Charlotte Bronte called her sister, Emily Bronte , 'an unconscious genius who did not know what she had done,' referring to the single novel, Wuthering Heights.
What little we know about Emily Bronte comes down to us mostly through her sister, Charlotte, the writer of Jane Eyre. Despite the lack of information, Emily is a fascinating person. Her reclusive life style and inability to interact socially leaves us with a mysterious, incomplete portrait of the Victorian writer who gave us Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature.
Emily's forays int public were met with disappointment and failure due to her difficulties with social interaction. During her childhood, her father sent her to boarding school, where homesickness drove her into bouts with anorexia until she reached such weakened states, she was sent home to the Parsonage at Haworth in Yorkshire, England.
At home, Emily was happy. she applied herself rigorously to domestic routine around the parsonage and in the kitchen. She appears to have been a forceful influence behind the scenes and was the only one of her sisters capable of controlling her alcoholic and drug addicted brother, Branwell.
All four Bronte siblings (Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne) spent a large part of their childhood engrossed in fantasy play, creating their own kingdom called Angria. As Emily perceived that Charlotte and Branwell had too much control over the game, she and her sister Anne split off to crate another kingdom called Gondal. Moving into adulthood did not discourage Emily's interest in the fantasy world. She worked on the saga, complete with character lists, newspaper reports, complicated political and romantic situations, and poetry about it all until her death at age 30. Little is left of her life work except for a few poems.
The original, unusual and complicated plot of her novel, Wuthering Heights, incurred unfavorable contemporary reviews. Her work was seen as unnatural and morbid, due to the novel's dark themes of familial dysfunction, desire, and revenge. It was not until years after her death that Wuthering Heights was welcomed as a literary classic.
Emily Bronte's reclusiveness, her apparent rudeness, anorexia, and dedication to routine suggests that she may have had Asperger's syndrome, a condition of the autism spectrum not identified until 1944 by Hans Asperger.