Friday, October 30, 2020

One of the recommendations of Cherwell's feminist fiction selection is Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 
Cora, books editor
Jane Eyre is always sure to whip up a debate in feminist communities. Some regard Brontë’s protagonist as a bad-ass, proto-feminist heroine; citing extraordinary passages like when Jane reminds Mr Rochester: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” Others consider (spoiler alert) Jane’s dutiful acceptance of an emotionally abusive man as a regressive statement on Brontë’s part.
But Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys’ stunning retelling of Jane Eyre – leaves no ambiguity as to the villainy of Mr Rochester in contrast to the humanity of the women that surround him. Set in the West Indies in the early 1800s, Rhys puts Mr Rochester’s first wife (AKA Bertha Mason, the ‘madwoman in the attic’) at the foreground of her novel, which explores the power dynamics of gender and race in a way that is both historically fastidious and wonderfully imaginative. The story of Rochester’s neglected wife is a terrifying and tragic indictment of the patriarchal society that has followed us through history. If you’re looking for a book to make your blood boil, or if Bertha Mason’s representation in Jane Eyre left you craving some (any!) character development, then Wide Sargasso Sea is an absolute must-read.
Book Riot recommends '10 books to read after you've finished Rebecca' including Wide Sargasso Sea too.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
This text is in conversation with another gothic classic, Jane Eyre. Did you ever wonder how the “madwoman” ended up trapped in Rochester’s attic? Well, wonder no more.
This novel, set in Jamaica, follows a woman named Antoinette, whose formerly wealthy family has become impoverished due to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. Antoinette marries an English gentleman who slowly drives her to madness by taking away her humanity bit by bit.
Within this anti-colonialist and feminist response, Rhys crafts a compelling character in Antionette. I cannot recommend this book enough. (Arielle Moscati)
Toy News reports that the Brontës are now part of a card game for Rebel Girls.
Card Game for Rebel Girls is latest of those licensed product offerings. The aim of the of the game is to collect and complete sets of Character Cards to score as many Rebel Reward points as possible. Each Rebel Reward Card requires a different team of Rebel Girls to complete the task, so players must use their Character Card’s strengths and the handy Wild Cards to build a squad of strong girls.
There are five categories of Rebel Girls in the game: Champions, Warriors, Leaders, Pioneers, and Creators. Characters such as Harriet Tubman, the Brontë sisters, Eva Perón, Hypatia, Boudicca, Katia Krafft, Wilma Rudolph and Junk Tabei are all included.
The game allows players to learn a little more about each Rebel Girl and what their achievements have been throughout history. Each card has a small blurb to describe the characters and what made them special and unique.
‘This empowering card game is perfect for children aged six and up and includes personalised certificates for any rebel who is inspired to achieve greatness in their own lives,’ read a statement from Gibsons.
‘Whilst learning about incredible women throughout history, the Card Game for Rebel Girls also encourages players to be bold, work hard and remember to be proud of everything they have achieved.’ (Robert Hutchins)
UDaily features an English Education senior who collects, among others, books that are known to have inspired Patti Smith.
And thus, his collection was born. While Smith’s influences and references led Benner to authors he was more familiar with, like William Shakespeare and Emily Brontë, they also ushered him into new territory with figures like Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and French poet Arthur Rimbaud. (Allison Ebner)
La Nueva Crónica (Spain) highlights some famous love letters such as Charlotte's to M. Heger.
Charlote [sic] Brontë, constructora de Jane Eyre, a su profesor Constantín Heger («Pero usted me demostró en otros tiempos un cierto interés, cuando era su alumna en Bruselas, y me mantengo aferrada a ese poco interés. (…) Me aferro a él como me aferraría a la vida»). (Carmen Busmayor) (Translation)
Diario de Navarra (Spain) mentions the fact that the Brontës had to publish their novels under pseudonyms such as 'Currel (sic) Bell'. Los 40 (México) announces that Wuthering Heights is nominated under Best Book category in the Premios DeGira 2020.

Brontë Babe Blog has now updated her list of the '30 of the Best Books About the Brontës'. And The Sisters' Room has picked Emily's drawing of her hawk Nero as this month's Treasure from the Brontë Parsonage.


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