Charlotte and Branwell developed the private worlds of the Glass Towns and Angria; Emily and Anne in turn developed their own world, Gondal.
The closeness of their relationship was reinforced by Charlotte's departure for Roe Head School, in January When Charlotte's friend Ellen Nussey visited Haworth in , she reported that Emily and Anne were "like twins", "inseparable companions". She describes Anne at this time: "Anne, dear gentle Anne was quite different in appearance from the others, and she was her aunt's favourite. Her hair was a very pretty light brown, and fell on her neck in graceful curls. She had lovely violet-blue eyes, fine pencilled eyebrows and a clear almost transparent complexion.
She still pursued her studies and especially her sewing, under the surveillance of her aunt. Later, she began more formal studies at Roe Head School. Charlotte returned there on July 29th, as a teacher. Emily accompanied her as a pupil; her tuition largely financed by Charlotte's teaching. Emily was unable to adapt to life at school, and by October, was physically ill from homesickness. Anne returned to Roe Head in Emily's place. At fifteen, it was Anne's first time away from home.
Her later poems express a deep attachment to her home, and she made few friends at Roe Head, so there is no reason to suppose that she was less homesick there than her sisters. However, her response to the same environment was totally different. She was quiet and hard-working, and more importantly, determined to stay and get the education that would allow her to support herself. Anne was certainly aware that Charlotte and others were making sacrifices to give her the opportunity to do so.
The early article from which they were restrained was butter, but its want was compensated for by what is known in Yorkshire as "spice-cake," a description of bread which is the staple food at Christmas for all meals but dinner. Vault covered with concrete for foundation of pillar. The Leeds Intelligencer and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine , conservative and well written, but better than the Quarterly Review that defended the same political ideas whilst addressing a less refined readership the reason Mr. Helen Graham, the central character, gets married for love to Arthur Huntingdon, whom she soon discovers to be lecherous, violent, and alcoholic. Above all, Emily loved to wander about the wild landscape of the moors around Haworth.
One of Anne's activities during the holidays was playing at the Gondals with Emily. The next, "Alexander and Zenobia", is dated July 1st, Both are set firmly in the world of Gondal. They deal with clearly fictional characters, and bear their signatures. Though there is disagreement over the categorization of Anne's poetry into Gondal and non-Gondal poetry, most of the poems which are 'signed' by Gondal characters seem to have been written during or immediately after periods of proximity to Emily.
Anne and Charlotte do not appear to have been close during their time at Roe Head Charlotte's letters almost never mention Anne but Charlotte was concerned about the health of her sister. At some point prior to December , Anne became seriously ill and underwent a religious crisis. It is notable that a Moravian was called in, rather than a local Anglican minister. It supports the idea that the Dewsbury clerics, hard-line and censorious in comparison to Anne's more liberal father, were the source of her religious distress.
James Latrobe noted a number of issues which were of concern to her at "I found her well acquainted with the main truths of the Bible respecting our salvation, but seeing them more through the law than the gospel, more as a requirement from God than His gift in His Son, but her heart opened to the sweet views of salvation, pardon, and peace in the blood of Christ, and she accepted His welcome to the weary and heavy laden sinner, conscious more of her not loving the Lord her God than of acts of enmity to Him " Barker, p.
Charlotte returned alone to Roe Head after Christmas, while Anne remained at home to recover. First Lessons in the Art of Instruction Little is known about the next year, but by Anne was actively looking for a teaching position. She left home on April 8, , and travelled alone, at her own request, to Mirfield.
There she began work as a governess at Blake Hall, the home of the Ingham family. Blake Hall was an imposing eighteenth-century mansion with a small wooded park. Joshua Ingham was 37, his wife 10 years younger. Their two eldest children, Cunliffe, age 6, and Mary, age 5, were put in Anne's care. Three younger girls were still in the nursery. Anne seems to have assessed her situation quickly and accurately, and determined that she would make the best of it.
An early letter home was summarized by Charlotte in a letter to Ellen Nussey: "she expresses herself very well satisfied — and says that Mrs Ingham is extremely kind Her heroine's first position is a similar situation, supervising children of much the same age and sex. Anne's fictional descriptions convey both detail and conviction, and independent anecdotes suggest that the Ingham children may well have been models for the Bloomfield children of the book.
As adults, Cunliffe and Mary Ingham were known to be difficult and wilful; if they were as unmanageable in real life as the children of the book, Anne's stay at Blake Hall was hardly pleasant. The Inghams, unsatisfied with their children's progress, dismissed Anne at the end of the year. She returned home at Christmas, , joining Charlotte and Emily, who had also left their positions, and Branwell.
The Church There was a new face around the parsonage as well. Patrick had a new curate. William Weightman began work in the parish in August, Twenty-six years old, he had obtained a two year licentiate in theology from the University of Durham, and was recommended for the curacy of Haworth by the Bishop of Ripon. He quickly became welcome at the parsonage. Anne's acquaintance with William Weightman parallels the writing of a number of poems which may suggest that she fell in love with him.
There is considerable disagreement over this point Edward Chitham argues strongly for this interpretation; Juliet Barker remains unconvinced. Not much outside evidence exists beyond a teasing anecdote of Charlotte's to Ellen Nussey in January I do, from my heart — when he is fat and jovial I never think of him — but when anything ails him I am always sorry — He sits opposite Anne at church sighing softly and looking out of the corners of his eyes to win her attention — and Anne is so quiet, her look so down-cast — they are a picture.
A major issue in the debate is whether Anne's poetry of reflects her personal experience, or that of Gondal characters. Without independent Gondal manuscripts or details about them it is difficult to assign poems to specific Gondal contexts. Chitham argues that Anne's poetry falls into both classes, and that she primarily wrote Gondal works when in direct contact with Emily.
Anne's views of poetry itself, perhaps dangerously inferred from her fictional writing, are directly relevant to this question. The character of Agnes Grey refers to poems as "pillars of witness" in a passage that may well reflect Anne's own view: Anne's religious poetry certainly fits this pattern.
Before this time, at Wellwood House and here, when suffering from home-sick melancholy, I had sought relief twice or thrice at this secret source of consolation; and now I flew to it again, with greater avidity than ever, because I seemed to need it more. I still preserve those relics of past sufferings and experience, like pillars of witness set up in travelling through the vale of life, to mark particular occurrences.
We know that he sent valentines to the three sisters and visiting Ellen Nussey, in February Charlotte's initial impression was a positive one. She even painted his portrait. Later, however, she characterized him bitterly as a flighty and flirtatious, an idler who attracted numerous females. Edward Chitham suggests that Charlotte may have been trying to 'protect' Anne from possible involvement. There is no record of how Weightman felt about the sisters. However, one wonders whether Weightman's indication of a previous attachment to one Agnes Walton — the veracity of which has been questioned — may have been an attempt to divert interest away from himself!
Their statements suggest that he felt a deep and heartfelt committment to the church. Church records indicate that he took on the major work of christenings and funerals as his pastoral duties, actively campaigned on church rates, and deeply involved himself in ministry to members of the parish, particularly the sick and dying. Anne, for whom religious belief was a major focus, and who always sought in religion a source of strength and consolation, may well have been aware of this aspect of Weightman's character.
It is such a character that she portrays in Edward Weston, and that her heroine Agnes Grey finds deeply appealing. If Anne did form an attachment to Weightman, that does not imply that he, in turn, was attracted to her. Indeed, it is entirely possible that Weightman was no more aware of her than of her sisters or their friend Ellen Nussey.
Nor does it follow that Anne believed him to be interested in her. If anything, her poems suggest just the opposite — they speak of quietly experienced but intensely felt emotions, intentionally hidden from others, without any indication of their being requited. Written on January 1st, , "A Fragment" , vt. The maiden of the poem is young, newly experiencing adult feelings of attraction for a male acquaintance, and thankfully concealing them from all those around her.
An identification of Anne with the maiden is consistent with Anne's characterization of poems as "pillars of witness", and with an assessment of her personality as combining deep feeling with stern self-control. A Few More Lessons Regardless of any feelings she may have been developing for her father's curate, Anne was determined to find another post as a governess. She was to have four pupils: Lydia, 15, Elizabeth, 13, Mary, age 12, and Edmund, age 8. Anne probably left home for Thorp Green on May 8, She could not know it at the time, but for the next 5 years she would spend no more than 5 or 6 weeks a year with her family, during holidays at Christmas and in June.
The rest of her time would be spent with the Robinsons at their home Thorp Green, or on holiday with them in Scarborough. While living with the Robinsons, Anne first saw York Minster , which she found moving and inspirational.
She also visited the seaside at Scarborough , and loved it for both its beauty and the benefits to her health. Her employers were satisfied with her work, and as Bessy and Mary Robinson grew older, Anne became close to them. Of all her sisters, Anne spent the most time away from Haworth, establishing fond associations elsewhere. There is no question that she missed her home and family. It speaks of "loneliness" and "repining"; the identity of its longed for visitor has been much speculated upon.
Yet while Anne repeatedly writes of her depression and unhappiness, these are not her only emotions. In "Retirement" , she turns from "earthly cares" and "restless wandering thoughts" to seek comfort in God. She exults in the beauty and wildness of nature in "Lines composed in a Wood on a Windy Day".
While Anne's feelings about Thorp Green were certainly mixed — she commented in a diary paper in that she did not like her situation and wished to leave it — she also chose to repeatedly return to Thorp Green, in spite of her sister's schemes for opening a school, and the death of Elizabeth Branwell in early November , while her sisters were away in Brussels. Aunt Branwell's death closely followed that of Patrick's curate, William Weightman, who died of cholera on September 6th, Anne would have seen Weightman on her holidays at home, particularly during the summer of , when her sisters were away.
In "Night" , in early , she speaks of a form, "cold in the grave for years" that it was once "my bliss to see". In her "Dreams" of spring , she longs for both "earnest looks of love" and an "infant's form" and concludes poignantly A heart whence warm affections flow, Creator, thou hast given to me, And am I only thus to know How sweet the joys of love would be?
As late as , Anne writes passionately of one whose "heavenly flame has heavenward flown" in an untitled poem. Her autobiographical poem "Self-Communion" of , speaks wistfully of those "whose love may freely gush and flow" and "whose dreams of bliss were not in vain".