The youngest Brontë sister

Anne Brontë was born on this day in 1820, she was the youngest of six children. Her father Patrick was the perpetual curate at Howarth in Yorkshire. Her mother Maria died the year after she was born. Her four elder two sisters Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily were all sent away to school. The regime was tough and the two older girls died in 1825 from poor diet and TB. Maria was 11 and Elizabeth was only 10. Like her sisters Charlotte and Emily, Anne started writing at an early age. Later under her pen name, Acton Bell, she published her first novel, Agnes Grey, in 1847 at the same time as Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Her second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was published the following year and is now considered by some critics to be one of the first feminist novels. Sadly, Anne only lived to the age of 29. She worked as a governess for a while but in the end succumbed to the same illness as her siblings. This simple portrait of Anne, Emily and Charlotte was painted by their brother Branwell, whom they all adored. It can be seen in The National Portrait Gallery. He originally painted himself alongside them before deciding to remove his image.