I was fortunate to be in New York City when the Morgan Library and Museum held its exhibit on Charlotte Bronte. How thrilling it was to see the original manuscript of "Jane Eyre." What exquisitely neat handwriting for such a passionate spirit! And while I've read many biographies describing how thin and small in stature she was, seeing her size 0 dress and doll-sized shoes was still startling.
The manuscripts and drawings of the other members of the Bronte family were well-represented. Particularly effecting was the card announcing Emily's death "aged twenty-nine years." The famous "pillar portrait" of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, painted by their brother Branwell, held pride of place. This exhibit marked the first time it, as well as the chalk portrait of Charlotte by George Richmond, has ever been seen outside of England.
Charlotte's writing desk is a work of art in itself. A wooden box, a feather quill pen, a lined sheet of paper - so tidy and circumscribed. But what worlds she created from them!