Friday, April 21, 2017

Today's birthday genius: Charlotte Brontë

‘I sat a long time by the window, looking out over the silent grounds and silvered fields, and waiting for I know not what’ – Jane Eyre

Author Charlotte Brontë was born #onthisday in 1814. Published in 1847 under the pen name ‘Currer Bell’, the novel is Brontë’s best-known work. This image shows Jane at a window in Lowood School – one of the many parts of the book that have parallels with Brontë’s own life. The print was made by Ethel Gabain in 1922:

The three Brontë sisters, with their proto-feminist ideology and the barely veiled feral rage that runs like an undercurrent through their books, would always mesh well with the feminist anger that’s so prevalent today. But the thing that makes them a near-perfect fit — the thing that both To Walk Invisible and The Moors use as the sisters’ chief antagonist — is the problem of their brother, the much-despised alcoholic Branwell. It’s Branwell who, like a living embodiment of the patriarchy, keeps trying to hold the sisters back, and Branwell whom they must defeat.

More at:

Portrait by George Richmond
(1850, chalk on paper)

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

You just may have inspired me to re-read Jane Eyre. It's been a LONG time. I remember loving it. Sadly, the sisters were products of their times. I feel that many folks were/are out of time. . . and I would say the Bronte sisters definitely fit that. They would have fared better in a more modern era.