Anne Bronte was an English novelist and poet. She’s best known as the author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey.
Anne worked as a governess. She was employed by the Ingham family at Blake Hall and later by the Robinson family at Thorp Green Hall. The Hall was the inspiration for Horton Lodge in Agnes Grey.
Anne and her sisters Charlotte and Emily were all writers. In 1846 their joint work, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell was published. Anne was Action Bell. Charlotte was Currer Bell and Emily was Action Bell. The pseudonyms hid the sisters’ gender while preserving their initials.
September of 1848 through May of 1849 was a dark time for the Bronte family. Bramwell Bronte, the only boy of the Bronte siblings, passed away in September. Emily Bronte passed in December of 1848. Lastly, Anne passed away in May of 1849. Her final poem was entitled A dreadful darkness closes in.
Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert, is the second of six books in the Dune series of novels. It was serialized in Galaxy magazine in 1969 and published as a novel in 1970.
Some fans of the first novel, Dune, were surprised by Dune Messiah. Dune contains a lot of action and adventure. Dune Messiah deals more with political intrigue and internal character development.
I interviewed a fan of Dune for this blog post. He said this about Dune Messiah. “I read that Frank Herbert was suspicious of charismatic leaders and thought they were dangerous. So in Dune Messiah he tore down Paul, the hero of Dune . . . I loved Dune, but didn’t get through Dune Messiah the first time. I read it years later and liked it more, but Dune is still my favorite of the series.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is probably Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. It’s believed that he wrote the play between 1590 and 1597.
The play focuses on the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, the Amazon Queen. Throw in a bunch of Athenians, some fairies and an acting troupe and you’ve got A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“A man’s fate is his own temper; and according to that will be his opinion as to the particular manner in which the course of events is regulated. A consistent man believes in Destiny, a capricious man in Chance.” ~ Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli
Great Expectations was the thirteenth novel that Charles Dickens wrote. In the UK the novel was published in weekly installments in All the Year Round from December of 1860 until August 1861. Harper’s Weekly, in the United States, published installments of the novel from November 1860 through August of 1861.
All the Year Round was founded by Dickens. Its first issue was printed on April 30, 1859. The publication featured serialized novels. In fact, the first novel it featured was Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.
In October of 1860 sales of All the Year Round were declining. The featured novel, A Day’s Ride by Charles Lever, wasn’t very popular. In order to boost sales, Dickens adapted Great Expectations, originally planned for publication in another format, to be published in All the Year Round. His plan worked and sales for the publication increased.
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad. ~ The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. No one knows when Shakespeare wrote the play, but it first appeared in print in 1597.
The play features two star-crossed lovers whose deaths reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime. Along with Hamlet, it is one of his most frequently performed plays.
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.” ~ Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, was published in 1847 under the pen name of Ellis Bell. The novel was written between October 1845 and June 1846.
Bronte died in 1848 and Wuthuring Heights is her only novel. The review from the Atlas is typical of the response to the novel at the time of its publication.
Wuthering Heights is a strange, inartistic story. There are evidences in every chapter of a sort of rugged power—an unconscious strength—which the possessor seems never to think of turning to the best advantage. The general effect is inexpressibly painful. We know nothing in the whole range of our fictitious literature which presents such shocking pictures of the worst forms of humanity.
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger. ~ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte