By Tom Winnifrith (auth.)
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Extra resources for A New Life of Charlotte Brontë
References by Charlotte in an early letter to Rydings as one of the family seats of England, and by Ellen herself to its grandeur tend to conceal the fact that the Nussey's stay in Rydings was of short duration, and they only rented the house anyway. No doubt the house seemed grand to Charlotte. One of Ellen's brothers was a doctor of some distinction and hence there were visits to Bath and London, but Jane Austen unkindly and snobbishly would have pointed out the number of Ellen Nussey's relatives who were not very successfully engaged in trade.
The question of Branwell's influence in dictating events and ideas is therefore difficult to decide, but it would seem that, although Charlotte wrote in the holidays, and although Branwell dictated the framework of events in Angria, Charlotte was at this period sufficiently independent of her brother's influences to decide the pattern of her own stories. Charlotte's first term as teacher at Roe Head started, oddly by modem standards, on 29 July 1835. There was quite a long break at Christmas since on 4 January 1838 Charlotte said that term did not start until 30 January.
With this battle the history of Teacher 45 Angria comes to an end, subsequent stories referring to the past as in Four Years Ago (21 July 1837) or the future, as in Stancliffe's Hotel, where Zamorna City has a distinctly Yorkshire air and there is some crude satire against Methodism as there is in Julia. Owing to the difficulty of dating Charlotte's letters it is hard to know how much Charlotte wrote at Roe Head and how much at home. The question of Branwell's influence in dictating events and ideas is therefore difficult to decide, but it would seem that, although Charlotte wrote in the holidays, and although Branwell dictated the framework of events in Angria, Charlotte was at this period sufficiently independent of her brother's influences to decide the pattern of her own stories.