By Heather Glen
This stimulating research considers how Charlotte Bront?'s writings interact with a complete diversity of concerns of their time. via a sequence of latest readings of ostensibly famous texts, Heather Glen finds a Charlotte Bront? extra alert to her historic second and much extra aesthetically refined than she has frequently been taken to be.
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Extra resources for Charlotte Bronte: The Imagination in History
The cards of address alone remained to nail on: they lay, four little squares, on the drawer. Mr Rochester had himself written the direction, 'Mrs Rochester, — Hotel, London,' on each: I could not persuade myself to affix them, or to have then affixed. Mrs Rochester! ; and I would wait to be assured she had come into the world alive before I assigned to her all that property. It was enough that in yonder closet, opposite my dressing table, garments said to be hers had already displaced my black stuff Lowood frock and straw bonnet: for not to me appertained that suit of wedding raiment; the pearl-coloured robe, the vapoury veil pendent from the usurped portmanteau.
It is not merely that the 'realism' of the later novels is rather more disrupted, more self-reflexively problematized, than this account implies. The writings that made up that 'mighty phantasm' are rather more interesting than this. For even the earliest and most fantastic question the easy equation of'romance' with escape from the 'real'. This seemingly 'wild weird writing' in fact has its own kind of logic, which articulates intuitions at odds with the 49 CH420. 560-5) of crossing the 'isthmus' from 'our native continent' [of childhood romance] to'earth and human life', and Keats's Fall of Hyperion.
This passage tells not of public authority—admonitions, institutions, instructions—but of the 'pleasant', the comfortable, the elaborate; not of the 'ghostly' shape of an unknown future, or of'cold without and hunger within 1 , but of apparently safe enclosure (a parlour, a sofa, a 'little alcove') and an all too well-known past. Yet whereas in face of manifest threat, Jane withdraws self-defensively—drawing her mantle close about her, shutting her closet and going outside—Lucy, immobilized on her sofa, is powerless to escape.
Charlotte Bronte: The Imagination in History by Heather Glen