Every once in a while an old school lust washes over us; a harkening back to a time when drama, foreboding and lost love filled our wretched souls. What the hell? This month Book Club goes classic–as in Jane Eyre--this girl’s favorite gothic, guy keeps somebody in the attic, hero is a brute novel from the 1800’s. It’s the perfect accompaniment for cooler weather, sweaters and curling up.
I’m re-reading with you, starting tomorrow. Tonight I have to see the latest installment of American Horror Story. Not watching this season? Fix that error right now. I missed it last night because slumber calls on me early. So, tonight, after a writer’s meeting, I will stuff my gullet with something cheesy and watch Constance Langdon return in all her glory. Remember Murder House? And Coven? Prepare to have your socks knocked off.
It’s the darkness of AHS that sends me back to Jane. Its’ first read was in grade school. A beloved teacher, Miss Anne Keyes, tucked it in my pack one day, noting my reading skills might be stretched by such a story. She was right and a love affair with the Bronte Sisters and Ms. Austen began. Yes, it is possible to love both. Think of them as two sides of a coin. Turn to the Brontes when you are in need of dark, mysterious, brooding moor love and our beloved Jane Austen when we want to be lost in clever, witty repartee from women refusing to be trapped in their time. A time and place for everything, amiright?
After all, one simply cannot live without Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice anymore than they might be expected not to identify with our Miss Eyre. After all, Charlotte Bronte has been labeled the, “first historian of the higher consciousness.” High praise indeed.
As for Jane, as in Eyre not Austen, she is our first heroine ever to speak first person and directly to the reader. It was the first time in my young reading life encountering a woman filled with angst and insights, embracing emotion and commenting on religion, women, social class and, gasp, sexuality. Not to mention the chick locked in the attic moaning at night.
What girl hasn’t thought of taming the beast ala the moody, sullen Mr. Rochester? Of course, we hate him at first. It’s a must for any proper romance to bloom, non? And then we see, behind the beast, the thorn in his paw aching for years. So much so that he can’t see past his desolation. Dramatic enough for you? Good.
Get your blanket and your thick socks. Thornfield Hall is a cold place.