The Anne Brontë Blog

Friday, 18 June 2010

Education and Imagination

Anne’s studies at the parsonage evidently encompassed music and drawing, she was also instructed by the Keighley parish organist in piano play, her studies also included Art which she was taught by John Bradley of Keighley. Her aunt wished that all of her nieces were educated as to the practical and serviceable methods of running a household. But their intelligence toward literature prevailed, their father and his academically powerful library was a main source of knowledge. They are believed to have read, The Bible, Shakespeare, Virgil, Milton and Byron etcetera. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Fraser's Magazine, and The Edinburgh Review. In addition, they read history, geography and biographies.

Those readings evidently allied the Bronte’s imagination, in 1826. Patrick presented his young son with a set of toy soldiers. They each chose a soldier, named this solider, and gave them each character. These soldiers were named “The twelve’s” This subsequently evolved into the children’s imaginary African kingdom “Angria” There were map illustrations and watercolour interpretations, the children eventually devised plots and situations for the inhabitants of “Angria”, and indeed it’s capital city “Glass Town” renamed the perhaps less ingenious Verreopolis, and lastly , Verdopolis.

These illusionary creations, the worlds and kingdoms, acquired the characteristics of the world outside of their parsonage.

“—sovereigns, armies, heroes, outlaws, fugitives, inns, schools and publishers. For these peoples and lands the children created newspapers, magazines and chronicles, all of which were written out in extremely tiny books, with writing that was so small it was difficult to read without the aid of a magnifying glass. These juvenile creations and writings served as the apprenticeship of their later, literary talents."

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