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Old 02-05-2016, 07:00 PM   #16
AlexBell
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Thanks for all the information. Looking at the other side of the coin, and where this thread started: is there any information on why Charlotte chose to sign herself Brontï? It's possible, I suppose, that Harriet Martineau was mistaken when she wrote this, though she was a close friend.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:46 AM   #17
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I've looked at the reference provided for the Bronti spelling in the Fields, Osgood & Co edition and it doesn't say that Charlotte signed her name that way, it just refers to her as Miss Bronti (undotted i") but says her handwriting was "exceedingly small, nervous and poor, but quite legible". There are only two references in the book to Charlotte and they are both on that same page and are consistent in their presentation. No other lower case "i" present on the page is missing it's tittle.

Martineau's autobiography was edited by Maria Weston Chapman who I assume took a manuscript and transcribed it for publication, another point at which an error could creep in. However the prefatory note in the US edition does suggest that Harriet was happy with the presentation of the book so perhaps this is a red herring.

Even if we assume that the undotted i (with or without an umlout) is what Martineau wrote in her own autobiography it is not evidence of what Charlotte herself wrote.

Despite all this it seems likely that the book you are working on used some form of "i" so to revert to the original question it would seem right to follow Harry T and jelby's advice to leave it as is.

BobC

PS - just re-read post #8 where it says the reference to her signing her name thus is in Martineau's "Biographical Sketches" I also see in there that Martineau says that Brontë is an abbreviation of "Bronterre" !

Last edited by BobC; 02-06-2016 at 06:09 AM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:11 AM   #18
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Thanks
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Old 02-07-2016, 04:55 AM   #19
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I think it's Bronto-saurus.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:19 AM   #20
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I think it's not just a matter of spelling changes or wanting to step away from humble origins but the fact that language changes too. There was the great vowel shift around the time when James I had the KJV of the Bible done for example.
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