The book sold two copies.
With unwavering self-belief, they turned to novel writing. Charlotte's first submission was rejected by a publisher, but her next, Jane Eyre appeared in October 1847, with both Wuthering Heights, by Emily, and Agnes Grey, by Anne, appearing two months later.
The books became critical and financial successes, with the public astonished and enraptured by tales of such passion, amorality and towering imagination.
Walking around their home, The Parsonage, last month we were musing, as a group, about how the sisters' had taken this step to self-publish when a ten-year old said to me:
But isn't that what you've done and people like you are doing? What has changed?
I was reminded of this when I received 5 star reviews on Amazon recently for The Secret Alchemist. The self-publishing road is long and you need deep, deep reserves of perseverance and self-belief. But the rewards of that labour, the 5 star reviews, when they come, are both amazing and humbling. I would love to write a Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, but in the meantime I am just grateful that, somehow, the publishing world has come full circle and new writers can follow their dreams.