AN ACCLAIMED book about Anne Brontë has been released in paperback this month to coincide with the famous novelist’s birthday.

Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life was highly praised by and Brontë fans when it came out in hardback last year.

Samantha Ellis, who has been working with the Haworth-based Brontë Society on the family’s bicentennial celebrations, explored the truth about the ‘forgotten’ youngest sister.

Anne, writer of classics Agnes Grey and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall, was born on January 17 and her 200th birthday will be celebrated in 2020.

Samantha Ellis decided to write about Anne – often described as “virginal, sweet, stoic and selfless” – after becoming intrigued while researching the more famous Emily and Charlotte.

The book’s publisher, Vintage, said: “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.”

The release of the book came soon after Ellis weighed into the controversy over supermodel, actress and Cambridge history graduate Lily Cole being chosen as the Brontë Society’s creative partner for 2018 to help celebrate Emily Brontë’s bicentenary.

Nick Holland, another writer specialising in Anne Brontë, had blasted the Brontë Society’s “trendy” decision to appoint a former Playboy model rather than a writer. He claimed its drive to attract a younger audience had relegated the Brontës themselves to the sidelines.

In a tweet, Ellis branded Holland’s comments as “tedious killjoy carping”.