Letter to Ellen Nussey, 7 November 1854, page 4

Charlotte Brontë

Letter to Ellen Nussey, dated Haworth, 7 November 1854

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

MA 2696.30

Brontë’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, was eager to keep his famous wife’s personal letters from prying eyes. He extracted a promise from Ellen Nussey, Brontë’s intimate friend and frequent correspondent, to burn those she received. Brontë died almost five months after writing this letter, which Nussey preserved (along with many others), breaking her disingenuous vow. Brontë’s widower came to understand the public’s longing for personal traces of his late wife, authorizing Elizabeth Gaskell to write the revealing biography she published in 1857.


a quiet visit and that I shall not need to bring more than a plain dress or two. Tell me this when you write

Believe me

faithfully yours

C Brontë Nicholls

I intend to write to Miss Wooler shortly