By F. B. Pinion
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Additional resources for A Brontë Companion: Literary Assessment, Background, and Reference
Romance in prose and poetry, but she must have spent a great deal of her time with her father, walking, playing the piano, reading to him, and discussing events. She would hear reminiscences, including stories which may have contributed to scenes in TYuthering Heights. Perhaps it was at this time that he encouraged her to practise firing his pistols at a target in the front garden. He admired her intrepidity and love of nature. They must have talked on many things, including religion. However independent her views they were not alien to him, and would be discussed with sympathy and toleration.
She was four years old, having been born at Thornton on 21 April 1816. She probably read at an early age, though for many years her writing and spelling had the appearance of being acquired rather than taught. At about the age of eight she wrote, and illustrated in watercolours, a little book, apparently for the entertainment of beT youngest sister Anne. When she was sent to school at Cowan Bridge in August 1824, she could hardly remember her mother, who died three years earlier. She would be delighted to join her elder sisters, but the treatment Maria received for her untidiness, the wintry damp and cold, the poor, ill-prepared food, the outbreak of 'low fever', and the death of her sisters soon after they were brought home, seared and soured her memory.
Heger was moved. It grieved her to grieve him, who had been 'so true, kind, and disinterested a friend', she wrote to Ellen Nussey. Mme Heger accompanied her to Ostend on New Year's Day, 1844. At home, Charlotte was eager to set up a school: 'I desire it above all things. ' Yet she did not wish to leave her ageing father; he was losing his sight, and she felt guilty of having been absent from home too long. She found Haworth dull after Brussels; her spirit was 'tamed down and broken'; she longed for 'active exertion - a stake in life'.
A Brontë Companion: Literary Assessment, Background, and Reference by F. B. Pinion