Exhibition - No Soft Nonsense: Anne Brontë at 200

Friday, Sep 25, 2020 at 10:30am

The Morgan Library And Museum
225 Madison Avenue At 36th Street
New York, NY 10016

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Why should a woman author be compelled to keep things nice? English poet and novelist Anne Brontë (1820–1849) adopted an ungendered pen name because she wished to be heard. Still, critics couldn’t help speculating about the identity of the pseudonymous “Acton Bell.” After she published a novel featuring graphic depictions of addiction and domestic abuse, one reviewer accused the author of harboring “a morbid love for the coarse, not to say the brutal.” She issued a written retort: “If I can gain the public ear at all, I would rather whisper a few wholesome truths therein than much soft nonsense.” Moreover, she added, “I am satisfied that if a book is a good one, it is so whatever the sex of the author may be.”

Brontë published two novels and twenty-five poems before her death at age twenty-nine. This small installation, on view in the Rotunda of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library and drawn entirely from the Morgan’s own holdings, marks the two-hundredth anniversary of Brontë’s birth and celebrates her bold, enduring literary voice. It includes her annotated Bible, early editions of all her published work, manuscripts of her poetry, and two letters from her sister Charlotte about Anne’s final illness.

A web presentation features digital images of all the Anne Brontë literary manuscripts in the Morgan’s collection, the largest in the world.

Exhibition Date: February 25 through October 4, 2020 


$22 Adults

$14 Seniors (65 and over)

$13 Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Discounted admission of $13 is available for disabled visitors, admission is free for accompanying caregivers.

Member tickets

Public tickets are now on sale.

This event listing provided for the New York community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in New York

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.