`Men don't seem to understand making letters a vehicle of communication - they always seem to think us uncautious. I'm sure I don't think I have said anything rash - however you must burn it when read.' Despite the request, Charlotte Bronte's lifelong friend Ellen Nussey probably burnt verylittle of her correspondence, and in this edition, based as far as possible on original manuscripts, many confidential and outspoken letters are published in full for the first time. The present volume includes letters from Charlotte's childhood (the first written to her father in September 1829), and takes the reader up to the publication and review of Jane Eyre (1847). Early editions depended largely on bowdlerized or inaccurate copies, and even the much improved ShakespeareHead edition of 1932 suffered from limited access to manuscripts, owing to the nefarious activities of T. J. Wise. Since 1932 many more manuscripts have become available, and the present edition includes new letters, previously unpublished passages censored by Ellen Nussey or Mrs Gaskell, and fullannotation. As well as Charlotte's own letters, a handful of important letters by friends and family relating to her or illuminating her correspondence are included, along with extracts from the diaries of Emily and Anne Bronte, Ellen Nussey, and Charlotte's rejected suitor Henry Nussey. The fullIntroduction includes an illuminating account of the early publication history of the letters, and biographical material on the main correspondents. Of particular interest in the notes to this volume are the extensive quotations from early reviews of Jane Eyre.