She Resolutely Refuses to See a Doctor Re reading Emily Bront and Tuberculosis in 1848 or Charlotte Bront Sickness and Correspondence.pdf (2.04 MB)
“She resolutely refuses to see a doctor”: Re-reading Emily Brontë and tuberculosis in 1848; or Charlotte Brontë, sickness and correspondence
journal contributionposted on 2023-01-12, 16:33 authored by Claire O'CallaghanClaire O'Callaghan
This article reads Charlotte Brontë’s letters documenting her sister Emily Brontë’s experience of tuberculosis in late 1848, considering how the correspondence has cultivated a one-sided account of Emily’s final months. Rereading the letters analytically, I argue that the differences between the sisters that Charlotte articulates gravitate around her implicit conception of the “good” consumptive, with Emily’s resistance positioning her unfairly as a “bad” patient. Informed by Roy Porter’s conception of “patient centred”, I read against the grain of Charlotte’s letters to challenge dominant accounts of Emily’s illness and death. I suggest that when considered contextually and from Emily’s point of view, Charlotte letters offer alternate ways to understand Emily’s experience of tuberculosis and her behaviour in her final months.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
Published inWomen's Writing
Pages566 - 582
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.