Writing under the pseudonym Acton Bell, Anne Brontë published her last novel in 1848, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall".
This epistolary novel presents a portrait of debauchery that is remarkable in light of the author’s sheltered life. "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" tells the story of a woman who flees a disastrously abusive marriage and tries to become a working artist during a time when women were expected to accept whatever their husbands did without complaint.
Although the novel was a critical success when it came out, it was almost forgotten for most the past century as a few years after Anne’s death, her sister Charlotte Brontë refused to allow "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" to be published a second time, worried that the novel’s antagonist was too closely modeled on their alcoholic brother. Her sisters, Emily and Charlotte, overshadowed Anne Brontë’s reputation until this novel’s rediscovery in the last thirty years.
The novel is told through the letters and diaries of several main characters, each embedded in the one that came before. The novel is both written in the first person and at the same time features several different narrators.