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Ellen Nussey (1817 - 1897)
'Brookroyd' - the place,
where the family had to move
after the death of Ellen's father
Ellen Nussey has claim to great fame within the Brontë circles, and this she owes to nothing more than her close friendship with the three sisters. Her first encounter with the Brontës was when she met Charlotte while both were pupils at Roe Head School in 1831, and this led to their life-long friendship. She subsequently became one of the few 'close' friends of both Anne and Emily. In May 1849, at Anne's request, she accompanied her and Charlotte on, what turned out to be, the ill-fated visit to Scarborough.
Anne's letter to Ellen Nussey.
As Ellen lived to the ripe old age of 80, dying in 1897, she has been one of the most valuable sources of biographical information on the Brontë family, and in particular on Anne.
Ellen's early home where she lived until September 1836. Charlotte visited Ellen here in September 1832: she was escorted by Branwell, who, being so overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, told Charlotte he was leaving her 'in paradise'. After the death of Ellen's father, the family had to move to the much more modest 'Brookroyd' - seen in the photograph. Charlotte visited here on many occasions, and it was in this house where she corrected her proof-sheets of Jane Eyre - yet we are still told that Ellen, at this point and beyond, had no knowledge of Charlotte's novel writing! Ellen invited Anne to visit and spend some time here, but for one reason or another - possibly Anne's shyness and inability to socialise - the visit never took place.
Above: taken around 1855. The photograph above
was taken during the last
few years of Ellen's life
(around the mid -1890s).
The Nussey family tomb stands solitary in front of St Peter's Church, Birstall. This building is said to have been the model for 'Briarfield Church' in Charlotte's novel, Shirley.
The Nussey family tomb
|© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 ||