8. Letter to William S. Williams, 2 October 1848, page 1

Charlotte Brontë

Letter to William S. Williams, dated Haworth, 2 October 1848

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

MA 2696.36

A few days after her brother, Branwell, died in 1848, Brontë used a sheet of mourning stationery to share the news with William S. Williams of the publishing firm Smith, Elder & Co., who had become a friend. Her grief was compounded by her anger that Branwell had, in her view, squandered his “burning” talent.


My dear Sir

“We have buried our dead out of our sight.” A lull begins to succeed the gloomy tumult of last week. It is not permitted us to grieve for him who is gone as others grieve for those they lose; the removal of our only brother must necessarily be regarded by us rather in the light of a mercy than a chastisement. Branwell was his Father’s and his sisters’ pride and hope in boyhood, but since Manhood, the case has been otherwise. It has been our lot to see him take a wrong bent; to hope, expect, wait his return to the right