Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

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Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)

By Miriam Silverberg

The Morgan Library and Museum has a wonderful exhibit on Charlotte Bronte in honor of the 200th anniversary of her birth.  It runs until January 2nd which should give you plenty of time to see it.  It is very interesting and gives us so much information about Bronte that I think most people didn’t know.  This is an historic collaboration among the world’s three foremost repositories of Bronteana:  the Morgan Library, the Bronte Parsonage Museum (her home) and London’s National Portrait Library.

There are many photos of her family and life, her early drawings and watercolors, poetry and other memorabilia.

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855), Lycidas, watercolor drawing, March 4, 1835, copied from a print after painting by Henry Fuseli. Brontë Parsonage Museum.

There is even her baptismal certificate and will.  Also one of her dresses and shoes.

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Two-piece printed delaine dress (of cotton and wool), ca. 1850, worn by Charlotte Brontë. Brontë Parsonage Museum. Photography by Gareth Gardner photography + journalism.

Bronte was quite the Renaissance Woman.  Most people only know her for her novels, in particular Jane Eyre.  But Bronte was also an artist with many beautiful drawings and watercolors displayed.  She also wrote poetry in addition to her novels.  And there were other novels in addition to the most famous, Jane Eyre, which was her first published novel.

It’s interesting to note that her father, a pastor, was the first published author in the family.

Sadly, Bronte died at age 38, outliving her two younger sisters, Emily and Anne and her brother, Branwell.

Learn more about the exhibit here.


miriamMiriam Silverberg is a freelance writer and owner of a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan, Miriam Silverberg Associates.  She may be reached at






  • Museums

    New York City has some of the best museums in the world, large and small. Exploring NYC's cultural activities is highlight of living or visiting here.

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