For some years I have been perfectly my own mistress, subject to no control whatever; so far from it, that my sisters, who are many years older than myself, and even my own dear mother used to consult me on every occasion of importance...It could be a quote from the fiercely independent Jane Eyre, but actually it's an extract from Maria Branwell's letter to Patrick Bronte. I'm deeply absorbed in The Life of Charlotte Bronte and intrigued by Charlotte's mother, Maria Branwell. Extracts from the letters she wrote to Patrick Bronte during the time of their engagement suggest a warm, intelligent woman, fond of reading and domesticity - she even makes her own wedding cake. Born and raised in Penzance, Cornwall, she is dismayed when her books, clothes and other belongings are conveyed by water to her new home and lost in a shipwreck. What a loss her early death must have been to her six children.
What do you think of Ruben Toledo's illustration of Heathcliff? I suspect you will either love it or hate it!