Thursday, October 07, 2021

Thursday, October 07, 2021 10:28 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Inspired by the Pandora Papers, The Guardian discusses capitalism from its very origins, which are also found in Jane Eyre apparently.
Capitalism was arguably born on a remote island. A few decades after the Portuguese colonised Madeira in 1420, they developed a system that differed in some respects from anything that had gone before. By felling the forests after which they named the island (madeira is Portuguese for wood), they created, in this uninhabited sphere, a blank slate – a terra nullius – in which a new economy could be built. Financed by bankers in Genoa and Flanders, they transported enslaved people from Africa to plant and process sugar. They developed an economy in which land, labour and money lost their previous social meaning and became tradable commodities. [...]
Madeira soon moved on to other commodities, principally wine. It should come as no surprise that the island is now accused of functioning as a tax haven, and was mentioned in this week’s reporting of the Pandora papers. What else is an ecologically exhausted island, whose economy depended on looting, to do?
In Jane Eyre, published in 1847, Charlotte Brontë attempts to decontaminate Jane’s unexpected fortune. She inherited the money from her uncle, “Mr Eyre of Madeira”; but, St John Rivers informs her, it is now vested in “English funds”. This also has the effect of distancing her capital from Edward Rochester’s, tainted by its association with another depleted sugar island, Jamaica.
But what were, and are, English funds? England, in 1847, was at the centre of an empire whose capitalist endeavours had long eclipsed those of the Portuguese. For three centuries, it had systematically looted other nations: seizing people from Africa and forcing them to work in the Caribbean and North America, draining astonishing wealth from India, and extracting the materials it needed to power its Industrial Revolution through an indentured labour system often scarcely distinguishable from outright slavery. When Jane Eyre was published, Britain had recently concluded its first opium war against China.
Financing this system of world theft required new banking networks. These laid the foundations for the offshore financial system whose gruesome realities were again exposed this week. “English funds” were simply a destination for money made by the world-consuming colonial economy called capitalism.
In the onshoring of Jane’s money, we see the gulf between the reality of the system and the way it presents itself. Almost from the beginning of capitalism, attempts were made to sanitise it. (George Monbiot)
It's rather a bad day for Jane Eyre, as  Mr. Rochester makes it onto the list of '10 Criminal Characters From Books Inspired By Good Motives' compiled by GoBookMart.
Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Perhaps the best loved of all anti-heroes, Mr Rochester courts the young and beautiful Jane while keeping his mad ex-wife caged in the attic. These actions, you might think, have absolutely no redemption, but his caring personality with his heart of gold (except the misogyny) does it. Plus, he doesn’t do it entirely out of his own volition – there are factors at play beyond him. (Sakshi Nadkarni)
A couple of mentions of Jane Eyre 2011. Slash Film describes it as
a wonderfully moody adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre," (Danielle Ryan)
And Far Out Magazine comments on the fact that its trailer used music by Goblin from the 1977 film Suspiria.

Harper's Bazaar (Italy) mentions Jane Eyre when commenting on Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2022 collection.
Nel regno della moda maschile, l’età borghese portò all’abolizione degli abiti di seta dai colori gloriosi e all’affermazione di tessuti di lana in tonalità modeste. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë si sofferma sul ruolo del nero e di un aspetto riservato nella selezione sessuale, notando che l’aspetto collettivo dei gentiluomini in nero è assai imponente. Il passaggio a vestiti più funzionali che scolpissero l’immagine di un uomo rispettabile nella stoffa è collegato all’avvento della Rivoluzione industriale. Il frac sarebbe diventato l’abito formale maschile dell’élite europea, una sorta di divisa civile che significa decoro, decenza, buon gusto, e la costruzione di una nuova semantica sociale della modernità. (Silvia Vacirca) (Translation)
Empty nest anxiety in The Times:
 I drew the line at ironing early on, but I no longer had to pick through heaps of crop tops trodden into the carpet to see what actually needed washing. I could even lie in the bath reading Jane Eyre for the umpteenth time without one of them bursting in shouting, “Mum, Mum, where did you put my jeans with the sparkly pockets?”  (Alice Thomson)
This statement from The Northern Echo has us scratching our heads:
The Henry Jenkins, one of the oldest inns in the Harrogate district, is the last of several pubs in the area named after the celebrated Yorkshireman, reputed to have lived from 1500 to 1670.
He is buried at Bolton-on Swale church, near Catterick.
Five portraits of Henry Jenkins are held at the National Gallery in London and another is displayed in the living room at the Brontë Museum in Howarth [sic]. (Alexa Fox)
Is it? In the 'living room'? Why? Where? We haven't even been able to locate it in the museum's collection.

What could actually be in the museum is part of the Honresfeld Collection so please donate here if you can to bring it home and keep it in public collections.


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