When Anne was 19 she found a post as governess at Blake Hall in Mirfield. This was closeto her old school at Roe Head and her new employers – the Inghams – had connections with the school. This was not a happy time in Anne’s life as the children she was looking after were very badly behaved. The parents did not support Anne when she complained about the children, who she was unable to educate at all due to their behaviour.
By the end of the year Anne had returned home to Haworth Parsonage. It was her experience with the Inghams that formed the basis of her novel ‘Agnes Grey’. The story was an almost perfect retelling of her time as a governess. However, this did not put her off finding more work as a governess. Her next posting was at the home of a vicar near York, quite a distance from home. Initially, she had the same problems as in her first position, but she was determined to make a success of it and soon became a valued member of the household. The daughters of the family were friends with Anne for life and often turned to her for advice, even after she left their house.
Both Charlotte and Emily found work as a governess but it was only Anne that was able to make a success of it. However, this does not mean that she did not experience homesickness. It helped a great deal that Anne was able to go with her employers when they took their usual summer holiday in Scarborough. She fell in love with the town and this becomes clear in her writing and when she and her sisters talked about setting up their own school, it was Anne that suggested Scarborough while her sisters favoured other locations.