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By Edward Chitham

Identify on backbone: Brontee proof & Brontee difficulties.

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Additional resources for Brontë Facts and Brontë Problems

Sample text

The drawing shows a table, round which Anne and Emily sit, occupied with 'The Papers' which are in front of them. The sheets of paper shown are double folded sheets of normal size, not small scraps such as usually contain Emily's first poetic essays. They do however appear to be individual sheets or at least thin groups of sheets, not full booklets. Their repository is evidently 'The Tin Box', so labelled and resting on the table in front of Emily. This box appears larger than the small tin discovered by Mr Nicholls in which the diary papers themselves came to light.

The first line exhibits a characteristic already seen in the smaller fragments; Emily Bronte begins: My task is done- the winter sun Is setting in its sullen sky on a day when Shackleton's weather records say the weather was 'overcast' and there had been a 'good deal of snow at M[orning]'. It seems that on this Friday in early February Emily Bronte started by writing of herself as she looked out across the wintry landscape in late afternoon after finishing the day's work. ' this first thought merges quickly with a Gondal scene.

But there is a serious clash when we come to examine Charlotte's whereabouts during 1838. Most authorities regard June 1838 as the date when she ceased to work at Miss Wooler's school. If that date is correct, how can she be writing from Dewsbury Moor in August and October 1838? Once again it seems as though rash assumptions may have been made on the basis of a letter of Charlotte's to Ellen. The letter in question is SHBL 68, already mentioned as the source of information about Mary Taylor's illness.

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