The Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Ann, and Emily, and their brother Branwell from childhood wrote at a small wooden table. I cannot imagine how this table, which was hardly three feet to a side, could contain the creative and competitive energies of the four. While that confined space may have urged their communal invention of alternative worlds, the independent passions of the four, especially for the three sisters, must have heated the environment. It’s difficult to imagine how any one of the sisters could focus on the sound of her own sentences or the pace of her own words amid the scratch of three others’ pens. Quiet Emily may have been skeptical about the competition; when young, to hold her place, Emily carved her E, the same used to sign poems in her notebook, on the table’s surface.