Read more about what happened that day on 28-05-1849 anne-bronte-and-scarborough
- But as you can read (under) Anne had a 'core of steel'.
- Her book, The tenant of Wildfell Hall, called by one of her biographers, a revolutionary work of social criticism.
In 1839, a year after leaving the school, and at the age of nineteen, Anne set out to begin her first period of employment: she was to become a governess with the Ingham family at Blake Hall, Mirfield, which was situated just two miles from Roe Head. The children in Anne's charge were spoilt and wild, and persistently disobeyed, defied, teased and tormented her. She experienced great difficulty controlling them, and had almost no success in instilling any education. She was not empowered to inflict any punishment, and when she complained of their behaviour to their parents she received no support whatever, but was merely criticised for not being capable of her job. By the end of the year the Inghams decided they needed to find some other mode of education for their offspring: Anne returned home, her employment with the family having come to an abrupt end. The whole episode at Blake Hall was so traumatic for Anne, that she reproduced it in almost perfect detail in her later novel, Agnes Grey.
With her characteristic determination, she soon obtained her second post: this time as a governess to the children of the Reverend Edmund Robinson at Thorp Green - near York. This was about forty miles from Haworth, and the furthest any of the Brontës had worked away from home. Initially, she encountered the same problems with the unruly children, that she had experienced at Blake Hall. Her own quiet, gentle disposition did not help matters. However, as one biographer has stated, despite her outwardly placid appearance, Anne had a 'core of steel': with sheer determination, and the experience she gradually gained, she made a resounding success of her position, becoming 'wondrously valued' by her new employers. Her charges, the Robinson girls, ultimately became her life long friends, and years later turned to their former governess, rather than their mother, in times of trouble. In 1848, several years after Anne had ended her employment with the Robinsons, Bessy and Mary Robinson, her former pupils, visited her at the Haworth Parsonage, and Charlotte reported the occasion to Ellen Nussey, declaring that their guests were 'attractive and stylish looking girls . . . they seemed overjoyed to see Anne; when I went in the room they were clinging round her like two children - she, meantime, looking perfectly quiet and passive.' 1 Many years after the entire Brontë family had died, it was recorded that Mary 'always retained the most kindly memories of her gentle governess'