Letter to Ellen Nussey, 30 June 1839, page 4

Charlotte Brontë

Letter to Ellen Nussey, dated Swarcliffe, Harrogate, 30 June 1839

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

MA 2696.24

Brontë spent a few months during the summer of 1839 caring for what she called the “riotous, perverse, unmanageable cubs” of the Sidgwick family. Not only did she detest the work, she felt awkwardly marginal within the family circle. She was so ill at ease that she preferred to write this letter (to her close friend Ellen) in pencil rather than venture into the drawing room to procure some ink.


even chatter with Martha Taylor about it – if I were talking to you I would tell you much more – but I hope my term of bondage will soon be expired – and then I can go home and you can come to see me – and I hope we shall be happy[.] Good-bye dear – dear Ellen

Write to me again very – soon and tell me how you are [–] direct J Greenwoods Esqre Swarcliffe nr Harrogate – perhaps though I may be at home before you write again I don’t intend to stay long after they leave Swarcliffe which they expect shortly to do

[the letter is unsigned]