This volume covers the period from 1852 until Charlotte Bronte's tragically early death in March 1855. We read of her long struggle to complete Villette, and her indignation when Harriet Martineau finds in it evidence that her mind is 'full of the subject of one passion - love'. Complete texts of many letters to Mrs Gaskell illuminate Charlotte's friendship with the fellow-novelist who was to be her biographer. A dramatic letter of December 1852 describes Arthur Nicholls's proposal of marriage in December 1852, and Mr Bronte's violent apoplectic reaction to it. A reluctant consent is won from him in 1854. In a newly discovered letter Charlotte describes with cheerful self-mockery her yielding to her friends' insistence that she should wear white on her wedding day, and subsequent letters touchingly reveal her love for her husband, her 'tenderest nurse' during her last illness.

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