Thursday, January 29, 2009


One of my uncles has long been interested in a person who figures in our family tree and became the husband of Charlotte Bronte. He (the uncle) is an historian and has now written a biography of that individual. The story of how the marriage happened is a good one in itself, but I have just finished the description of the future husband's initial years in Haworth and found it terribly moving - I alternate steadily between crying and laughing, pages 26-37 in my copy.
The image of Arthur Bell Nicholls walking Emily's dog is heartbreaking, and just as stunning is this lovely quotation from Charlotte reporting on Nicholls' initial declaration of love:

Shaking from head to foot, looking deadly pale, speaking low, vehemently yet with difficulty - he made me for the first time feel what it costs a man to declare affection where he doubts response.

(BTW - this is AFTER she wrote "Jane Eyre".)
One way to understand the subject line is to read the book!


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