Lynne Stringer – Author & Editor

Anne’s work is probably the least appreciated of all the Bronte sisters’ work, but I think there was a lot more to quiet Anne than most people think. It must be remembered that she created closely with Emily, the passionate, strong-minded creator of Wuthering Heights, while Charlotte’s creative energies were usually coupled with her brother, Branwell. So what was it that Emily saw in Anne? Perhaps it was just that they were the youngest siblings, or was it a case of opposites attract? Anne was certainly the quiet, submissive soul in comparison with her fiery sister. But there’s no doubt she still had a considerable grasp on literature herself. While her first novel, Agnes Grey, was perhaps not a first-class representative of the literature of the age, and I’m not sure it would have even been remembered if not for the collective Bronte legend, her second book, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is vastly different, with its honest portrayal of the difficulties of living with an alcoholic, which Anne had experienced firsthand via her brother, Branwell. It was considered shocking at the time, but now would be probably viewed as a trifle restrained. Nonetheless, it is an interesting look at how a charismatic individual can be innately troubled, and eventually, cause his own downfall, and I believe Anne deserves to be remembered on her own merit for this book alone.

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2 Responses

  1. I love The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I completely agree that she deserves a place in literary history for that book, which I read was quite controversial at the time. Do you suppose Charlotte stopped the reprint of it because of their brother’s alcoholism and the shame of that in the family?

    1. Quite possibly. Also because Anne had copped a hammering from the crtics, who’d labelled the book as coarse and unacceptable in content.