines, can be traced to Ireland. This book, which develops ideas originally published in The Brontës Irish Heritage in 1986, sets the record straight. By re-evaluating the sources available, it traces Patrick’s Irish ancestry and shows how it prevented him from achieving his ambitions; it shows how that heritage influenced his children’s writings, particularly Emily; and it sheds further light on the genesis of Wuthering Heights.