Poems By Currer Ellis And Acton Bell

The Bell Poems was a collection of the sisters' poetry entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. They were the first collection of the sisters' poetry to be published.

In October 1845, Emily left her writing desk open and Charlotte accidentally discovered a volume of verse in Emily's handwriting. Emily was furious. After some time, Charlotte persuaded her sister that the poems merited publication. This led to the idea of the sisters publishing their collected poetry

In 1846, Charlotte persuaded her sisters to publish a collection of their poetry, using 10 guineas each – plus a further sum of £5; – all part of their aunt's legacy. There were 61 poems. The collection was published by Aylott & Jones in May 1846. 1,000 copies were printed.

The book had 165 pages and sold for 4/-. Despite favourable reviews – one in the Athenæum and another in the Dublin University Magazine – only 2 copies of the book sold.

On 16th June 1847, having failed to sell their book of Poems, the sisters sent copies to several people, including Hartley Coleridge, Ebenezer Elliott, J. G. Lockhart, Thomas de Quincey, Alfred Tennyson, and William Wordsworth.

In 1845, Branwell had suggested to his sisters that novel writing was a more profitable business than writing poetry

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 02:53 / 22nd February 2023 / 3941

Page Ref: KK_143

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