Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/40

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POEMS OF EMILY BRONTË

discriminating praise. This, which is by far the best of Sydney Dobell's generally too cloudy and ambitious criticisms, has been reprinted in his Life and Letters. Dobell, who was then twenty-six in 1850, insisted that Wuthering Heights was an early work of Charlotte Brontë, and spoke of 'those powers of insight, that instinctive obedience to the nature within her, and those occurrences of infallible inspiration which astound the critic in the young author of Wuthering Heights. 'He also attributed The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to the same pen. Dr. John Brown, in a letter to Lady Trevelyan dated 23rd June 1851, wrote: 'Have you read Wuthering Heights—carefully? I did so last week and think it a work of the highest genius. If it had been in the form of a Tragedy, it would have been the noblest bit of intensity and passion and human nature, in the rough and wild, since Shakespeare—it is far above Jane Eyre.' I may also quote Dante Rossetti, who writes in 1854 to William Allingham: 'I've been greatly interested in Wuthering Heights, the first novel I've read for an age, and the best (as regards power and sound style) for two ages, except Sidonia. But it is a fiend of a book—an incredible monster, combining all the stronger female tendencies from