After receiving news that Shirley has been accepted for publication, Charlotte writes the following to George Smith on 14 September 1849:
'The Bank-Bill reached me safely: I assure you I felt rather proud of its amount; I am pleased to be able to earn so much, for Papa will be pleased too when I tell him. I should like to take care of this money: it is Papa's great wish that I should realize a small independency if you could give me a word of advice respecting the wisest and safest manner of investing this £500, I should be very much obliged to you. I have already a few shares in a Railway, but these are so much fallen in value of late that I hardly like to venture on so uncertain an investment a second time. A hint on the subject - provided it costs you no trouble - would be very acceptable to me.'