monday 09 june 2003

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Letter from Charlotte Brontė to Robert Southey, poet laureate, dated 16 March 1847. Robert Southey had suggested to Charlotte that writing was not a profession for a woman; this is Charlotte’s reply. © The Brontė Society. "In the evenings, I confess, I do think, but I never trouble any one else with my thoughts. I carefully avoid any appearance of preoccupation and eccentricity, which might lead those I live amongst to suspect the nature of my pursuits. Following my father's advice -- who from my childhood has counselled me, just in the wise and friendly tone of your letter -- I have endeavoured not only attentively to observe all the duties a woman ought to fulfill, but to feel deeply interested in them. I don't always succeed, for sometimes when I'm teaching or sewing I would rather be reading or writing; but I try to deny myself. (...) I trust I shall never more feel ambitious to see my name in print; if the wish should rise, I'll look at Southey's letter, and suppress it."

> Charlotte Brontė op 16 maart 1837 in een brief aan dichter Robert Southey.



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