Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
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4. Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Times Literary Supplement also mentions the novel:
When Mr Earnshaw returns from a trip to Liverpool with a “dirty, ragged black-haired child” that he has found starving on the street, his family react with horror at the intrusion of this “gipsy brat”. Heathcliff might have had a chance if Mr Earnshaw had survived longer, but he is vulnerable to abuse when his foster father dies, and this unleashes a passionate story of love and hatred that tears a family apart.
Some things stick with you from school lessons. I can still remember my elderly English teacher explaining to us, aged 14-ish, that when Cathy in Wuthering Heights said " I AM Heathcliff", she was expressing what it was to be truly in love. If so, I still haven't quite got it. (Mary Beard)Novelicious interviews Jane Stubbs, author of Thornfield Hall:
When you are writing, do you use any famous people or people you know as inspiration?KQED Arts recommends reading Jane Eyre in March:
I plead ‘not guilty’ to using famous real people. I stand convicted of using famous fictional people such as Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre. The whole of Thornfield Hall is built on Charlotte Brontë’s characters. In Jane Eyre there is one mention of a footman called Sam. In Thornfield Hall I have made him a gruff ex-sailor who takes up with the French maid. When Charlotte Brontë has portrayed a character in depth I have looked at their behaviour from a different viewpoint. Jane decides Blanche Ingram is an unworthy rival for Mr Rochester’s affection. Mrs Fairfax sees how Blanche’s prospects of marriage are damaged by Rochester’s cruel manoeuvre of pretending a flirtation with her in his pursuit of Jane.
Real people are too complicated to be ironed flat into a novel.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
My favourite women's fiction book of all time has to be Jane Eyre. I had a very happy childhood but I managed to identify with poor, mistreated and unloved Jane, especially when she was cold and hungry. Schools used to be very chilly places and most children can manage a snack, whatever time of day it is. We all have times when we feel the whole world is against us so it is reassuring to read that such moments can be survived. As a young woman Jane struggled against many disadvantages; she was poor, she was not pretty and she had no one to help make her way in the world. Her triumph was not in marrying Mr Rochester, but in taking control of her own life and in valuing her own worth very exactly.
It’s Women’s History Month and what better time to re-read a classic text? Past favorites this month have been the essayists Joan Didion and Nora Ephron, along with novelists Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. 2015’s pick? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read it in high school and hated Jane for returning to Rochester. I learned to appreciate Jane’s strength in college, but a re-read in my mid-twenties made me truly appreciate the complex choices that Brontë constructed for Jane. What would a re-read teach you? There’s only one way to find out. (Maria Judnick)Macleans features Alan Bradley's Flavia De Luce's book series:
So when he began crafting Flavia’s first adventure, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009) in Kelowna, B.C., after retiring as director of television engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, he turned to a storehouse of images drawn from British Golden Age mysteries of the 1920s and ’30s, “especially Dorothy Sayers,” whose Lord Peter Wimsey stories, as much novels of manners as mysteries, suffuse the chronicles of Flavia. Thomas Hardy, Evelyn Waugh and every last Brontë, to name a few, have also left traces in the child’s DNA, but the crime writers are dominant in her setting. (Brian Bethune)Find out about the Brontë Parsonage Museum garden in December on the Brontë Society website. Fantasy is more Fun reviews Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre.