George Smith’s Brontëana collection eventually passed to his granddaughter Elizabeth Seton-Gordon, who in 1974 donated most of it to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. As well as the manuscripts and letters the collection included all the correspondence from Mrs Gaskell regarding her Life of Charlotte Brontë, and several drawings by Charlotte, passed on to George Smith’s son by Arthur Bell Nicholls’ second wife Mary.
With them was an astonishing find: a photograph, inscribed on the back: ‘Within a year of CB’s death’, and dated 1854, the year of Charlotte’s honeymoon. Whether it was a honeymoon picture, to match that of her husband taken at the same time, or whether it was intended by George Smith for an edition of one of Charlotte’s novels, is unknown. It is the only photograph in existence that is almost certainly of Charlotte. haworth-and-the-brontes/family-and-friends/george-smith