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By Tom Winnifrith (auth.)

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They also eventually moved the school to a more healthy situation at Casterton, although not until some years after the deaths of the two Brontes. Carus Wilson's son said there were only six deaths of fever in thirty-five years at Casterton and Cowan Bridge, and this seems to contradict the view that fever ravaged the school in 1825. Over the food there is conflicting testimony, although some admission by the Carus Wilson side that there had been an incompetent cook. Pupil 23 The published works of Carus Wilson do reveal a rather sinister sternness.

2 The only other career open to the Brontes was matrimony; in this period Charlotte received two proposals of marriage, and there arrived at Haworth the Reverend William Weightman, a cheerful curate, who in an ordinary Victorian novel- and even in ordinary life - would have made an ideal husband for any of the Bronte sisters. Agnes Grey is an ordinary novel, but we do not know for certain whether it reflects reality. We do not know much about Charlotte's two suitors, but Charlotte was not an ordinary Victorian young lady, and the impetuosity of the Irish Mr Pryce, and the calculated proposal of Ellen's brother Henry did not appeal to her.

More importantly the two heroes are further linked by the marriage of Northangerland's daughter, Mary Percy, to Zamorna. Marian Hume, always rather a shadowy figure, seems to have been killed off early in 1834 and by the time of High Life in Verdopolis (20 February-20 March 1833) the more spirited Mary seems to have replaced her. Marian's death is said to have been due to a broken heart in A Peep into a Picture Book (30 May 1834), and in High Life in Verdopolis Douro's Byronic ways are exaggerated.

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