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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

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journal contribution
posted 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.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • English

Published in

Women's Writing

Volume

29

Issue

4

Pages

566 - 582

Publisher

Informa UK

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author

Publisher statement

This 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.

Acceptance date

2022-09-06

Publication date

2022-11-29

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0969-9082

eISSN

1747-5848

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Claire O'Callaghan. Deposit date: 20 December 2022

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