By Valerie Sanders (auth.)
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Extra resources for The Brother-Sister Culture in Nineteenth-Century Literature: From Austen to Woolf
Neither George Eliot nor Charlotte Yonge indicates that her heroine has been intellectually defeated by her brother. Similarly, in Harry and Lucy, the younger sister soon begins to assert herself intellectually, and proves to be brighter at arithmetic and literature than her brother, even if she has a shorter attention span. Harry calls her `Mrs Quick-Quick' (much as Tom Tulliver, similarly discomfited, will call Maggie `Miss Wisdom') though her father says she is ` ``what is vulgarly called birdwitted'' ' (II, 213).
Nutting' was originally intended as part of a poem on his own life, and indeed was reclaimed as such when he deleted the lines about Lucy. Whenever he writes most intently about his own development as a poet, especially his changing relationship with nature, he defines himself in relation to her co-development, which he sees as being more spontaneous and uncontrolled than his own. Wordsworth never seems sure whether to envy this or reproach her for it. She is an earlier version of himself, a stage he has passed through ± equated with his youth ± which paradoxically pointed the way forward for himself.
More than a game, TAR took over her life, and halted her progress towards adulthood. Farjeon claims not to have been aware of her own sex until she was `nearly thirty years old, and it took at least ten years more for emotional crudeness to get abreast of mental ripeness' (p. 324). The Brother and Sister Culture 27 Evidence gathered from several autobiographies recalling childhoods spent towards the end of the previous century or the beginning of the next evokes a fantasy-life that was largely separate from the downstairs world of the children's parents ± as E.