A Literary Family: The Brontes Quiz


Who was the oldest of the three Bronte sisters?

Born in 1816, Charlotte was the oldest of the Brontes, followed by Emily, then Anne.

True or false: The Bronte girls' mother died in childbirth.

Mother Maria died of cancer in 1821, just a year after giving birth to her final child, Anne.

What was the name of the girls' beloved brother?

Branwell, born in 1817, was the only boy in the Bronte family.

Which Bronte sister would later use her experience at the notorious Clergy Daughters' School in her most famous book?

Charlotte and Emily both attended the Clergy Daughters' School. Their experience was so wretched that Charlotte used the school as inspiration for Lowood when penning "Jane Eyre."

What type of book did the three sisters collaborate on in 1846?

The Bronte sisters all contributed poems to a book of poetry in 1846, using a small inheritance to pay to have the book published.

What name did the sisters adopt as pen names?

All three sisters submitted their work under the name of a man, with all three taking the surname Bell. Women authors were frowned upon in the early 19th century.

How many copies did the Bronte sisters sell of their first book?

Just two copies of "Poems" sold, making the book an utter flop by any standard.

Which Bronte sister was the first to submit a novel for publication?

Charlotte was the first to submit a book to a publisher when she wrote "The Professor." While the work was rejected, the publisher saw promise in her writing and encouraged her to try again.

Which Bronte sister wrote "Jane Eyre"?

Charlotte wrote "Jane Eyre," a book about a poor governess who falls for the master of the house.

What year was "Jane Eyre" published?

"Jane Eyre," written under the pen name Currer Bell, came out in October 1847 and was an instant bestseller.

Which Bronte sister wrote "Wuthering Heights"?

Emily wrote "Wuthering Heights," which came out in December 1847 and wasn't nearly as successful as "Jane Eyre."

True or false: Anne's first book was published in the same volume as "Wuthering Heights."

Anne's "Agnes Grey" came out in December 1847 and was packaged in a single volume along with "Wuthering Heights."

Who was the first Bronte sister to publish a second novel?

Youngest sister Anne was the first to published a second novel when she wrote "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" in 1848.

What disease claimed Anne, Emily and brother Branwell?

Anne, Emily and Branwell died of tuberculosis (aka consumption) in rapid succession.

How old was Emily Bronte when she died in December 1848?

Emily was just 30 years old when she lost her life to tuberculosis, dying just months after brother Branwell.

How old was Anne Bronte when she died?

Anne died less than six months after Emily, at age 29. Hoping the sea air would cure her, she and Charlotte had moved to Scarborough, England, but the move was not enough to save the young woman.

What was the title of Charlotte's second novel?

Charlotte published "Shirley" in October 1849, just months after losing the last of her three siblings.

What year did Charlotte publish "Villette"?

"Villette," the final Charlotte Bronte novel published during her lifetime, came out in January 1853 and told the story of a governess who fell in love with a married headmaster.

True or false: Charlotte was the only Bronte sister to marry.

Charlotte married Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls on June 29, 1854, making her the only Bronte sister to make it to the altar.

How many children did the three Bronte sisters have in total?

None of the three Bronte sisters became mothers, though Charlotte was in the early stages of pregnancy when she died.

How old was Charlotte when she died?

Charlotte died less than a year after her wedding at age 38. Like her sisters and brother, she died of tuberculosis.

What Charlotte Bronte title was released right after her death?

Bronte's first rejected novel "The Professor" was finally published after her death. A friend also penned "The Life of Charlotte Bronte," which has long served as an important biography of Charlotte and her sisters.

True or false: Patrick Bronte outlived all six of his children.

Patrick Bronte died at age 84 in 1861, long after his wife and six children had died.

Where did the Bronte sisters spend their childhood and pen their famous works?

The sisters grew up at Haworth Parsonage, a Yorkshire, England, mill town. The surrounding moors provided inspiration for Emily while penning "Wuthering Heights."

Which Bronte sister's novel tells the tale of the Earnshaws and the Lintons?

Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" is an epic gothic novel, telling the tale of the Earnshaws and Lintons and their lives at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.

When did the Bronte sisters finally reveal their gender to their publisher?

The Bronte sisters informed their publisher of their gender in 1848, after all three had already published at least one novel.

Which Bronte sister revealed her gender secret to the world?

Even after their publisher was informed, no one else knew that the Brontes' books were written by women. Charlotte finally spilled the beans in the foreword to an 1849 edition of "Wuthering Heights" and "Agnes Grey."

What is the role of Agnes Grey, the main character in Anne's book of the same name?

Agnes Grey is a governess, just like Jane Eyre.

Which Bronte sister's book features the manor Thornfield?

Jane Eyre becomes a governess at Thornfield and falls in love with Mr. Rochester in Charlotte's classic novel.

Who painted the only surviving portrait of the three sisters?

Brother Branwell's painting is at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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About This Quiz

The Brontes not only wrote some of history's greatest novels, but also made readers question firmly entrenched ideas about gender, religion and culture of the time. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of one of the first families of literature.

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