by Charlotte Bronte
Within fifteen minutes of completion I’m here with good intentions.
Cast your minds back momentarily to that time I came at you raving about attending Short Stories Aloud…Anyway, as luck would have it, the most senior member of Team Family deduced that there was really something quite important missing from my bookshelf and returned home a couple of days after this fabulous event with a very thoughtful gift – Jane Eyre.
Having never read it and appreciating that there’s no time like the present, I’ve spent the last two months dipping in and out of it and working tremendously hard during the last 30 pages not to weep bulging tears of happiness.
What an amazing heroine. So assured and perceptive and intelligent and kind. We need to have one on every street. She faced adversity and instead of being crippled by it, conquered it.
I can’t recollect ever reading another tale from this period quite like it. She’s thoroughly independent and knows her mind. The more you read, the more you are struck by her tenacity. I hear Beyonce singing when I think of her.
I also love that marriage and relationships are on her terms, not those prescribed by a potential mate and I love how she can be honest about the decisions she makes.
Perhaps what I love most though, is her intellect. What I’d do to have a third of her wit and talent in conversation. Actually, what I’d do to have spent even just one afternoon with Charlotte Bronte, for how could she produce such a brilliant novel without investing a lot of her own experience and self into it.
And one more thing – I’ve just scanned through the Chronology at the front of my copy and note that in 1836, Bronte wrote to Robert Southey with a collection of her poetry, his response ‘Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life; and it ought not to be’. Outrageous and wrong!