Portrait of a young woman looking over her right shoulder towards the viewer: head held high; broad, open features, large almond-shaped brown eyes, high arched eyebrows, long nose, full highly colored pink cheeks and lips: glossy brown shoulder-length ringlets cover her head, part of a bow visible at back right; bare shoulders with a ribbon around neck. It is said to be a portrait of Ellen Nussey by Charlotte Bronte. This drawing was found amongst Ellen Nussey’s effects between May 18-19, 1898. It is now housed at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
Ellen Nussey would visit Charlotte at Haworth often eventually becoming fast friends with her sisters Emily and Anne. She even earned the approval of their father, Rev. Patrick Bronte. Ellen was always present or nearby during all of the Bronte sisters life events good and bad. She would be a good friend to the three sisters but there was that bond between she and Charlotte, especially. Their friendship even survived Charlotte's rejection of a marriage proposal from Ellen brother's Henry. Now, that's true friendship. Come on girls didn't you fight sometimes? Go days or months without speaking because of a huge row?
I can understand Charlotte's restlessness, yearning for adventure while still keeping people at bay; only cherishing those she knows and loves. I am much like that myself. One gets bored easily and seeks out fun and happy times but then has numerous interests it is easy to get overwhelmed by situations and people around you. Charlotte wanted romance but wouldn't admit it. She had three proposals during her lifetime. Marrying quite late in life to a man her father did not care for and a proposal she initially rejected. Lucky for her, Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls persisted. Briefly, Charlotte became Mrs. Nicholls and their time together was her happiest. Sadly, pregnancy did not work out for her and it aided in her death in 1855.