Brontė, Anne

WRITER (IRELAND)
BORN 17 Jan 1820, Thornton, West Yorkshire - DIED 28 May 1849, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
GRAVE LOCATION Scarborough, North Yorkshire: St Mary's Churchyard, Castle Road

Anne Brontė was the youngest of the daughters of the literary Irish clergyman Patrick Brontė. She was born shortly before the family moved from Thornton to Haworth, where she lived for most of her life. For a while she attended the Roe Head boarding school, where her older sister Charlotte was a teacher. This was no succes. Her father was poor and after she finished her education she left Haworth in 1839 to work as a governess for the Ingham family at Blake Hall near Mirfield. But she had problems handling the bad behaviour of the children and wasn't authorised to punish them. Before Christmas she was home. There she met William Weightman, her father's new curate. From 1840 to 1845 she worked as a governess for the Robinson family at Thorp Green Hall and this time things went better. She resigned after her brother Branwell, who was also employed there, turned out to have a relationship with Mrs Robinson, her employer.

In 1845 she and her sisters Charlotte and Emily secretly put together a volume of poetry under the name of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. They had it printed from their own money. It sold only two copies in the first years allhough it received a few favourable reviews. In 1848 her poems "The Three Guides" and The Narrow Way" were published in magazines. At the same time the sisters each wrote novels. Anne wrote "Agnes Grey", in which she used her experiences at Blake Hall. "Agnes Grey" was published in 1847 and sales were good. Her second novel "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (1848) was an immediate succes. Her style is sharp and ironic and lacks the romanticism of the work of her sisters.

In 1848 she visited London with Charlotte to reveal their identity to their publisher George Smith and to prove to him that they weren't the same person. Her literary future seemd bright now but in 1848 both her brother Branwell and Emily died. The grief underminded her health and she became ill herself and she was diagnosed with consumption, without hope of recovery. In May, 1849 she travelled to Scarborough, hoping that the sea air might do her good. She had known happy times at Scarborough with the Robinson family and liked the place. She, Charlotte and their friend Ellen Nussey arrived at May 25th, but it was clear that she had little strength left. They lodged at 'Wood's Lodgings', Number 2, The Cliff.

Anne died three days after their arrival and Charlotte buried her sister there instead of in Haworth (possibly Anne had expressed a wish to be buried there to spare Charlotte the transportation of her body to Haworth and her father another funeral, but Charlotte's statement to 'lay the flower where it had fallen' suggests it was Charlotte's decision). Patrick Brontė was not present at the funeral, only Charlotte and Miss Wooler, the former schoolmistress at Roe Head, were there.

Three years later Charlotte visited the grave and discovered five errors on the stone she had ordered. They were corrected, but her age at the time of death is still incorrectly stated as 28. Charlotte never visited the grave again. In 2013 a plaque was put on her grave which gave her age correctly as 29.

Related persons
• is brother/sister of Brontė, Charlotte
• is brother/sister of Brontė, Emily
• was criticized by Eastlake, Elizabeth

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Bront%C3%AB

Images

Memorial plaque for the Brontė sisters in Westminster Abbey, Londen.
Picture by Androom (27 Mar 1996)

 

The grave of Anne Brontė at St Mary's Churchyard, Scarborough.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 2015)

 

The grave of Anne Brontė at St Mary's Churchyard, Scarborough.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 2015)

 

Plaque for Anne Brontė in Scarborough, commemorating the place where the house stood where she died.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 2015)

 


Brontė, Charlotte

Published: 30 Aug 2015
Last update: 10 Sep 2017