Rare letter discovered by chance in archive reveals fraught family matters strikingly akin to one of her plots
“The conformation of his mind was such that whatever was little seemed to him great, and whatever was great seemed to him little.”-Thomas Babington Macaulay Oct. 1833,from his prefatory essay to the collected Letters of Horace Walpole
At the time of this letter’s writing the Brönte household was in disarray. Branwell, Charlotte’s elder brother, had died from a case of alcoholism-enflamed bronchitis in September 1848. Soon after Branwell’s death, Emily succumbed to tuberculosis. All responsibility of the family’s care and upkeep fell to Charlotte, who took another blow when Anne, the youngest, started with a racking cough. Charlotte addresses William Smith Williams, one of her editors at the publishing house of Smith, Elder, and Co. Her hopes, outlined below, were too generous; Anne’s case of TB proved fatal in May.
THIRTEEN unpublished letters from Frankenstein author Mary Shelley have been discovered in Chelmsford by a university professor.
A rare autographed letter signed, from Charlotte Brontë to a David Waldie, [L.R.C.S.] (1813-1889), thanking him for his appreciative comments regarding Jane Eyre and the gift of some “…little books”, addressed from Gloucester Terrace, London, dated January 19th, 1853 will be sold at Lyon & Turnbull tomorrow and is estimated to reach £10,000-12,000.