The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Paperback)
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Anne Bronte (17 January 1820 - 28 May 1849) was a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Bronte literary family. The daughter of a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of England, Anne Bronte lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors. For a couple of years she went to a boarding school. At the age of 19 she left Haworth and worked as a governess between 1839 and 1845. After leaving her teaching position, she fulfilled her literary ambitions. She wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Like her poems, both of her novels were first published under the masculine penname of Acton Bell. Anne's life was cut short when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 29. Mainly because the re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was prevented by Charlotte Bronte after Anne's death, she is less known than her sisters Charlotte, author of four novels including Jane Eyre, and Emily, author of Wuthering Heights. However, her novels, like those of her sisters, have become classics of English literature. Anne's father, Patrick Bronte (1777-1861), was born in a two-room cottage in Emdale, Loughbrickland, County Down, Ireland. He was the oldest of ten children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor McCrory, poor Irish peasant farmers. The family surname mac Aedh O Proinntigh was Anglicised as Prunty or Brunty. Struggling against poverty, Patrick learned to read and write and from 1798 taught others. In 1802, at the age of 25, he won a place to study theology at St. John's College, Cambridge where he changed his name, Brunty, to the more distinguished sounding Bronte. In 1807 he was ordained in the priesthood in the Church of England. He served as a curate first in Essex and latterly in Wellington, Shropshire. In 1810, he published his first poem Winter Evening Thoughts in a local newspaper, followed in 1811 by a collection of moral verse, Cottage Poems. In 1811, he became vicar of St. Peter's Church in Hartshead in Yorkshire. The following year he was appointed an examiner in Classics at Woodhouse Grove School, near Bradford a Wesleyan academy where, aged 35, he met his future wife, Maria Branwell, the headmaster's niece. Anne's mother, Maria Branwell (1783-1821), was the daughter of Thomas Branwell, a successful, property-owning grocer and tea merchant in Penzance and Anne Carne, the daughter of a silversmith. The eleventh of twelve children, Maria enjoyed the benefits of belonging to a prosperous family in a small town. After the death of her parents within a year of each other, Maria went to help her aunt administer the housekeeping functions of the school. A tiny, neat woman aged 30, she was well read and intelligent. Her strong Methodist faith attracted Patrick Bronte because his own leanings were similar.