20 THE BRONTE SISTERS
snobbish grounds, which threw the generous Charlotte's
sympathies on his side. Nicholis left Haworth for a time
but corresponded with Charlotte, and eventuallyŚhis
successor as curate proving very unsatisfactory to Mr.
BronteŚwon her father's consent and her own. They
were married in June 1854, and after honeymooning in
Ireland took up residence with Mr. Bronte at the Parsonage.
Charlotte's letters at this time, though full of praise for her
kind and considerate husband, have moments of great
poignancy: 'The colour of my thoughts is a good deal
changed ... it is a solemn and strange and perilous thing
for a woman to become a wife'.
In the following winter she became pregnant, and died in
March 1855, from hyperemesis gravidamm (i.e. excessive
sickness in pregnancy), heightened by the Brontes' old
enemy phthisis. The appearance of Mrs. GaskelTs biography
in 1857, the posthumous publication of The Professor- in the
same year and the death of old Mr. Bronte in 1861 after
six years' conscientious if somewhat dominating attendance
by Mr. Nicholis, complete the Bronte chronicle.
From the materials provided, and with minds created and
formed, by these events, we have seen that the Bronte
sisters wrote seven novels and some four hundred poems.
Works of Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte's verse is not important in itself, but it illumin-
ates her strange personal history and the debt we owe to
M. Heger for drawing her out of her shadow world. Her
poems fall into two categories. The larger part are Angrian,
i.e. poems written as if by Angrian characters in Angrian
situations. These, though fascinating to the psychologist,
strike me as a sheer waste of talent; since events in Angria,
with its fantasies of resuscitation and wish-fulfilment,
are essentially false to the truth of life. The attempt to evoke
emotion on their behalf is consciously false and produces
no response in the reader. So true is this that when in the
1846 Bell Poems Charlotte substitutes real names and places