Wednesday, April 02, 2014

B is for Bronte

Today it's B for Bronte and I pick Charlotte Bronte (of Jane Eyre) over her sister Emily (of Wuthering Heights). Plenty of comparisons have been made between the sisters and I side with Charlotte simply because I prefer Jane's level headedness to Catherine's waywardness.


If Austen's works lacked emotion here was an author who could most certainly not be blamed for that. Jane Eyre is proof enough. Whether it was Rochester passionately in love, enough to hide away his first wife or Jane herself who hears his impassioned cries across the miles - oh yes passion there's a plenty.

Her life in her books

Charlotte drew heavily from her life while writing. At 8 she and three of her sisters were sent to the Clergy Daughter's School in Lancashire. She hated it there. Two of her sisters died there of Tuberculosis. This school makes an appearance in Jane Eyre as the Lowood School. Her experiences as a governess became Jane's too.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne..

.. made for quite a literary threesome. After Charlotte and Emily were brought back from the school, the girls read at home. They created an imaginary world and wrote about people who lived in that world. The three were all accomplished writers and poetesses as well. They even financed and published a book of poems together under the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell - keeping the same initials as their real names.
Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre under the same pen name, Currer Bell. The book was an instant success. She wrote three other novels - Shirley, Villette and The Professor - and some poetry, however none was as popular as Jane Eyre.

Her heroine was a plain Jane

Charlotte felt very strongly, that it wasn't right for the heroine to always be beautiful. Her sisters insisted it was impossible to make a heroine interesting if she wasn't beautiful, Charlotte vowed to prove them wrong. Said she, "I will prove to you that you are wrong; I will show you a heroine as plain as small as myself, who shall be as interesting as any of yours." And so Jane was made plain (and named 'Jane'!) yet how enchanting was she! Like Austen's heroines she too was no weakling demanding to be judged for who she was rather than where she came from.

On Austen

Charlotte was critical of Jane Austen's Works saying they lacked 'heart'. She mentions as much in one of her letters in 1850, "The passions are perfectly unknown to her," says she.

So pick your favourite now.. Charlotte, Emily or good old Austen - Jane, Catharine or Lizzy - Rochester, Heathcliff or Darcy?
****************

Tomorrow dear readers, for the letter C, I jump forward in time and pick a contemporary Indian author. Guesses, anyone?


This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014


Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.



74 comments:

  1. I love the Bronte sisters and Charlotte is definitely my favorite! I remember being in love with Heathcliff!! Oh you made me feel so happy with this post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes Heathcliff was that angry yet tragic hero one could fall in love with.

      Delete
  2. I love the picture at the top of your blog! I'm stopping in from the A to Z Challenge. Nice to meet you! - Margo - www.margokelly.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Tulika, you are taking me back to my school years...I used to love reading Bronte sisters :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You triggered memories of many years ago. Thank you for encouraging me to revisit those books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad Carol. They are all worth a re-read.

      Delete
  5. You are my new best friend!!! Jane Eyre is my favorite, again!!!! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-D.. let's hope we concur all the way.

      Delete
  6. love the Bronte sisters too..so many memories :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all grew up on them. What a family it must have been, isn't it?

      Delete
  7. You are my sister from another mother :) How I love the Bronte sisters. And Jane Eyre occupies a place of pride in my bookshelf.

    And please tell me you haven't picked that dreaded Indian author who goes by CB for tomorrow. I will commit virtual suicide. Then again, it is you writing, so here's hoping ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can breathe, my child.. Chetan Bhagat, it is not. Though I won't say I wasn't tempted.. Lousy sentence construction, I know.. but then we're talking Chetan Bhagat. Gosh! that's mean!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Pinksocks.. Galat jawab. Here's another clue - it's a lady again.

      Delete
  9. I found Heathcliffe a little creepy though I enjoyed Wuthering Heights immensely. Yes I think Jane Eyre was more believable. Still Darcy's my man and Lizzy my favourite heroine, so I'll take Austen over the Brontes. Enjoying your posts Tulika.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Creepy he certainly was. In fact I found the book a little too dark when I first read it. Jane Eyre's nicer and Darcy/Colin Firth...sigh!

      Delete
  10. Thanks Tulika yet again for rekindling old love! Wuthering Heights is amongst my fav!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll be honest...never really got into Wuthering Heights but I did like Jane Eyre. I know everyone seems to love Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights but yeah...wasn't for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well he was a sulky, angry character.. not so pleasant even though he loved Cathy.

      Delete
  12. Darcy Darcy all the way :) I somehow loved his non chalant yet charming persona :)
    another beautiful post...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That seems to be the consensus :-D.

      Delete
  13. Never picked up Bronte, may it is time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wuthering Heights an all time favorite .. You have set up classic mood..need to pick up an old book and re read

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the idea. But no more classics tomorrow.

      Delete
  15. It's been ages ago that I read the Bronte sisters!! Must read them again!! And tomorrow is it Chetan Bhagat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone loves to hate Chetan Bhagat!!! Nope, not him.

      Delete
  16. Never read the Bronte sisters!! Loved this post ... will add them to my wishlist :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try them Priya.. Pretty intense and great reads.

      Delete
  17. And is C for Chitra Banerjee ??

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have never read the Bronte sisters either but your post here leaves me intrigued! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane Eyre's a good place to start Kathy.

      Delete
  19. As much as I love Austen, Charlotte may be right about her characters having a lot more depth and resonance. Austen's are happier reads than Jane Eyre or Emily's 'Wuthering Heights' of course!
    Now we know who you are not featuring for C or I'm hoping not - a certain Mr Bhagat! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Austen forever and of course our lovely Darcy!! :D

    Richa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Richa... I like her restraint.

      Delete
  21. I'm not much of a Bronte reader, have tried only Wuthering Heights... will pick them up some time :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. get always confused with those "period women writers"...And then there is "Little Women".. Maybe because I read them when I was not much into books..I never noticed the minute differences like passion and "character sketches" etc... All had so many characters, with old English dialogues..

    And C is for Chetan Bhagat I suppose...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little women is a story for another day. Read them again Archana, I'm sure you'll like them better.

      Delete
  23. I prefer Charlotte, actually, but Jane Eyre was a great book too, as was Pride and Prejudice. :)
    The Doglady's Den

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wuthering heights was once a big favorite, read most books:-) May maybe will again now- thanks for reminding me in this wonderful way:-) And of characters.... Aaahhh Mr Darcy *Sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-D Mr Darcy.. The strong silent one.

      Delete
  25. Again one f my fav.... made me go back to school days when I read all these... :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jane Eyre and Rochester--definitely the most romantic couple, in my book!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jane Eyre
    I just wanna grab that book and read it all over again..

    ReplyDelete
  28. i never read those!! but aftr readin dis post n d response, am definitely adding it to my list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try them Swathi and do tell me which was your favourite.

      Delete
  29. i never read those!! but aftr readin dis post n d response, am definitely adding it to my list :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Its nice to read about authors I didn't know, makes me feel Dumb at times :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ananya I don;t think there's anyone in the world who has read them all.. so there. Besides, it's never too late to start off.

      Delete
  31. This was wonderful...I think Jane Austen created timeless characters...Charlotte Bronte was a beautiful character :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so too. She didn't need to be beautiful at all.

      Delete
  32. Very cool! I learned a lot that I didn't know about these characters.
    Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

    ReplyDelete
  33. I refuse to choose. I love them all. I loved that Bronte's heroines were plain Janes. Great choice of authors. And I cannot guess tomorrow's author because I remember someone did over at our conversation on WT.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol.. Vidya.. so you know! It's the season for 'leaking' question papers it seems! Yeah I love them all too. All wonderful in their own way.

      Delete
  34. That's a very critical and well explained point of view. Lovely article, indeed.

    And btw, are we having Chetan Bhagat over? lemme know if my guess is correct :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Tulika, after Austen, I was rather hoping for Bronte and here you are with your post. :)
    That said, I would pick Heathcliff over Rochester, any day. But that's probably because I read Jane Eyre when I was too young for it. Look forward to what C brings.
    Cheers,
    Monica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome here Monica. Do try Jane again.

      Delete
  36. I love the plain jane heroine! Thanks for the insightful article.
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z Challenge
    Caring for My Veteran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Jamie.. a plain heroine is a rare one. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  37. Incidentally, i have read only Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights by the Bronte sisters. But now, i'm making a mental note and shall pick up these books for future reading!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'd pick Charlotte and Jane over the others any day!!! To think that she made Jane such a strong character in that century!! I read the abridged version as a child and hated it then. Read the original as an adult and simply fell in love with it!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yet another common love....
    "I will prove to you that you are wrong; I will show you a heroine as plain as small as myself, who shall be as interesting as any of yours." And how magnificently she proved that.
    I had written a post on Jane Eyre...

    ReplyDelete

Glad to have you here. It's your turn to share your thoughts...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails