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Nussey, John (1793–1862):


Subject Literature » Victorian Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405151191.2007.x


Extract

eldest brother of Ellen, and London general practitioner and apothecary. He was early successful under the aegis of his cousin (and eventual father-in-law) Richard Walker, and he was apothecary to George IV and his two successors, being in attendance (in the next room) during some of Queen Victoria’s numerous confinements. Ellen made two long visits to him in 1834 and 1837, probably to help with the family rather than to sample the pleasures of London. The picture that emerges of him through Charlotte’s letters (and we must remember that we have no documents in which the lesser Nusseys speak for themselves) is of a selfish, grasping man who fails to honor his family obligations and is especially neglectful of his mother and sisters. She sees him as of “the world” and “cold-blooded” (to EN, 10 and 17 Sep 1851), and she included his wife Mary in this judgment: “Madame herself thought fitting to call, very stately in her carriage” she wrote to Ellen (28 Jan 1853) during her last visit to London, indicating confidence in a shared opinion. There is much comment on John in letters of mid-1849 when he proposed a financial arrangement whereby his sisters would will their property to him or his heirs and in return he would cancel debts they owed him (“offers to relinquish a present claim in your sisters’ favour” is the phrase of Charlotte’s that suggests this arrangement, rather than a compensating ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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