Visiting the Brontë World in Haworth - Bronte Parsonage Museum: Check out this blog post full of beautiful pictures from the Brontë world. Museum insights included. 214 (3 hours ago) Visiting t...
3 hours ago
Celebrating Charlotte Brontë: Transforming Life into Literature in Jane EyreCelebrating Charlotte: Transforming Life into Literature in Jane Eyre by Christine Alexander and Sara L. Pearson is the official publication of the Brontë Society as a tribute to Charlotte Brontë on her bicentenary. But what is it exactly? Let's put it this way: if Jane Eyre was an exhibition, this book would be its guidebook. It fits the bill of the standard guidebook: it's a large book with a beautiful cover and great-quality paper full of high-resolution images pertaining to all aspects of both Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre. It's a book no Brontëite can resist:
by Christine Alexander and Sara Pearson
The publication of this book was pade possible by a generous bequest from Frank Milner (1930-2014), a member of the Brontë Society
When we envisioned the reader of this book, we pictured someone familiar with the novel, perhaps someone who would even have Jane Eyre close at hand while reading this companion work.Many people reread Jane Eyre at this time of the year and this book is obviously the perfect companion for the big bicentenary reread. The structure of the book follows the structure of the novel to the point of being divided in (not actual) volumes and chapters, just like the original edition of the novel was. Each chapter begins with a short summary of what happens together with a brief commentary on how this pertains to Charlotte's life. Then, several paragraphs from the chapter are quoted and each is 'dissected' with reference to Charlotte's life, her family's or her historical context. It's like the notes at the end of a scholar edition, but less arid and more visual.
You are not to suppose any of the characters in 'Shirley' intended as literal portraits. It would not suit the rules of art, nor of my own feelings; to write in that style. We only suffer reality to SUGGEST, never to DICTATE. The heroines are abstractions and the heroes also. Qualities I have seen, loved, and admired, are here and there put in as decorative gems, to be preserved in that sitting.This book aims to expose the reader to that 'suggestive' reality. The things that Charlotte lived, experienced, owned or saw that helped shape a classic novel like Jane Eyre. For instance, here's a lovely tidbit which we had always overlooked when reading the novel. Discussing the fact that Jane Eyre's parents' grave is
part of the pavement of a huge churchyard surrounding the grim, soot-black old cathedral of an overgrown manufacturing town in ---shire.Christine Alexander and Sara L. Pearson conclude that said town is Manchester as for a while it was the only town in England ever to have a cathedral (cities, not towns, have cathedrals) and so
Why did Charlotte choose Manchester? Perhaps she indulged in a bit of wry humour in making the birthplace of her novel Jane Eyre the birthplace of Jane Eyre herself.Historic facts (why Rochester couldn't just get a divorce, for instance, or religious quotations and practices well-known to the Brontës) , the world around them (what are bilberries? How does one make a seed cake?) Charlotte's personal history and interests (her painting, her life--did you know that one of the chestnut trees in Ellen Nussey's Rydings garden had been split in two by a storm?), and - something terribly important in the case of the Brontës - their early writings are looked into for glimpses into what went into the creation of Jane Eyre. All are flawlessly treated and relevantly brought-up. Christine Alexander, who may know the Brontes' imaginary worlds better than they knew them themselves, shows just how the world within and the world without are a perfect blend. Events that could previously come external sources had similarly taken place earlier in the juvenilia, etc.