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Full text of "The Brontèˆ sisters"

14                          THE BRONTE  SISTERS
she was twenty-three, and recurred to them in thought when
she was twenty-six, though always with a sense of guilt.
Emily, as far as can be judged, continued them freely and
serenely all her life. Of the Gondal writings of Emily and
Anne only poems are extant, though prose works on Gondal
subjects are named by both sisters. Of Charlotte's and
Branweffs Angrian booklets there survive enough to con-
tain a wordage equal in length to the whole of the Bronte's
published works. Now scattered about England and America
and only recently subjected to scholarly collation and
research, they form a unique record, invaluable to the stu-
dent of the Brontes, to the critic interested in the literary
creative process and to the psychiatrist, and fascinating in
itself, for the Angrian world is created with extraordinary
completeness and the characters are warm with life. The
clues they provide to the psychological make-up of their
ambitious, ardent, over-repressed creators are of the first
importance.
Never sent to school, but taught by his father in the
intervals of parish work, the unhappy Branwell probably
owes much of his ill fate to excessive opportunity for Angrian
composition. Real life is bleak to the day-dreamer emerging
from his world of fantasy, and after presiding at Cabinet
meetings and winning battles in Angria, Branwell found
Haworth an intolerable boredom, which he took to drink
and low company to assuage. As a boy he showed great
promise both as writer and painter, but his ambitions
remained unfulfilled, partly no doubt from lack of proper
tuition (in painting) and guidance, but mainly from defects
of character, lack of perseverance and indulgence in dissi-
pation. After a costly experiment with a studio in Bradford
he became a tutor, a clerk on the railway, then a tutor again
in the same household as Anne.
Meanwhile his sisters were more fortunate. All of them
attended for varying periods a reputable little boarding-
school kept by a Miss Wooler in the district already noted
as being the scene of Luddite riots. Here Charlotte made