The Classics Challenge is hosted by
The January Prompt post is HERE.
You can see my progress on this challenge HERE.
Who is the author? What do they look like? When were they born? Where did they live? What does their handwriting look like? What are some of the other novels they’ve written? What is an interesting and random fact about their life?
What do you think of their writing style? What do you like about it? or what would have made you more inclined to like it? Is there are particular quote that has stood out to you?
Why do you think they wrote this novel? How did their contemporaries view both the author and their novel?
I’m currently reading Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë and am about half way through.
Anne Brontë was born in January 1820, and was the youngest of the famous writing Brontë sisters. She spent her youth living in Haworth on the Yorkshire Moors, and at the age of nineteen became a governess and remained so for six years.
Her first novel, Agnes Grey (1847), was based on her experiences as a governess. Her other novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was published a year later. Although she collaborated on a volume of poetry with her sisters, she never wrote any other novels, and her life was tragically cut short when she died, aged 29, of pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Anne and her sisters considered the possibility of setting-up their own school, but the idea never came to fruition.
- All three sisters wrote under pseudonyms – Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Currer was Charlotte, Ellis was Emily and Acton was Anne.
Anne’s writing style differs from that of her sisters in that she’s far more realistic in her approach, and less romantic. She comes across as very matter-of-fact and I think I actually prefer this. Although I loved Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights by her sisters, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is my favourite of the Brontë novels I have read so far, and I am enjoying Agnes Grey very much. The opening phrases of Agnes Grey seem to me to be very typical of Anne and are indicative of her down-to-earth style. (See my Teaser Tuesday post HERE).
Anne based Agnes Grey on her own experiences as a governess. Although names and events are obviously different and the novel is a work of fiction, it is easy to see that Anne felt quite passionately about her role in forming the minds and opinions of children and was very firm in her beliefs and morals, as well as how that should affect her teaching of those under her charge. Until more recently, Anne seems to have been viewed as the lesser of the sisters in terms of writing, but her novels, although less romantic, are no less passionate and her writing has stood the test of time, meaning she is now seen as a novelist of merit on her own terms, which is only right, as her writing is beautiful, poignant and ambitious.