Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life is published by Chatto & Windus on 12 January 2017.
"I was wowed and moved"—Tracy Chevalier
Anne Brontë is the forgotten Brontë sister, overshadowed by her older siblings -- virtuous, successful Charlotte, free-spirited Emily and dissolute Branwell. Tragic, virginal, sweet, stoic, selfless, Anne. The less talented Bronte, the other Brontë.
Or that's what Samantha Ellis, a life-long Emily and Wuthering Heights devotee, had always thought. Until, that is, she started questioning that devotion and, in looking more closely at Emily and Charlotte, found herself confronted by Anne instead.
Take Courage is Samantha's personal, poignant and surprising journey into the life and work of a woman sidelined by history. A brave, strongly feminist writer well ahead of her time -- and her more celebrated siblings -- and who has much to teach us today about how to find our way in the world.
Buy it from Waterstone's or Hive or Foyles.
Vintage Classics are also bringing out (gorgeous!) new editions of both Anne's novels, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey (with an introduction by me).
Reviews so far...
"Magnificent...a very personal book about what the short life of Anne Brontë can tell us about wringing every drop out of existence"—Daisy Goodwin, Times
"Wonderful...Ellis lives and breathes Anne's life...the feeling of being a Brontë becomes movie-screen vivid"—Juliet Nicolson, Spectator
"You will find insights aplenty here"—Lucasta Miller, Sunday Times
"A deeply sympathetic and interesting re-evaluation of a woman ahead of her time who has much to teach us all about living courageously"—Lucy Scholes, Independent
"Furious and direct...a timely reappraisal"—Johanna Thomas-Corr, Evening Standard
"Ellis is inspired by Anne's bravery as a woman and as a novelist, and ultimately the book is a deeply moving depiction of how reading and writing allows us to forge an emotional and intellectual connection with someone who died over a century before we were born. By the time Ellis reaches Anne's grave, on a sunny hillside in Scarborough, se's in tears, and so was I"—Anna Carey, Irish Times
"Ellis persuasively argues that Anne’s work has been marginalized and neglected by a succession of publishers, editors, reviewers and biographers, and her account of the treatment of the text of the The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is horrifying...Her examination of this novel is genuinely revisionist...Ellis’s investigation into the notions of masculinity that created Charlotte’s Rochester, Emily’s Heathcliff and Anne’s Arthur Huntingdon is penetrating..."—Margaret Drabble, TLS
"A lively, intelligent tribute to the forgotten Brontë sister...Her indignation is salutary"—Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Observer
"Lovely and imaginative...inspiring stuff"—Eithne Farry, Express
"A fascinating and compelling read...what Ellis does extraordinarily well is to convey the emotion of her own deeply personal voyage of discovery about Anne and herself...it succeeds in making you long to rush off and reread Anne's novels and poetry; what more could you ask for?"—Juliet Barker, Mail on Sunday
"Fascinating...a refreshing, accessible piece of literary scholarship"—Jennifer Lipman, Jewish Chronicle
"Ellis's bracing look at Anne forces a radical rethink"—Psychologies magazine
"Brave, bracing"—Simple Things magazine
"Enthralling resurrection of the reputation of the least known and most under-appreciated Brontë sister"—The Bookseller
"Hopeful...glorious"—Alice Farrant, Of Books
"Good on all aspects of Brontë's bravery"—Claire Harman, Guardian
"A robust, emotionally charged defence of the writer"—Ella Walker, Irish Examiner
"No one who reads this is likely to disagree that Anne has been in her sisters' shadows for too long"—James Walton, Daily Mail
"All Brontë fans need this on their bookshelves"—The Book Trail
For a taster, here are some things I've written about Anne Brontë