… From George Eliot’s Middlemarch:
But for her visitors Dorothea too might have been shut up in the library, and would not have witnessed this scene of old Featherstone’s funeral, which, aloof as it seemed to be from the tenor of her life, always afterwards came back to her at the touch of certain sensitive points in memory, just as the vision of St. Peter’s at Rome was interwoven with moods of despondency. Scenes which make vital changes in our neighbors’ lot are but the background of our own, yet, like a particular aspect of the fields and trees, they become associated for us with the epochs of our own history, and make a part of that unity which lies in the selection of our keenest consciousness.
The dream-like association of something alien and ill-understood with the deepest secrets of her experience seemed to mirror that sense of loneliness which was due to the very ardor of Dorothea’s nature. The country gentry of the time lived in a rarefied social air: dotted apart on their stations up the mountain they looked down with imperfect discrimination on the belts of thicker life below. And Dorothea was not at ease in the perspective and chilliness of that height.
I found this on the blog Toto, We’re Not in Green Gables Anymore with the title “The HSP in Literature: Dorothea Brooke” and I think this blogger is right about this character probably being HSP. This excerpt resonated very much with me. I’ve tried reading Middlemarch more than once. Maybe it’s time to give it another go.