(Born Jan. 17, 1820, Thornton, Yorkshire, Eng.—died May 28, 1849, Scarborough, Yorkshire, Eng.).
English poet and novelist, sister of Charlotte and Emily Brontë and author of Agnes Grey (1847) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848).
The youngest of six children of Patrick and Marie Brontë, Anne was taught in the family’s Haworth home and at Roe Head School. With her sister Emily, she invented the imaginary kingdom of Gondal, about which they wrote verse and prose (the latter now lost) from the early 1830s until 1845. In 1846 Anne contributed 21 poems to Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, a joint work with her sisters Charlotte and Emily. Her first novel, Agnes Grey, was published together with Emily’s Wuthering Heights in three volumes (of which Agnes Grey was the third) in December 1847. The reception to these volumes, associated in the public mind with the immense popularity of Charlotte’s Jane Eyre (October 1847), led to quick publication of Anne’s second novel (again as Acton Bell), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, published in three volumes in June 1848. She fell ill with tuberculosis toward the end of the year and died the following May.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Originally published in 1848, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is the second of only two novels written by Anne Brontë. Considered one of the first feminist novels because it challenged the social norms of the Victorian era, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is essentially a romantic novel which is chiefly concerned with the relationship between Gilbert Markham, a prosperous farmer, and the mysterious widow Mrs. Helen Graham, who takes up residence in the nearby tumbledown mansion of Wildfell Hall. A classic of the Victorian era, this novel is a must read for fans of the Bronte sisters.
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