This month also sees the publication of a long-overdue appraisal of the third Brontë sister, Anne. Take Courage (Chatto), by How To be a Heroine author Samantha Ellis, is being released on January 12, ahead of Anne's birthday on January 17. (Hilary A. White)
Anne is the Cinderella of the Brontë sisters, the youngest, least recognised and, by all accounts, the prettiest. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights subsequently became Hollywood classics. After Anne died, her novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was publicly dismissed by Charlotte as an “entire mistake”.
Anne’s book was, however, far more radical than anything her more famous sisters ever wrote. In its coruscating portrait of an abusive marriage it bypassed the romanticism of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to “get” feminism in a way that Charlotte and Emily never did. Although generally considered as the quiet and docile one, Anne was, in fact, the secret firebrand of the family.
The effort to reclaim her has been going on for some time. Winifred Gérin’s biography of Anne was published in 1959. However, the dominance of the two elder sisters means that there remains a need to bring her out of the shadows. In Take Courage, Samantha Ellis has risen to the challenge. (...)
Take Courage is almost as much about Ellis’s vicarious relationship with her subject as it is about Anne Brontë. If scholarly footnotes are your thing, it isn’t for you. But if you want to share in a biographer’s emotional journey, you will find insights aplenty here. The account of Anne’s death from TB at the age of 29 is truly moving. bronteblog
Don't forget there is another Anne Bronte's biography released in 2016 by Nick Holland.
This revealing new biography opens Anne’s most private life to a new audience and shows the true nature of her relationship with her sister Charlotte.
'Holland has enormous affection for Anne Brontë, and his excellent book is filled with passion and pathos. Its triumph is that Anne is given voice and is no longer swamped by her siblings.' - Roger Lewis, The Mail On Sunday
'Holland's way of telling about Anne Brontë's final illness and last days is particularly touching while avoiding the easy slide into parable territory. This new biography proves that Anne Brontë's afterlife is just like her life: not about quantity but about quality.' - Brontë Blog Book Review
Nick Holland also has an interesting weblog about Anne. annebronte