Sunday, 15 November 2009


There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. Jane Eyre

Dark winter evenings lend themselves to hefty gothic novels and I'm spoilt for choice. My mother-in-law very kindly bought me the new Audrey Niffenegger for my birthday and I'm well overdue for a re-read of Jane Eyre. Remember the stunning opening paragraph where the child Jane sits in the window seat looking out over the frosty landscape?

The Bronte sisters have been my on my mind since I went to the National Portrait Gallery in the summer and saw the haunting portrait painted by their brother Branwell who appears to have painted himself out of the picture. I'm also very fond of Anne's novel, Agnes Grey which I'd like to re-read. Many years ago I visited Anne's grave in a churchyard in Scarborough which overlooks the sea. I'd like to go back one day. Actually I'm still only half way through The Poisonwood Bible but us readaholics like to have their schedule sorted!


Rachel said...

I hope you will love the new Audrey as much as I did! I have been slowly rereading Jane Eyre for several weeks after visiting their house in Yorkshire a couple of months ago and I am loving taking my time over it and just letting that beautiful story seep into me all over again.

Sarah said...

You're tempting me to re-read Jane now- I'll try to be strong as I'm planning to read the one Bronte novel I haven't read next (Shirley).After that though...

Anonymous said...

That sounds like the best kind of decision, because the outcome is favorable either way. I've been listening to Jane Eyre on my iPod when I'm walking, and I find myself going just a bit longer to finish a chapter.

Minervamouse said...

The Audrey is in my tbr pile but Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time. I was about 12 and off sick from school,when I first read it having discovered a Victorian edition (I think it is a second edition) that belonged to my great great grandmother Mary Anne Annakin. She was a Yorkshire girl too and died at only 26, having moved from a village in North Yorkshire to Leeds with her husband Thomas, leaving two young children, the eldest my great grandmother Ellen who was only 5.
I learned all the details later but that probably explains the feeling of connection I have always had to it.
If you are in Bronte mode, Jude Morgan has written a wonderful book about them called A Taste of Sorrow, which is wonderfully atmospheric and made me rush down to my book shelves and find all their books to re read again. I'm even going to try Wuthering Heights again despite never getting past the second chapter in numerous previous attempts!
ps just finished Lucy Gayheart and loved it - thanks for making me aware of it.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

One can never reread Jane Eyre too many times. These cold, dark days are perfect. Tonight there is a fine mist and I can just picture Jane's first meeting with Rochester, rising up on his horse out of the fog!

Nan said...

You probably already know this, but Haworth has a wonderful town website, including wallpapers for one's computer.

Every time I visit, I wish I lived there. Very active community with fun events. Tom and I stayed a night many years ago, and I loved it.

Vintage Reading said...

Rachel, I'd love to go to Haworth again. It's years since I've been. I'm hoping my daughters will study the Bronte's for their literature exams in a couple of years and then I'll have an excuse for taking them!

Minervamouse, yes Audrey is still in my tbr, too. How wonderful to have a Victorian edition Of Jane Eyre with a strong family connection. I'll look out for the Jude Morgan. Jane Eyre seems to strike a chord with so many women. I like the poetry of Emily's work, but it's difficult to love the characters in WH. I'm fond of the younger Cathy, though. Glad you liked Lucy Gayheart!

makedoandread, I should use audio books more, but I can only listen if I like the reader's voice. Who reads Jane Eyre in your version?

Sarah, I enjoyed Shirley but I doubt if I will ever re-read it. I can find more to admire in Jane Eyre with every re-read.

Nan, I visited many years ago but I didn't know about the site, thanks for the link. Haworth is a magical place - my husband who is not a reader - loved it as much as I did.

Linda, I've been off-line for a week because my computer crashed and I've so missed the virtual company of folk who appreciate the importance of Jane Eyre!

Mae said...

That's a beautiful edition of Jane Eyre!