Anne Bronte

Anne Bronte

Thornton, Metropolitan Borough of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Death 28 May 1849 (aged 29)
Scarborough, Scarborough Borough, North Yorkshire, England
Burial Scarborough, Scarborough Borough, North Yorkshire, England
Memorial ID 136 · View Source
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British Novelist and Poet. She was one of the three Bronte sisters who became renowned authors, the others being Charlotte and Emily Bronte. Even though she wrote and published only two novels, she would become a major literary figure in her own right. She was born the youngest of six children in Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Patrick and Marie Bronte. Her father, an Anglican priest, was the Thornton chapel curate as well as an amateur poet. Shortly after her birth, her father was appointed to the perpetual curacy in the nearby town of Haworth and the family moved into the 5-room Haworth Parsonage where they would spend the rest of their lives. When she was a year old, her mother died and her aunt (her mother's sister) moved in the home to help raise the children. Four years later, in 1825, her two oldest sisters, Maria and Elizabeth died of tuberculosis while attending the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire, England. She received her basic education at home from her aunt, including reading, drawing, and music. She read all of the literary classics from her father's vast library along with newspapers and magazines which helped to shape her imagination and creativity. When she was around 11 years old, she and her sister, Emily to whom she developed a close relationship and were inseparable, created their own fantasy world called "Gondal." In 1835 she attended Roe Head School, a boarding school for girls, where her older sister Charlotte held a teaching job. While there, she studied hard to receive a good education to support herself. In late 1837 she became ill with gastritis and underwent a religious crisis at the same time. She returned home to recover and a year later she started looking for a teaching position and in April 1839 began working as a governess for the Ingham family at Blake Hall, near Mirfield in West Yorkshire, England. The Ingham children were unruly and she was unsuccessful in teaching or controlling them, and was soon dismissed. In May 1840 she obtained a governess position to the four children of Reverend Edmund Robinson and his wife Lydia at Thorp Green, a wealthy country house near York. Initially she encountered similar problems that she had experienced with the children at Blake Hall but with her determination and perseverance she endured and became a success. In 1843 she secured a position at Thorp Green for her brother Branwell as a tutor to the Robinson's youngest child Edmund. Branwell soon became involved in a secret romantic tryst with Lydia and he was dismissed after Reverend Robinson became aware of the relationship and Anne felt that she should resign her position as well. In 1845 she, Charlotte, and Emily were unemployed at their father's home, and without any potential job prospects they decided to publish the poems they had written over the years. Without anyone's knowledge they came up with the money to have the collection published, using the pseudonyms Currer Bell (Charlotte), Ellis Bell (Emily), and Action Bell (Anne). The collection, titled "Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Action Bell" was published in May 1846, but while it received favorable reviews, it was a complete failure. During this time Anne had been working on her novel "Agnes Grey," which was based on her experiences while working at Blake Hall and Thorp Green, and it was finally published in December 1847 and sold well. In June 1848 her second novel, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," was published and was an instant phenomenal success, selling out in only six weeks. However, tragedy would soon strike the family. In September of 1848 her brother, Branwell died from a combination of alcoholism and chronic bronchitis (most likely tuberculosis). Three months later her sister, Emily would also die from tuberculosis. Emily's death deeply affected her, undermining her physical health, and she contracted influenza over the Christmas holidays. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis with little hope of recovering. Unlike Emily, she followed doctor's orders but progressively grew weaker and became more frail. In February 1849 her health seemed to improve and she decided to visit Scarborough, England, in hopes that the change in location along with the fresh sea air might help her recover. She left on 24 May 1849 with her sister, Charlotte but in just a few days it became obvious that she would not last and she died in Scarborough at the age of 29.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 136
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Anne Bronte (17 Jan 1820–28 May 1849), Find a Grave Memorial no. 136, citing St. Mary's Churchyard, Scarborough, Scarborough Borough, North Yorkshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .