Despite her heartbreak, Charlotte would initially turn down a proposal of marriage from Mr Nicholls, the young Irish curate working with her father in the parish. As is made clear in correspondence she considered him dull and tedious. However, she later changed her mind, and decided she would marry him after all. Patrick Brontë's old snobbery resurrected itself once more and he refused to give her away at the wedding. He felt his daughter - who at this stage had achieved literary fame - could do better for herself than striking out with a relatively impoverished Church of England curate.
The couple spent their honeymoon in Ireland, with her new husband showing her around Dublin, including Trinity College, where he had been a student. They then travelled to Banagher, Co Offaly, to meet members of his family, continuing on to Kilkee, Tralee and Killarney. Charlotte admitted she was enthralled when she saw the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, but some old prejudices remained.
"I heard a great deal about Irish negligence,'' she wrote in one of her letters back home.
"I own that until I came to Kilkee I saw little of it. Here at our inn - the splendidly designated West End Hotel - there is a good deal to carp at - if we were in a carping humour - but we laugh instead of grumbling - for outdoors there is so much to compensate for any indoor shortcomings.'' (...)
Charlotte Brontë's life and work is a reminder of the ever overlapping world of language both the British and the Irish have come to share. Of course we can't really claim her as one of our own. But there is assuredly a Celtic strain in her novels she could never really acknowledge. And the Irish blood in her veins was surely part of those many mysterious forces which made her a writer of genius. (Gerard O'Regan) bronteblog