Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations


Brontë, Charlotte.

95 by 154mm., fine pencil drawing, signed and dated "C. Brontë October 15th [18]32", together with title in author's hand, mounted, framed and glazed, some spotting

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Ellen Nussey?; J. Horsfall Turner; and thence by family descent


Alexander and Sellars 83

Catalogue Note

A re-discovered lost drawing by Charlotte Brontë, entirely missing during the twentieth century.

This drawing of a lake in the Lake District was lent to the Brontë Society in 1896 and listed in their Catalogue of Objects in the Museum of the Brontë Society. It was untraced by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellars for their The art of the Brontës (Cambridge, 1995).

This piece comprises Charlotte Brontë's drawing of an engraving by Thomas Allom, who published a number of volumes with his depictions of Cumberland in the 1830s. Charlotte is known to have drawn other views from Allom's illustrations (including Hartlepool Harbour and Cockermouth in January 1833).

In the absence of the original and based on 'the type of scene Charlotte was in the habit of copying', Alexander and Sellars suggested that Brontë's drawing was of 'Derwent Water, from the Castle Head, Cumberland'. The discovery of the original confirms their research.

The wooden backing to the frame includes a pencil note which appears to state "Given to me by Miss Nussy". Ellen Nussey (1817-97) was a lifelong friend of Charlotte Brontë, and the chief source for Gaskell's biography.  

English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations