The young Brontë sisters lived at 72-74 Market Street in the U.K. village of Thornton from 1815 to 1820.
She said the myths were damaging. “They perpetuate this idea she was weird and different and strange and other in a way that is quite hostile.” O’Callaghan said it was true Emily was shy, or reserved, and craved solitude and enjoyed getting out the house walking on the moors with her dog Keeper, a large mastiff. But this did not make her odd.“Today when we think about character traits and personality traits we take a different approach to things, we try to accommodate and understand differences or social awkwardness or anxieties or just different ways of being. We try not to stigmatise people.”
O’Callaghan’s book also explores how Emily might fit in today, arguing she would be more at home in a more accepting, tolerant, feminist society.Brontë’s only novel was Wuthering Heights, the violent and passionate story of the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff.O’Callaghan said the novel was still seen as a love story and that too needs re-examining. “I think it is about a lot more and I think that love story is quite a damaging one … I think it can be read as a cautionary tale against damaging romance and violent romance.”Heathcliff is clearly a horrible man “yet he is often read as the archetypal anti-hero. I really question that word hero. He is just vile from the outset.”In the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo, O’Callaghan, a lecturer in English at Loughborough University, said it was a good time to re-evaluate. “Maybe the time’s up on Heathcliff … we need to take off the romantic blinkers and we need to look at him more critically.”