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Full text of "The Brontes"

46                      THE  BRONTES
very prettily."   In Miss Romer Wilson's brilliant
but provocative book on Emily Bronte, it is sug-
gested that Emily had a prison complex derived
from her sufferings  while she  was  at  Cowan
Bridge, and that about this time Emily may have
been shut up one evening in a dark room at home
where she had a fright (as had Jane Eyre when
shut up by Mrs. Reed) from the gleam of a passing
lamp, whence followed a kind of fit and a vision
which haunted her always.   It is more probable,
going by what " Miss Temple " remembered, that
the  strong  inferiority  complex  which  clouded
Emily's life developed when the petting enjoyed
at school was put an end to upon the return to
Haworth; for at home, between Charlotte, then
promoted to the position of " the eldest," and
Branwell and Anne, who were very much Aunt's
favourites, Emily must often have felt out in the cold.
But all the Brontes must have had abnormal
inferiority complexes, physically under-developed,
intellectually  over-developed   children   as   they
were, and living with elders who were constantly
in apprehension about something or other, health,
cold and damp, risk of fire (one of Mr. Bronte's
bugbears) or social dignity, for Mr. Bronte was
full of precepts about avoiding slights by taking
care not to " outstay one's welcome " if invited
anywhere.   There can have been little tenderness
in  their upbringing;   nothing  like   enough  to
satisfy ardent,  hungry little  souls.     Papa was
severe ;  Aunt, partial ;   Tabby, kind but sharp.
Tenderness was a dream of the past, bound up
with memories of Maria and Elizabeth, who were