Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews In and Out of Hospital

Saving Charlotte Brontë

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 25 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e567
  1. James Owen Drife, emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. J.O.Drife{at}

With Dickens’ 200th birthday only days away, Britain’s love affair with 19th century novelists continues. The Brontë sisters have another film out, and it is only two years since Elizabeth Gaskell’s work was last on television. What impresses me is how productive they all were in their short lives.

Emily and Anne Brontë died in their 20s, and Gaskell and Dickens in their 50s, but the death that still grieves me, as a Yorkshire obstetrician, is that of Charlotte …

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