Letter to William S. Williams, 8 May 1849, page 5

Charlotte Brontë

Letter to William S. Williams, dated Haworth, 8 May 1849

Henry H. Bonnell Collection, bequest of Helen Safford Bonnell, 1969

MA 2696.37

Brontë wrote this letter to her friend William S. Williams of the firm Smith, Elder, & Co., which had published Jane Eyre, to send him a wrenching update of her sister Anne’s decline. She wrote on black-edged mourning stationery, having recently lost her sister Emily and brother, Branwell, both of whom had died a few months before.


of public impatience, misconstruction, censure, &c. than I am at the thought of the anxiety of those two or three friends in Cornhill to whom I owe much kindness, and whose expectations I would earnestly wish not to disappoint. If they can make up their minds to wait tranquilly and put some confidence in my good will if not my power to get on as well as may be – I shall not repine; but I verily believe that the “nobler sex” find it more difficult to wait – to plod – to work out their destiny inch by inch than their sisters do – They are always for walking so fast and taking such long steps, one cannot keep