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THE   BRONTfiS                       43
readers feel what she was feeling ; but it was Life
which taught her that, not books, nor her ten
years and more of day-dreaming in Angria.
Precocious, in a narrow literary and intellectual
sense, she certainly was, but at the same time, as
a thinking, feeling human being she was sur-
prisingly backward. Yet not perhaps surprisingly,
when it is considered how little contact she, or
her brother and sisters, had with any world out-
side their home. " In the little moorland village
where we reside/' as Charlotte described Haworth.
in one of her early letters, there was no social life
for the children. They had no playmates except
one another ; Branwell mixed with village boys -
that could not be prevented - but it would not
have been proper for the Parsonage young ladies
to play with villagers. Neither Mr. Bronte's nor
Miss Branwell's outlook could have been enliven-
ing nor the occasional visits to Uncle and Aunt
Fennell and Aunt Franks nor parish functions
much of a corrective to life's everyday poverty.
Indeed, Charlotte's immense literary output in
childhood and girlhood, as much in volume as all
her published novels, is the most pathetic monu-
ment to the dull monotony of her actual life in
these periods and to the lack of opportunities for
natural human development which she and her
brother and sisters had at Haworth. The grasp
and management of political and social doings
which the Anglian literature shows, the historical
development of policy and ambitions, the attention
paid throughout to exact details of intricate family
relationship, in short all the evidence contained