By Lyn Pykett (auth.)
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Additional info for Emily Brontë
The woman poet must thus transform herself from the socially and culturally conditioned role of sympathetic and patient observer into an active singer and declaimer, assertive, authoritative, radiant with powerful feelings while at the same time absorbed in her own consciousness - and hence, by definition, profoundly "unwomanly" even freakish. , who are often portrayed through the perspective of their desperate and spurned lovers whom they inspire to commit terrible deeds. It is perhaps not surprising that some male critics should have found this image of the female rather threatening.
Heger was c1early full of such unladylike tendencies, as was the creator of Heathc1iff, Catherine, and the first Hareton Earnshaw. The poems too, articulate their own vision of the way things are, which cannot be contained by the Blackwood's reviewer's conception of the ladylike - the dominant view of early nineteenth-century culture. If in her choice of form, and in many of her central preoccupations, Emily Bronte seems to have been a retrospective novelist who looks back to the Romantic tradition of the tale of horror, the novel of evil-possession, and to the Gothic tradition, she also shares many of the concerns of the emerging Victorian novelists.
Emily Bronte, like her brother and sisters, was also an avid reader of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, which was a major vehicle for the dissemination of Romantic fiction, publishing and reviewing numerous works of the horror school which derived from German tales and early Byron. In the pages of 'Maga' Emily Bronte would have encountered examples or discussions of the work of Mary Shelley, E. A. Hoffman, and James Hogg, each of whom experimented with the tale of evil-possession, and with the theme of the doppelgänger, described by a Blackwood's reviewer in July 1824 as a THE WRITINGS OF ELLIS BELL 31 visitation of another self, a double with a man's own personal appearance, who in his name, and in his likeness, commits every atrocious crime of which he would never have believed himself capable.