A letter written by Charlotte Bronte to her life-long friend Ellen Nussey when she was 18 will go on display at Haworth’s Bronte Parsonage Museum.

The document was bought during an auction at Sotheby’s in July and cost more than £18,000. It will go on display when the museum re-opens in February after its annual break to carry out conservation work and change the exhibits.

Charlotte and Ellen met when they were at Roe Head boarding school in Mirfield and they remained friends.

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the museum in Church Street, said the fact Charlotte wrote so many letters to Ellen, and that Ellen kept them, was the reason historians knew so much about the domestic life of the famous literary sisters.

The letter, dated June 19, 1834, was written at the beginning of the two women’s friendship. In it, Charlotte talks about Ellen’s recent trip to London.

Miss Dinsdale said: “Ellen was from a more affluent background than the Brontes and she had been on a visit to London. Charlotte had never been to London and all her ideas about it were from literature. She considered it to be a wicked place and she was amazed that Ellen had returned the same person.

“The letter shows the contrast between their lives. Charlotte would have loved to travel but because the Brontes were relatively poor it wasn’t really an option.”

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