In these five deeply personal letters from Charlotte Brontë, each written on traditional mourning paper, the novelist reveals the depth of her grief for her siblings Emily, Anne and Branwell, all of whom died within a year between 1848-49. They are written to close friend Ellen Nussey and publisher W S Williams. In the face of such suffering, Brontë draws support and comfort from her own Christian faith and that of her siblings.
Novb 22nd 1848
My dear Sir
I put your most friendly letter into Emily's hands as soon as I had myself perused it, taking care however not to say a word in favour of homeopathy, that would not have answered ; it is best usually not to leave her to form her own judgement and especially not to advocate the side you wish her to favour ; if you do she is sure to lean in the opposite direction, and ten to one will argue herself into non-compliance . Hitherto she has refused medicine, rejected medical advice. no reasoning, no entreaty has availed to induce her to see a physician; after reading your letter she said “Mr Williams' intention was kind and good, but he was under a delusion - Homeopathy was only another form of quackery." Yet she may
- Article by:
- Sally Shuttleworth
- Gender and sexuality, The novel 1832 - 1880
Professor Sally Shuttleworth explores how Charlotte Brontë challenges 19th-century conceptions of appropriate female behaviour through the creation of a heroine who works, demands respect and combines self-control with passion and rebellion.