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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Brontë Sisters

ANNE BRONTË (1819–1849) was born at Thornton, West Bradford, and was joint author, with her sisters Emily Brontë (1818–1848) and Charlotte Brontë (1816–1849), of a small volume of verse published in 1846. Under the nom de plume Acton Bell she published “Agnes Grey” (1847) and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” (1847). In 1851 an edition of “Wuthering Heights” by Ellis Bell (Emily Brontë) and “Agnes Grey” by Acton Bell (Anne Brontë), with selections from the verse of both sisters, was published by Charlotte Brontë, whose nom de plume was Currer Bell. All these gifted sisters wrote verse, that of Emily being the most successful. Selections from the poetry of Emily Brontë are given in the volume devoted to the Women Poets of the Century, where they are prefaced by an article from the pen of Dr. Garnett; but, even at the cost of repetition, we cannot omit her noble “Last Lines” from this connection.

The distinctive features of the work of the three sisters are sufficiently indicated by Dr. Garnett in the article referred to above, and it will suffice to say here that the verse of Charlotte Brontë does not lend itself to quotation in this connection, while that of Anne will be sufficiently represented by the verses which follow. The last lines of Anne Brontë cannot compare with those of her sister for strength and finish, but they have a pathetic interest of their own.