Get To Know the Youngest Brontë Sister; Anne Brontë!

We know all about Emily and Charlotte, but what about their little sister Anne Brontë? She was an accomplished writer, too! Read to learn about her here!

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You can never get enough of the most famous sister trio! It is easy to overlook that Anne Brontë was just as talented and enjoyed as her older sisters. The purpose of this article is so that doesn’t happen anymore! We need to celebrate Anne just as much as Emily and Charlotte. Anne may have been the quiet, shy sister, but most times, that means she is the one with the most to say.

Read on to learn more about Anne and commit her success to memory!

1. Anne left home at 19 to work as a Governess

Though both Charlotte and Emily also worked as governesses, Anne stayed working the longest, from 1839 to 1845. She spent one year with the Ingham Family of Mirfield and five years with the Robinson Family of Thorp Green Hall. Her experience as a governess aided in her writing of Agnes Grey, a semi-autobiographical novel. She also included the families she worked for as the families written into her novel.

Though Anne wrote about the families, that doesn’t mean she loved being a governess. She found the children to be very difficult and missed her home and family when she worked for the Inghams. They fired her, surely discouraging her drive to work. She luckily landed the position with the Robinsons, which she enjoyed much more.

2. Anne loved music and was a talented pianist

Anne was known to be quite a music lover! In my mind, when you are an artist of any kind, you start to enjoy the other arts as well. Since Anne was a writer, it makes perfect sense to me that she was also a talented musician and vice versa.

She was known to play the upright piano which you can actually see at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in the UK!


While playing the piano, Anne was known to sing in her quiet sweet voice, pairing well with her shy personality. She had a large collection of sheet music, both printed and in her own hand, highlighting her dedication to the art form.

3. She published poems under the pseudonym ‘Acton Bell’

It was very common for women to write under pseudonyms, especially when it came to getting work published. Many famous female authors would never have been published if the publishers had known they were women. It was easier for female writers to get their work out there if they used male names or names without a gender association.

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All three of the Brontë sisters had caught onto this; Charlotte published under “Currer Bell” and Emily under “Ellis Bell.” The same last name proved their relationship but said nothing pertaining to their gender, keeping them ambiguous.

4. She has also written novels!

You may think of Emily and Charlotte when you think of authors in the Brontë family, but let’s not skip over Anne!

Anges Grey, Anne’s first novel, was published by Thomas Cautley Newby in 1847. It follows Anges Grey as she works as a governess within high-class English families. The novel was written to show the issues of abuse and oppression of women in general but specifically as governesses. This is where Anne’s personal experiences came into play.

As stated above, this novel was semi-biographical, allowing Anne to bare all of her feelings towards her position. It was initially published under her pen name as well, so she was protected when telling her stories.

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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered one of the first feminist novels. Published in 1848, only a year after Anges Grey, Anne’s second and final novel was an instant success. It was written in epistolary form (a collection of letters) showing the correspondence between Gilbert Markham to his friend about meeting Helen Grahm, a young widow, at Wildfell Hall. This Hall is an Elizabethan mansion that has remained empty for many years, making this story creepy and mysterious (also reminds me a bit of Jane Eyre!)

This novel highlighted domestic violence, gender differences, motherhood, and marriage at a time when these difficulties were not widely considered or even talked about publicly. Anne opened the dialogue for readers to consider what was going on in the novel and relate it to their lives.

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As one of three sisters myself, I relate to this trio. They are all so different, but at the end of the day, they help each other succeed at what they love. It is mindboggling to think that without Anne, the shy baby sister, we wouldn’t have novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights! I think Anne deserves all of our thanks.

Enjoy the Brontë sisters? Read more about them here!