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Reassessing Jane Eyre

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Fri October 15th, 2010, 4:40 am

I've heard that this is also at the heart of her novel Villette, which I haven't read, yet, but is on my TBR.


Yes, Villette is about a young woman who falls in love with her professor. It seems autobiographical - though I understand Brontë was quite conscious of the importance of fictionalizing as necessary to serve a story. I'm pretty sure it was written after Jane Eyre.
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M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Fri October 15th, 2010, 10:57 am

"Margaret" wrote:Yes, Villette is about a young woman who falls in love with her professor. It seems autobiographical - though I understand Brontë was quite conscious of the importance of fictionalizing as necessary to serve a story. I'm pretty sure it was written after Jane Eyre.


Vilette was written after Jane Eyre. And it was meant to be Bronte's masterpiece. Though modern readers generally find it turgid and often unreadable--perhaps she was trying too hard by then? Certainly it lacks the passion (and I don't necessarily mean sexual, because Jane Eyre has a passion for living, a determination to grapple with life) of Bronte's previous work.

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Ludmilla
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Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Fri October 15th, 2010, 3:22 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote: Though modern readers generally find it turgid and often unreadable--perhaps she was trying too hard by then? Certainly it lacks the passion (and I don't necessarily mean sexual, because Jane Eyre has a passion for living, a determination to grapple with life) of Bronte's previous work.


I'm not sure it's fair to compare the two. I think of Jane Eyre as the most accessible, but I also really liked Villette. The narrator is an excellent example of the unreliable in the way she withholds information and the mood of the novel is much more fatalistic. When people mention psychological fiction, I often think of Villette near the top of the list. To me, it seems more subtle than a superficial reading might suggest.

SGM
Compulsive Reader

Postby SGM » Sat October 16th, 2010, 2:11 pm

A large difference, as I see it, between Austen and Bronte's "heroines", is that Bronte shows hers having to make their own way in life and to a certain extent that is quite possibily why see may seem more relevant today and at least one reason I have heard for keeping her on the curriculum here.

As I understand it, Bronte wrote an entirely different ending for Villette than the one we now have and she changed it on strong advice from her publisher that the ending should show the promise at least of a possible happy ending.

Villette obviously lacks the melodrama of Jane Eyre which to my mind makes it the more interesting novel. She put a lot of her own experience into it. Not only did she depict her feelings for the professor but she also gives us a very clear picture of her infatuation for her publisher which was clear enough for him to recognise (and be extremely embarrassed about).

There is available an earlier version of Villette called The Professor.

I am not fond of the novel -- probably for very personal reasons but it does not mean that I can't appreciate it.

I really must go back and re-read Shirley again one day.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat October 16th, 2010, 4:45 pm

"SGM" wrote:There is available an earlier version of Villette called The Professor.


I didn't know that -- I thought they were two different books!



I really must go back and re-read Shirley again one day.


I definitely want to read more of the Brontes; what I've read so far is Jane Eyre (one of my top favorites), Wuthering Heights (not too crazy about) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (don't remember that much about it, so I guess it didn't make much of an impression. :( Need to re-read it).

SGM
Compulsive Reader

Postby SGM » Sat October 16th, 2010, 6:17 pm

[QUOTE=Michy;71848]I didn't know that -- I thought they were two different books!

Well -- not exactly version but I understood that Villette grew from The Professor -- which no-one would publish whilst she was alive.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat October 16th, 2010, 10:49 pm

Yes, I've heard that. And The Professor is supposedly directly based on her experience at the school in Brussels, and the married man she had a "crush" on while there. Have you read it? Is it good?

SGM
Compulsive Reader

Postby SGM » Sun October 17th, 2010, 6:52 am

"Michy" wrote:Yes, I've heard that. And The Professor is supposedly directly based on her experience at the school in Brussels, and the married man she had a "crush" on while there. Have you read it? Is it good?


I suppose you could look at it as the novel the author actually wanted to write rather than the one she wanted to get published. But it is so long ago that I read it and although I appreciate CB, I am not entirely sure I enjoy her. But I might be biased because I "did" Villette for A level with all that implies.

I did, however, enjoy Lyn Reid Banks' (sp?) Dark Quartet about all the Brontes.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sun October 17th, 2010, 8:18 pm

"SGM" wrote:
I did, however, enjoy Lyn Reid Banks' (sp?) Dark Quartet about all the Brontes.


I may take a look at that one -- thanks for the tip.

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sat July 6th, 2013, 5:35 pm

"egmond codfried" wrote: I guess that these statements get me banned from many forums.


You need to let it go. Ive read three posts by you and you keep saying the same thing. Are you looking to get banned? If so then I'm sure that the mods can accommodate you. If you want to have an intelligent discussion where people may or may not agree with you then fine. Stop pretending everyone is after you. Furthermore, you might want to ease into this message board instead of coming in guns blazing trying to ruffle feathers just so you can prove a point..by getting banned.
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