By Tom Winnifrith (auth.)
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Additional resources for A New Life of Charlotte Brontë
In her own early poems Wordsworth and Thomson are the most prominent influences. At a fairly early stage Charlotte discovered the attractions of love as a topic in both prose and poetry. It is not true to say that Charlotte totally abandoned the tedious fields of war and politics to Branwell while she explored the mysteries of the human heart, but Branwell's interest lay more in the former field, and Charlotte's in the latter. 4 Charlotte's principal hero Arthur, the Marquess of Douro, appears early in her tales, and we learn of his love for the daughter of his father's doctor, Marion Hume.
We have tributes to Maria from Mr Bronte who said of her that during her illness she exhibited many symptoms of a heart under divine influence, and from Charlotte who spoke of her prematurely developed and remarkable intellect as well as the mildness, wisdom and fortitude of her character. Helen Burns exhibits these characteristics, although she is perhaps too mild. Charlotte in the same letter says she suffered to see her sisters perishing, and when she arrived at Roe Head some six years 24 A New Life of Charlotte Bronte after Cowan Bridge she spoke of her dead sisters to Mary Taylor as wonders of talent and kindness.
Occasional obscure literary jokes may be directed by one author against another. In an early story Branwell introduces his three sisters without any disguise into his narrative, and speaks of them with a good deal of contempt. In My Angria and the Angriuns (October 1834) Charlotte caricatures Branwell in Patrick Benjamin Wiggins as 'a low slightly built man, a bush of canary yellow hair and a pair of spectacles placed across a prominent Roman nose'. These comic jibes are perfectly compatible with a happy affection between brother and sister, marred perhaps by occasional rivalries with Charlotte the eldest child and Branwell the only boy.
A New Life of Charlotte Brontë by Tom Winnifrith (auth.)