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

By F. B. Pinion

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Heger tore them up, but Madame took care to preserve them as a proof of her husband's innocence, should it ever be required. She may have been jealous, but Charlotte was injudicious; if she had had 'a stake in life', something to achieve, she would have attached less importance to the preservation of M. Heger's friendship. Before Mary Taylor left in March 1845 to settle in New Zealand, Charlotte stayed with her at Hunsworth. In June, after Anne had resigned her post and returned home, she travelled by train to Sheffield to keep Ellen company at Hathersage vicarage.

Emily insisted on the adoption of noms de plume. Early in 1846 a firm specializing in religious poetry agreed to publish, provided the authors contributed over £30 towards costs. Only two copies of Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell were sold. The volume appeared in May, and fair copies of The Professor, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey were dispatched to a publisher at the beginning of July. The Professor is closely related to Charlotte's experiences in Brussels, but the story is far from being a direct transcript.

He dragged out his wretched existence until September 1848. Patrick had lost hope in him, but the tragedy of wasted genius was not less hard to bear. 'My poor father naturally thought more of his only son than of his daughters', wrote Charlotte; 'he cried out for his loss like David for that of Absalom . . ' Patrick's fear of fire was obsessional but not without cause. In 1844 he wrote that he had buried over ninety or a hundred children at Haworth who had died because their clothes caught fire.

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