... for as to elves, having sought them in vain among foxglove leaves and bells, under the mushrooms and beneath the ground ivy mantling old wall nooks, I had at length made up my mind to the sad fact that they were all gone out of England ...There is a nip of autumn in the air and my thoughts are turning toward classic Victorian novels. I'm re-reading Jane Eyre. I'd forgotten how powerfully Charlotte Bronte uses the colour red in the early chapters to symbolise the oppression of Jane's unhappy childhood.
There is of course the terrifying 'red room' with its deep-red damask curtains, red carpet, mahogany-red furniture and 'soft fawn walls with a blush of pink' to contrast with the dazzling white bed where ten-year-old Jane is locked as a punishment. Bronte uses the stark red and white contrast in the opening pages where Jane hides behind a red curtain as she sits on the window seat looking out over the winter landscape and tracing frost flowers on the glass and then again when Eliza and Georgiana wear white dresses with scarlet sashes to the winter festivities which Jane is excluded from.
It was good to pick up a powerfully written novel after enduring 50 Shades of Grey for book group. It wasn't the sex that shocked me - just the bad writing!