Tag: Charlotte Brontë

Literally Little Charlotte Brontë Books

Picture this. You’re a child, sitting in your room. You’re with your two sisters and your brother just got a toy soldier set from your father. You and your sisters create an imaginary land for these soldiers, and you decide to create little miniature books for the toy soldiers to read. You’re an aspiring author. Does this sound familiar at all?

 

image via stephanie mitchell / harvard university

 

If it doesn’t, that’s ok. That image I just painted came from a real moment in life, roughly 190 years ago to be exact, from the Brontë children. Charlotte Brontë, and her two sisters, Emily and Anne Brontë, created a miniature land called the Glass Town Federation for their brother’s, Branwell Brontë, toy soldiers to reign. This prompted Charlotte to create a series of six books in 1830 called “The Young Men’s Magazine,” which were to be read by the toy soldiers.

 

At the time, Charlotte was only 13, and Branwell was 12. The miniature books, six written by Charlotte and three written by Branwell, measure less than 1 inch by 2 inches and were created by hand with scraps of paper. Emily and Anne also wrote miniature books for the toy soldiers, but they were lost with time, unfortunately.

 

 

The Brontë kids created worlds in these tiny books called Angria and Glass Town. In an article by BBC, a fifth little book by Charlotte was auctioned in Paris for $777,000 back on November 18, 2019. It was finally acquired by the Brontë Parsonage Museum after being outbid for the book by the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in 2011. Actress Dame Judi Dench helped fund the museum so they could buy the fifth Brontë book. As the president of the Brontë society, she said she always had an interest in the little books the Brontës created when they were children.

 

image via caroline bonarde ucci

 

As the BBC article states, part of the book “describes a murderer driven to madness after being haunted by his victims, and how “an immense fire” burning in his head causes his bed curtains to set alight.” Sounds a bit like The Telltale Heart! There is certainly a gothic influence in the young Charlotte’s writing. Even more interesting is what an expert at the Brontë Parsonage Museum had to say in the BBC article: “the story is “a clear precursor” of a famous scene between Bertha and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre.

 

 

The stories in the Brontës’ little books are considered “juvenilia,” which is a term for works produced by an author or artist while they are still young. These works basically offer an insight into the development and inspirations of a very young author’s or artist’s work. In this case, we see the beginnings of Charlotte Brontë’s writing, before her first novel, Jane Eyre.

 

If you’re interested in taking looking at the Brontës’ little books, you can access them through an article posted by The Harvard Gazette!

 

featured image via stephanie mitchell / harvard university

 

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Charlotte Bronte’s Rare Book Is Coming Home to Bronte Society

Charlotte Bronte wrote a book at the age of fourteen and now it’s coming home. It was recently bought by the Bronte Society in Paris. The last time the book was up for auction was in 2011, and that time around the Bronte society lost out. This time around the Society was able to purchase it for 600,000 euros.

 

 

Image via Mentalfloss

 

The book was written about Bronte’s toy soldiers that she and her younger siblings used to play with. She created an imaginary world for them and wrote six little stories for them. The Bronte Parsonage Museum already owns four of the these rare books, and now five. According to executive director, Kitty Wright, they were determined to bring home the little books to the museum, which was where the books were written 189-years-ago. Principal Curator, Ann Disdale, even said obtaining this little book is the highlight of her thirty year career at the museum.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Charlotte Bronte is best known for her novel, Jane Eyre, which was written in 1847. Her little books written beforehand showed her ambition to become an author, which of course led to Jane Eyre, and a few others.

 

 

Featured Image via BBC

 

 


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Quiz – What’s Your Period Drama Trope?

Based on this comic by Emily’s Cartoons.

Featured Image via GraziaDaily

Literary Canon Update

Have you ever been given a reading list that’s written, translated, and selected exclusively by and for men? Odds are you’ve rarely seen any that aren’t. If you want to appreciate the cannon while also living in a world where women exist, this is the list for you. These books and translations are some of the best and most lauded of all time, and yes, they’re by women.

It was, I must confess, a little hard to compile. The Odyssey was first translated by a woman only in 2017! But don’t despair. It’s all here for the taking.

 

The Iliad and the Odyssey

 

Homer’s epics have been translated MANY times, but these, by Caroline Alexander and Emily Wilson, respectively, set an incredible standard.

 

The Iliad

 

 

Close as can be to the ancient Greek, this translations has garnered heaping praise. “[T]he guard has changed, and a new gold standard has appeared”, said New Criterion at the volume’s publication. This edition even manages to retain the original line numbers from the Greek.

 

The Odyssey

 

 

This work, too, matches the original Greek as closely as possible. “A staggeringly superior translation―true, poetic, lively and readable, and always closely engaged with the original Greek”, said Harvard classics professor Richard F. Thomas. Iambic pentameter imitates the lyricism of the original Greek, and the volume also includes translation guides and maps.

 

 

Antigonik and An Oresteia

 

 

For both of these it is possible to turn to Anne Carson, a Canadian translator and classics professor. Carson’s translations are modern, elegant, and never condescending. In stead of translated, the works seem brought into the light, with all their strangeness and fierceness intact.

 

 

Jane Austen

 

How is it that Jane Austen, often the only woman on a reading list, is still under hyped? I had a guy in a bar tell me once that if people like Austen it’s because they haven’t read a lot of books. He really said that. Family conflict, human stories, and scathing humor makes Austen worth reading, with characters you really will love, and hate.

 

Pride & Prejudice

 

It’s a staple for a reason, and if you’re not sure you’ll relate to these people’s problems, you’re wrong. Fuckboys, impending poverty, poor decisions, and character growth you can get behind. Plus, it may be a period piece, but people still love their sisters. You’ll relate.

 

 

Jane Eyre

 

 

Another classic people want to avoid, but it has everything: deaths, fire, lies, weddings, blindness. I wouldn’t exactly call Jane a relateable character, but she’s understandable, I think, when you see everything she’s been through. And she’s incredibly decisive.

 

 

 

Images via Amazon 

Seven Spectacular Jane Eyre Memes

Jane Eyre is a wonderful, compelling book. It’s also silly, competitive, and bonkers insulting. Let’s make it even sillier with the best the nonsense internet has to offer.

 

 

So you get this job in the middle of nowhere. Sure, they didn’t give you a lot of details, but at least nothing else is weird about it, and your new boss is super nice. Your name is not Jane Eyre.

 

Image via Tumblr

 

Life’s hard for an orphan, but Jane isn’t really one to complain, she kind of just takes it as it comes. It’s just as well, because even aside from her aunt hating her, people don’t seem to feel the need to be very nice to her, even our ‘hero’ and the rest of the people she meets at work.

 

 

Image via WordPress

 

But boy do they. And she does too. Get some self confidence, girl! Sure, Rochester might not flirt like a normal person, but that’s no reflection on you. Being constantly downtrodden doesn’t mean you can’t live your best life! Why, when I was your age, I hadn’t received any proposals of marriage, and you have two! Sure, one is your cousin, and the other is already married, but ‘plain’ is either false or irrelevant. Mostly.

 

 

Image via The Bibliofile

 

We need a spin off. Did anyone else have about a million questions about Blanche? She’s pretty and popular, sure, and Rochester nearly marries her, but from Jane’s perspective, she’s sort of a force of nature. Personally, I want to know more.

It’s like things can never be easy for Jane. Even when she gets what she wants it goes sideways.

 

 

Image via Paste Magazine

 

So fun! Sure, it’s a bit of a rocky start, but marriage is complicated. I think those crazy kids can make it. Probably. If there’s something crazy that brings them back together. But what are the chances of that?

 

 

Image via Tumblr

 

We’re talking ARSON. We’re talking FALSE IMPRISONMENT. We’re talking BLINDNESS. How does Rochester feel so guilty but also act so cold? The man’s an enigma. Guilty as he may feel about Bertha, though, he moves on fast. You didn’t have to be so weird this whole time, man! You could’ve been happy!

 

 

Image via Twitter

 

I’d love to know what’s going on in that guy’s head. I sort of picture it like beauty and the beast where he’s just angry in some room alone, slamming doors.

Lot’s of ups and downs, but all’s well that ends well (is this a happy ending?), I guess.

 

 

Featured image via The Bibliofile