A rare and important letter written by Charlotte Bronte in between the deaths of her brother and a sister is expected to fetch up to $100,000 at an auction in New York later this month.
The letter, dated October 18, 1848, is to her publisher William Smith Williams, of Smith, Elder & Co, and will be up for auction on June 17 at Sotheby’s in New York, with a reserve of $70,000 to $100,000 (£50,000 to £71,000).
lees verder Bradford Telegraph and Argus
"My book—alas! is laid aside for the present; both head and hand seem to have lost their cunning; imagination is pale, stagnant, mute—this incapacity chagrins me; sometimes I have a feeling of cankering care on the subject—but I combat it as well as I can—it does no good.
"... Do not talk about being on a level with 'Currer Bell', or regard him as 'an awful person'; if you saw him now, sitting muffled at the fireside, shrinking before the east wind (which for some days has been blowing wild and keen over our cold hills)—and incapable of lifting a pen for any less formidible task than that of writing ... to an indulgent friend—you would be sorry not to deem yourself greatly his superior ....
"Thought and Conscience are, or ought to be, free, and at any rate, if your views were universally adopted there would be no persecution, no bigotry. But never try to proselytise—the world is not yet fit to receive what you and Emerson say: Man, as he now is, can no more do without creeds and forms in religion, than he can do without laws and rules of social intercourse. You and Emerson judge others by yourselves; all mankind are not like you, any more than every Israelite was like Nathaniel.
"'Is there a human being' you ask, 'so depraved that an act of kindness will not touch—nay, a word melt him?' There are hundreds of human beings who trample on acts of kindness, and mock at words of affection. I know this though I have seen but little of the world. I suppose I have something harsher in my nature than you have—something which every now and then tells me dreary secrets about my race, and I cannot believe the voice of the optimist, charm he never so wisely—on the other hand, I feel forced to listen when a Thackeray speaks: I know Truth is delivering her oracle by his lips ....
"The study of motives is a strange one; not to be pursued too far by one fallible human being in reference to his fellows. Do not condemn me as uncharitable. I have no wish to urge my convictions on you ...."
A remarkable letter, dating from the darkest, most difficult period of Charlotte Brontë's short life.