Poetry | June 02, 2021

Costumery: Cento with Lines from Early Reviews of Wuthering Heights

Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë posed as Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell to publish their work and be taken seriously as authors; rumors swirled around the nature of their identity and their novels’ composition.

The whole firm of Bell & Co.

staring down human life—


a depravity strangely their own

one family, one pen—


provincialisms, blasphemy, the brutalizing

influence of unchecked passion


Scenes so hot, emphatic,

and so sternly masculine in feeling


Its sex cannot be mistaken

even in manliest attire


A sprawling story casts a gloom

one presiding evil genius


two generations of sufferers

the highest effects of the supernatural


an atmosphere of mist . . .

A more natural unnatural story


we do not remember having read:

But what may be the moral?

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