Tag Archives: the tenant of wildfell hall

The Forgotten Sister: Anne Brontë

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose.”—Anne Brontë

The other Brontë. The forgotten Brontë. The quiet, religious, boring younger Brontë sister. Such are the descriptions used regarding Anne Brontë, the baby sister of Charlotte and Emily, the queens of Gothic romance. For decades, Anne was a footnote in her sister’s lives, rarely mentioned and never appreciated for her genius until recently. Despite early attempts by Charlotte to stifle its popularity, we now hail her second novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as one of the first feminist novels. However, Anne published an earlier novel called Agnes Grey. It is the tale of a poor, plain governess who finds love and fulfills her dreams. She wrote it before her sister wrote Jane Eyre. It closely paralleled Anne’s experiences, except it has a happy ending.

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Artfully Plotted: Paintings and Drawings in Classic Literature



At a turning point in plot and character development in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet stares up in “earnest contemplation” at a portrait of Mr. Darcy hanging in his home. It’s a moment that represents true seeing—she has misjudged him and is beginning to realize her mistake fully. The painting is described in the novel as “a striking resemblance” of the handsome Mr. Darcy, notably wearing a smile on his face instead of the usual expression of disapproval that has characterized him throughout the book.

Pride and Prejudice is not the only classic novel to use art at key moments to illuminate the characters’ thoughts or to provide a visual symbol of conflict. Continue reading