Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre have remained continuously popular ever since their 1847 publication. Though their lives were tragically short, Charlotte and Emily Bront^De made significant contributions to the history of the novel as a respected literary form. This Student Companion offers an absorbing biographical account of the Bront^De sisters' upbringing, tracing the familial and personal influences that shaped their intellectual lives. A literary heritage chapter also helps students grasp the importance of the sisters' literary accomplishments. A thorough, clear critical analysis is provided for each novel, including sections on plot, character development, thematic issues, literary devices and craft, and the historical/social-cultural context of each work. In addition to Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, original analysis is also given for Shirley (1849), Villette (1853),and The Professor (1857), Charlotte's first written but posthumously published novel. Five different contemporary literary theories--Marxist, Freudian, Jungian, Postcolonial, and Feminist--are included in the analysis and are discussed and applied to the novels. Difficult concepts are clearly explained, in non-academic prose. In-depth historical information not usually found in books about the Bront^Des is included, such as Belgian history, which is important in understanding Villette and The Professor. Clear writing and additional background information make this book a good choice for non-specialists, including students and general readers. An up-to-date bibliography includes the most recently published books and articles in Bront^De studies.