Tuesday 15 November 2011


I've finished reading the selected collection of Charlotte's letters (a total of 169 letters).
They have revealed a fascinating insight in to Charlotte's life and i've really enjoyed reading them while finding references to the weather.
There are a few references amongst the letters with the majority connecting weather conditions with health and death:

"Dear Ellen

Emily suffers no more either from pain or weakness now. She never will suffer more in this world - she is gone after a hard, short conflict. She died on Tuesday, the very day i wrote to you. I thought it very possible then she might be with us still for weeks and a few hours afterwards she was in Eternity - Yes - there is no Emily in Time or on Earth now - yesterday, we put her poor, wasted mortal frame quietly under the Church pavement. We are very calm at present, why should we be otherwise? - the anguish of seeing her suffer is over - the spectacle of the pains of Death is gone by - the funeral day is past - we feel she is at peace - no need now to tremble for the hard frost and keen wind - Emily does not feel them."

Letter to Ellen Nussey dated 23rd December 1848

"Anne was worse during the warm weather we had about a week ago - she grew weaker and both the pain in her side and her cough were worse - strange to say since it is colder, she has appeared rather to revive than sink. I still hope that if she gets over May she may last a long time"

Letter to Ellen Nussey, c. 12 and 14th May 1849

The weather conditions could have a huge impact on health, and guarding against the wet and damp could become a matter of life and death. 

On the 24th September 1848 Branwell died of tuberculosis. He was 31. Three months later, on the 19th December, Emily too died of tuberculosis at the age of 30. Two weeks later Anne was diagnosed as having contracted the same disease and she died on 28th May 1849.

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