HER 19th century tale of intense love and revenge, played out against the windswept backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors, is considered a classic of English literature.

Despite Wuthering Heights being her only novel, Emily Bronte's influence endures through the generations and events have been taking place to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth, which falls tomorrow.

Friday evening saw a gathering in Haworth, West Yorkshire, at The Bronte Parsonage Museum, led by best-selling novelist Kate Mosse. The I Am Heathcliff event featured 16 contributors reading short stories inspired by the novel's Byron-esque character.

The town also played host to the premiere of Balls, a short film created by model and actress Lily Cole which examines Heathcliff's foundling beginnings. And the celebrations there culminate tomorrow with a 'What Emily Means to Me' event, where well-known writers will gather to celebrate her work.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh-based violin-maker Steve Burnett crafted a special violin to mark the occasion, using wood from a tree that grew close to the parsonage in Haworth. And back in May, at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Emily Bronte Rose was launched.

But it is the continuing popularity of her work with each new generation that is testament to her influence.

Bronte moved to the parsonage in Haworth when she was young, living a quiet life there with her family – including her literary sisters Charlotte and Anne. It was there that her imagination ran wild and she penned the epic Wuthering Heights in 1847, releasing it under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, aware that publishers may find the passionate love story more palatable if penned by a man.

But she died only a year later from tuberculosis, aged just 30, unaware that her legacy would live on in her unforgettable characters.

Her anniversary and the exploration of her role as one of the most influential female authors of all time has sparked discussions over who else can stake a claim to making their mark on the literary field in such a definitive way.

There is, of course, a vast list of women writers, past and present, to choose from.

Going back to the 17th century, Mary Shelley's most famous novel, the gothic tale Frankenstein, was published in 1818. The struggle between a monster and its creator remains an ongoing part of popular culture and Shelley is credited with founding science fiction as a literary field.

The author – known as well for her tumultuous marriage to English romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley – also used her writing to challenge traditional gender relations, and they are still used as debate points by scholars today.

As are the works of English author Virginia Woolf, one of the founding figures of the modernist movement. Her novels – including Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One’s Own – examine human motives and psychology, with the latter regarded as ahead of its time because of its statement on women needing financial independence to achieve personal success.

Woolf took her own life in 1941 at the age of 59, but the way in which she brought women into the public sphere and challenged outdated gender roles ensures her legacy lives on.

British crime writer Agatha Christie, the creator of characters such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, is the best-selling author of all-time. Her estimated sales range between two and four billion, in line with the works of Shakespeare. Her masterful writing skills and suspenseful whodunnit plots serve to make her still one of the most most-read authors in the world.

Meanwhile, the powerful story of American writer Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird, which won the Pulitzer in 1961, resonates even now. Much of the book details what Lee – who died two years ago at 89 – saw as a youngster growing up in the racially divided Deep South, and it inspired a culture change. It is revered as a classic of modern American literature and still sells a million copies a year.

In modern times, of course, thoughts turn to JK Rowling. In 2004, the Edinburgh-based Harry Potter creator became the first author to make the Forbes billionaires list, thanks to the movie and marketing empire based on her seven-book series on the boy wizard’s adventures, the first of which was published in 1997.

It is not only her words that have inspired, though, as her personal journey – from being a single parent struggling to get by on benefits, to writing stories that have captured the imaginations of millions of children and adults – has captivated audiences.

As for Emily, Labyrinth author Mosse said she must be credited for enabling women to write in a new way.

She said: “For me, as a novelist inspired by landscape, she changed what was possible for a woman to write and that’s why this book is still so important to novelists today. It wasn’t domestic and it was not in any way following the attitudes and morality of the time.”

She added: “I think it’s wonderful this far on after her birth, and of course Charlotte’s and Anne’s, that these extraordinary creative writers, these three sisters, with all the loss and grief they suffered in their lives, produced works that still have people arguing passionately as if they were published last week – I think that is brilliant.”