A Brontë Companion: Literary Assessment, Background, and by F. B. Pinion

By F. B. Pinion

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L For her, a curacy of £go a year, and most of the Church of England work in a large parish, Mr Nicholls had sacrificed the opportunity of a much more lucrative living. Charlotte regretted that he was not an intellectual, and hoped that his Puseyism would not make him intolerant; perhaps it would do him good, she thought, to meet Mr Gaskell, a Unitarian minister. The wedding took place on 29 June; the crisis precipitated by Mr Bronte's last-minute refusal to attend was surmounted when it was discovered that it was permissible for Miss W ooler to give away the bride.

Blackwood's Magazine was Branwell's 'chief delight' when he was still a child, and he long recalled the fascination of contributors such as James Hogg and Professor Wilson. His interest in the Napoleonic Wars, the travels of Mungo Park, further accounts of African exploration in Blackwood's, current fighting in Ashanti, and some of John Martin's magnificently evocative pictures, helped to turn the Bronte children's plays (which began with the wooden 46 A Bronte Companion soldiers bought for Branwell in 1826) into serial fiction of conquest and grandeur.

There was no response, and by the end of the autumn it was recognized that the scheme was abortive. Writing, which she would have preferred, seemed out of the question, for Charlotte's eyes were so weak that she felt certain she would become blind if she wrote much. Absence increased her regard for M. Heger. 'What she wrote in her first letters to him is not known, but it wai not her custom as a writer to suppress her feelings. Had she been more temperate, all might have been well. It would have been wiser to address her letters to both the Hegers; Monsieur hated letter-writing.

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