The Anne Brontë Blog

Friday, 18 June 2010

Early Life

The work of Anne Bronte is unfortunately and I fear indelibly cast into shadow by the toil of three sisters’ whose relationship has, understandably to certain degree, meant they are eternally entwined upon the moors, caught together in pathos. The distinction between them has become, I believe, in the passage of time ever more resonant. I chose to emphasise therefore Anne, though I do believe, with certainty, it would be resoluble, and disparaging not to reference the Bronte family, the parsonage or Anne’s relationships within.

The daughter of a poor Church of England curate, he himself a writer of not inconsiderable ability, she was born on 17 January 1820, at number 74 Market Street in the village of Thornton, Bradford, Yorkshire, England. At the time of Anne’s birth her father was the curate of Thornton, she was baptised there on the twenty-fifth of March 1820. Shortly thereafter, Anne’s father earned the post of perpetual curate of Howarth a secure though perhaps not intellectually stimulating post.

Patrick Bronte was born at Emdale, Drumballyrony, County Down, Patrick survived childhood the elder of ten children. A period of apprenticeship as a blacksmith terminated because of aptitude toward learning, this being principally self taught, encouraged him into a university education, this should be revered especially as the modest family of “Brunty” were financial paupers. Patrick’s own father, Hugh, was an agricultural labourer.

In April 1820, the Bronte family relocated to the Howarth parsonage. The five-roomed home, which is now an integral piece of the Bronte parsonage, cannot have appeared welcoming to such a family, indeed one would suppose, the essence of foreboding which remains today. Would have been sensed by all the young Bronte’s.

Maria Branwell died on the fifteenth of September 1821 the cause of her prolonged illness and subsequent death is conjectured to be uterine cancer. Concerned with the welfare of his young children, Patrick endeavoured to re-marry, but despite what can only be conjectured upon as considerable effort, remained without a wife, and mother to five daughters.

Maria’s sister, Elizabeth Branwell had resided at the parsonage throughout her sister’s illness, and subsequently and steadfastly remained until her death. Her resolve to care for the children was borne of a sense of Christian duty, love nor affection is discernable in the temperament of aunt Branwell her strict devoutly religious manner was a prominent characteristic of the children’s childhood and education. Despite the truth that the elder children were respectful but not loving, as was expected and I feel cultivated in there behaviour, but to Anne, her favoured rationally she is said to have had a bond. Anne shared a room with her aunt, they were close and this may have influenced Anne’s personality traits and religious belief’s beyond any further human relationship Anne shared.

"Anne, dear gentle Anne was quite different in appearance from the others, and she was her aunt's favourite. Her hair was a very pretty light brown, and fell on her neck in graceful curls. She had lovely violet-blue eyes; fine pencilled eyebrows and a clear almost transparent complexion. She still pursued her studies and especially her sewing, under the surveillance of her aunt."

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