Brontëism

17Apr10

Anne, Emily, and Charlotte with the smudge of their rakish brother, Branwell (Branwell Brontë, c.1834). Which one of these chicks are you not going to hang out with?

Last Tuesday, I arrived at the startling conclusion that I’ve never given Anne Brontë much of a chance.  Two days and 400ish pages later, I came to the conclusion that I’d given her too much of one.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by all basic descriptions, is exactly my sort of book–a touch of Gothic mystery (the secret identity of a young widow living in the dilapidated Wildfell Hall), not only is it an epistolary novel, but there’s a massive epistolary narrative within the primary epistolary narrative (sort of similar to that in Frankenstein–but instead of a fascinating monster, the diary writer is our hyper-virtuous heroine who writes like she’s contending with Clarissa Harlowe for paragon status), and all of the great R/romantic nuances of a novel written in the Victorian era but set in the late Romantic.

Honestly though, it was a bit of a drag.  For anyone who’s read Wuthering Heights and/or Jane Eyre (that’s everyone, right?), this following essentially depicts the reason, for me anyway, Anne will always be my third-favorite Brontë sister.

Alcoholic dickbags, to be sure, but just to remind myself how much more interesting than the pontificating eternal redemptionist heroes are Heathcliffs and Rochesters of fiction, I rewatched the 1997 A&E Jane Eyre starring Samantha Morton (actress long after my own heart for her role as the Elizabeth Barry in the 2004 biopic “The Libertine” starring Johnny Depp as the Earl of Rochester).

I still think Jane Eyre is a moron, and so turned, ultimately, to Charlotte’s less popular novel Villette.  I absolutely loved it, despite its being a bit less artful than the Brontë novels we’re more familiar with.  More on Villette soon, but for now, the bottom line, however, is that Anne is the Brontë I’m nominating as least fun to hang out with.  I think that includes Branwell.  And a lot of my online shopping/research indicates that other bibliophiles feel similarly.

Charlotte Brontë Silhouette Pillow Cover, Two Stray Cats on Etsy, $25

Emily Brontë Silhouette Pillow, Two Stray Cats on Etsy, $25

There is no Anne Brontë Silhouette Pillow.  Because who would possibly ever want an Anne Brontë Silhouette Pillow?

Female Authors Stone Coaster set (featuring Charlotte), The Painted Lily on Etsy, $24

What a coquette, this one.

Jane Eyre Pencil Set, Bouncing Ball Creations on Etsy, $10

Jane Eyre is absolutely not a favorite of mine, but I adore this pencil set.  Check out similar items in this shop here (esp. Austen’s P&P pencils; swoon).

The Emily Brontë Cameo Ring, Lilikoi Cottage on Etsy, $27

Check out the variety of these cameos here.

The Quotable Brontë Sisters Notecards, The Sweet Unfolding on Etsy, $10

Ok, so Anne’s quoteworthy.  I’ll give her that much.  Totally adorable.

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6 Responses to “Brontëism”

  1. Great entry! I never knew there were so many Bronte items on Etsy. I may have to indulge in that Jane Eyre pencil set. It’s fantastic. Thanks for featuring my notecards!

  2. This post is hilarious! TwoStrayCats mentioned that her pillows were featured here, and I absolutely adore your frank humor when pointing out “There is no Anne Brontë Silhouette Pillow. Because who would possibly ever want an Anne Brontë Silhouette Pillow…” Priceless!

    I agree with you, the characters in Windfell Hall were off-putting. I never cared for any of them. 😛

  3. 3 Meg

    I read a lot. When I was younger, possibly up to ten novels a week, but the language in these novels has always stymied me. Just plowing through would blunt my grasp of the story line. Also the desultory activites of the people in the books, aside from the underlying angst and deciept has made them unaccessible to me. I bought a copy of Sense, Sensibilitiy and Zombies for a friend, and found it not changed enough to pique my interest. Perhaps I am a philistine or an idiot, but though I enjoy your blog, I cannot read the books. Since you used my handkerchiefs for a blog, perhaps I could be listed on the side with the others? You never know what relevant detail might appear.

  4. me? i don’t read so much. books? hate em. but i love things. so. nice blog, asshole. (smooches!)

  5. 5 Emily D.

    While the book might be a drag, I was way into the movie version of Tenant, possibly because it starred Rupert Graves being a dickhead and Tara Fitzgerald being rad. I’m thinking they may have added some things to spice it up. In the meantime, I think I need that Emily B. ring…awesome post.

  6. TWH adaptation is henceforth referred to as “what I’m doing Sunday…”


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