Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
McCarthy, Rachel; O'Sullivan, James
Digital Scholarship In The Humanities
Who Wrote Wuthering Heights?
Optional Fields
Wuthering Heights Stylometry Digital Humanities
Emily Brontė published Wuthering Heights in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. It was not until the later second edition, published after Emily’s death, that she was credited as the novel’s author. Those Victorian attitudes towards women which compelled Brontė to publish as Bell have not been wholly eradicated, with her legitimacy as the sole author being called into question by male commentators at several junctures since. Their claim is that Emily’s brother Branwell is the real author of Wuthering Heights. Using stylometry, a computer-assisted technique which measures the likely author of a text, this brief experiment demonstrates that it is highly unlikely that Branwell Brontė contributed to the writing of Wuthering Heights, and that Emily, as generally considered, is the novel’s sole author. Furthermore, considering a number of limitations with the corpus being tested, this study provides a good and necessary example of stylometry in practice, and how such an experiment should be conducted in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Grant Details