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By Tom Winnifrith (auth.)

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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.

Charlotte had the opportunity to take Southey's advice in 1839 when she received two proposals of marriage. The time was ripe for such a proposal. After a difficult final year as a teacher which had involved a quarrel over Anne's health with Miss Wooler at the end of 1837, and some illness of her own which caused her to be at horne in June 1838, she probably returned briefly to the school - now moved to Dewsbury Moor, an unhealthy spot - before leaving finally at the end of the year. On 20 January 1839 she refused an invitation to Ellen Nussey's on the grounds that she had just taken 'a solemn and formal leave' of her acquaintances in the area.

Charlotte's next creative period was just as pitiful but more interesting. 4 Teacher The years 1835-40 are important but unhappy ones for all the Brontes. Charlotte spent most of her time teaching, not very cheerfully, at Miss Wooler's school and made her first unsuccessful attempt to be a governess. Branwell was faced with considerable setbacks in his aspirations to be an artist, and, like Charlotte, received discouragement in his literary ambitions. Emily made two brief forays from home, as a pupil at Miss Wooler's and as a teacher at Miss Patchett's school near Halifax; on both occasions she suffered from homesickness.

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