orian spinster, exiled for ever from the sunshine of the town she loved, dragging out her sad, fastidious life in a cold and comparatively savage country that she unspeakably disliked. She took possession of the room her sister died in (it was the most cheerful room in the house), and lived in it. Her nieces had to sit there with her for certain hours while she taught them sewing and all the early Victorian virtues. Their father made himself responsible for the rest of their education, which he conducted with considerable vigour and originality. Maria, the eldest, was the child of promise. Long before Maria was eleven he "conversed" with her on "the leading topics of the day, with as much pleasure and freedom as with any grown-up person".
For this man, so gloomy, we are told, and so morose, found pleasure in taking his tiny children out on to the moors, where he entertained them alternately with politics and tales of brutality and horror. At six years old each little Brontė had its view of the political si