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Contributor to Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846).
Author of the novels Agnes Grey (1847) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848).
Born Thornton, Yorkshire, 17th January 1820.
Died Scarborough, Yorkshire, 28th May 1849.
Anne was the youngest of the six Brontë children. She was only 20 months old when her mother died in September 1821, and her mother's elder sister Elizabeth Branwell took over the management of the family. Anne was Aunt Branwell's favourite, and she shared her aunt's bedroom for the formative years of her childhood. Anne was asthmatic and frail, serious minded and deeply religious.
The Reverend Patrick Brontë was a minister on the Evangelical wing of the Church of England. Aunt Branwell was a Wesleyan Methodist. Anne's religious conscience was torn all her life between the competing orthodoxies of universal salvation, and salvation for the elect. It was an anxiety that on at least one occasion, in 1837, made her physically ill. All in the Parsonage would be agreed however on the absolute necessity of understanding God's will as revealed in the Bible, and understanding the Bible demanded education.
Seeing little prospect of 'good' marriages for his daughters, Patrick Brontë planned a broad education for his daughters so that they might secure their own independence as governesses. Anne only had two years of formal schooling, from 1835-37, at Roe Head School near Dewsbury, where one of the teachers was her own sister Charlotte. The rest of her education she received at home; from her Aunt Elizabeth, her sister Charlotte and from the very wide reading that her father introduced her to.
Anne was governess to two households: To the Ingham family of Blake Hall, near Mirfield, from 1839-40, and to the Robinson family of Thorp Green, near York, from 1840-45. She found the work lonely and demoralising, alleviated only by her annual removal with the Robinson family to Scarborough for the summer holidays.
Along with her sisters and her brother, Anne wrote stories and poetry from the earliest age. She collaborated with Emily in developing the fantasy world of Gondal, with its own history, topography and cast of characters. The Gondal collaboration continued into the early 1840s. Anne, Charlotte and Emily all contributed to Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846), and Anne had two novels published: Agnes Grey (1847), which deals with the plight of the family governess, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), which examines the consequences of married women's lack of legal rights. Anne Brontë was published under her nom de plume, Acton Bell.
Illness and Death
On the 24th September 1848 Anne's brother Branwell died of tuberculosis. He was 31. Three months later, on the 19th December, Emily too died of tuberculosis at the age of 30. Two weeks later Anne was diagnosed as having contracted the same disease. She wanted above all to see the sea again at Scarborough, but the trip was not finally arranged until late May. Accompanied by Charlotte and the family friend, Ellen Nussey, Anne arrived in Scarborough on the 25th May 1849 and died there three days later. She was laid to rest in St. Mary's graveyard, Scarborough, and is the only member of the Brontë family who does not occupy the family vault beneath St. Michael and All Angels, Haworth.
|© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 ||