Anne Brontë Biography

Author, Poet(1820–1849)
Anne Brontë, sister of fellow writers Emily and Charlotte, penned the classic 19th century novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Synopsis

Born on January 17, 1820, in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, Anne Brontë would go on to pen a book of poetry with sisters Charlotte and Emily. Anne worked as a governess. Her 1847 novel, Agnes Grey, was inspired by her experiences. Her subsequent novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the story of a woman leaving her abusive spouse, was published the following year. Anne died of tuberculosis on May 28, 1849, in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.

Early Life

Anne Brontë was born on January 17, 1820, in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the sister of fellow writers Charlotte and Emily Brontë. Said to be the meeker and less talented Brontë sister, Anne was raised in a strict Anglican home by her clergyman father and a religious aunt after her mother and two eldest siblings died.

Anne was largely educated at home and worked as a governess for a several years before working on a book of poetry with her sisters, Charlotte and Emily, in 1846. Anne contributed 21 poems to the work, entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.

'Agnes Grey' and 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'

Anne Brontë published her first novel, Agnes Grey, in 1847. Irish novelist George Moore later called Anne's debut work "the most perfect prose narrative in English literature," as well as "simple and beautiful as a muslin dress," and declared in his Conversations in Ebury Street (1924) that "if Anne Brontë had lived 10 years longer, she would have taken a place beside Jane Austen, perhaps even a higher place."

Anne's second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the story of a woman leaving her abusive spouse, was published in three volumes in 1848. The novel sold well, despite the fact that both it and Agnes Grey were considered more conservative than those of her sisters. (In 1847, Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights; both novels were incredibly popular upon their release, and both continue to garner critical and commercial claim today.)

Final Years

The deaths of the Brontë siblings are almost as notable as their literary legacy. Anne's brother, Branwell, and sister, Emily, both died in 1848. Anne Brontë died the following year, on May 28, 1849, in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, of tuberculosis. Not long after, in 1854, Charlotte Brontë died during her pregnancy.

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