Emily Bront� (1818-1848) published Wuthering Heights, her only novel, under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell in 1847�just a year before her death at the age of thirty. She also published a volume of poetry under that pseudonym, together with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was a versatile, remarkably prolific writer whose satirical writings have had more lasting fame than his more staid defenses of Victorian values.
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) published her first novel, Mary Barton (1848) anonymously, but her fame as a writer spread rapidly. Her best-known novels include Cranford (1853), North and South (1854), and Wives and Daughters (1865)
Victorian novelist and poet Thomas Hardy focused much of his work -- including classics like Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) on man's futile struggle against unseen forces. Of his rather unromantic outlook on life, Hardy once said, "Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed."
If you think Victorian literature is quaint, you haven t read anything by Wilkie Collins. Often considered the father of the English detective novel, Collins has thrilled readers with suspenseful gothic tales such as The Woman in White and The Moonstone.
Charles Dickens is probably the greatest novelist England ever produced. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life -- along with his memorable characters -- have made him beloved by readers the world over. In Dickens' books live some of the most repugnant villains in literature, as well as some of the most likeable (and unlikely) heroes.
Charlotte Bront� once wrote, "It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it." Though she led a quiet life (and died young), Bront� indeed created action in her sweeping, passionate novels, such as the gothic drama Jane Eyre.