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Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department of English
Annette R. Federico
Anne Brontë (1820-1849) was an English novelist and religious poet, the youngest of the literary Brontë siblings. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë wrote some of the most esteemed novels of the Victorian canon. Children of an Anglican minister, the Brontës were accustomed to clerical life and the conventions of nineteenth-century religious observance. Anne’s faith, however, was unique and radical, an unorthodox form of Christianity called Universalism, which held that all human beings would be saved, not just those chosen by God. This thesis examines her two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, in the context of her belief in Universalism. Brontë’s faith motivated and justified her rebellion against Victorian abuse of power: instead of obeying unjust cultural conventions, which implies submission to authority, she uses her faith to subvert traditional patriarchal structures in favor of supporting not only women’s rights, but the rights of all living beings.
Tennyson, Ardyn, "Anne Brontë the Universalist: Religion and patriarchal subversion in the tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey" (2019). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 721.