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1) Charlotte Brontë killed her sistersAnother literary story comes from BBC Culture, which looks into literary characters taking on lives of their own:
According to criminologist James Tully, the author of Jane Eyre was not the secluded, intellectual spinster we imagine, but a violently envious and lustful murderess. All was peaceful in the Brontë household, Tully says, until the 1845 appearance of a (debatably) handsome and wily curate named Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls. Tully claims that Nicholls encouraged Charlotte’s already envious disposition, and together they poisoned each one of her siblings. Emily and Branwell (who another theory says wrote Emily’s Wuthering Heights) died in 1848 at ages 30 and 31 respectively. Anne died in 1849 at 29. The common conception is that they all contracted tuberculosis or cholera, but Tully, who is also an expert in 19th-century poison, is convinced that they were murdered. A few years later Charlotte’s father “angrily chased” Nicholls from their estate. Soon after that, Charlotte eloped with Nicholls, only to die a year later. Tully claims that it was Nicholls’s plan all along to inherit the Brontë estate, and thus Charlotte met the same bleak fate as her siblings. Tully originally wrote his theory as non-fiction, but was unable to find a publisher; so he retold the story as fiction from the point of view of real-life maid Martha Brown. His book, The Crimes of Charlotte Brontë, gained some recognition, but was generally rejected by Brontë enthusiasts. (Ema O'Connor)
And then of course there’s Jean Rhys’s The Wide Sargasso Sea, a slender, majestic depiction of the life of the first Mrs Rochester before she becomes the madwoman in the attic who terrifies Jane Eyre. (Hephzibah Anderson)Episode 10 of season 7 of Sons of Anarchy is called Faith and Despondency after the poem of the same name by Emily Brontë. International Business Times looks into what this may mean:
The episode titles usually tease what’s in store for the boys in leather and from the analysis of “Faith and Despondency,” things aren’t looking too good for Charming's finest. The 1846 poem, written by Emily Brontë, is a haunting piece of literature that surrounds the theme of death -- something we’ve seen a lot of in the past seven seasons of “SoA.”The Galway Advertiser announces the opening of the exhibition Physiognomy by local artist Michelle Campion by reminding us of the fact that,
But what makes Brontë’s work even more chilling is the reference she makes to a “sweet, trustful child” -- a correlation that can clearly be made to Abel (Ryder/Evan Londo).
“Well hast thou spoken, sweet, trustful child!Abel knows Gemma is the one responsible for murdering his stepmother and has recently witnessed the detrimental effects of her actions through the death of Bobby. The only question is what will Jax’s eldest son do with the information? Do you think Brontë’s poem is suggesting Abel’s innocence and truth will find a way to reach the raging war occurring in Charming? (Megan Schaefer)
And wiser than thy sire;
And worldly tempests, raging wild,
Shall strengthen thy desire—
Thy fervent hope, through storm and foam,
Through wind and ocean’s roar,
To reach, at last, the eternal home,
The steadfast, changeless shore!”
Physiognomy is the practice of judging character from facial features, an idea which dates back to Ancient Greece. The belief continued into the 19th century with Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and Charlotte Brontë making character descriptions based on facial features.The Brontë Parsonage Blog has a post on a reader's visit to Ponden Hall. Dawn of Books reviews Wuthering Heights. Bust and Vox Talk recommend Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre.