By Tom Winnifrith (auth.)
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Additional resources for A New Life of Charlotte Brontë
There were of course many encouragements towards study in the Bronte household. There was not much else to do. Servants did most of the housework. The Garrs sisters, Nancy and Sarah, who had followed the Brontes from Thornton had been replaced during Mrs Bronte's final illness by a temporary nurse, a lady who fed Mrs GaskeII with much erroneous information, but Sarah Garrs remained in service with the Brontes, and at some stage in the 1820s the Brontes were joined by the faithful Tabitha, or Tabby, Aykroyd who in spite of failing health stayed with the household until she died shortly before Charlotte.
Neither library was exactly near and neither was strong on contemporary fiction. In 1831 Miss Branwell agreed to take Fraser's Magazine, apparently in place of Blackwood's Magazine. Mr Bronte would have subscribed to a local newspaper. Mrs Bronte had some copies of The Ladies' Magazine sent up from Cornwall, and Mr Bronte must have had a few books from his classical and religious studies, some of which have survived till this day. Mrs Gaskell recounts how Mr Bronte disapproved of The Ladies' Magazine as recounting foolish love stories, but this seems the only attempt made by him to censor his children's reading.
Although portraits of Ellen Nussey show her as a pretty girl, she never seemed to get very far with her admirers. In the circles in which Ellen moved one tended to marry one's cousins or the brothers of one's friends, and in fact Henry Nussey did propose to Charlotte Bronte, and Mary Taylor'S brother married Amelia Ring- Pupil 29 rose, a girl previously engaged to the mad George Nussey. But students of Bronte novels will not find many traces of Mr Rochester in the middle of the tittle-tattle about these courtships.
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