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Chapter no 39 – EXTRAS

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

10 Things You Didn’t Know

About Charlotte Brontë

 

  1. Charlotte was only five years old when her mother died. Her death left Charlotte’s introverted father alone to raise six small children: Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne.
  2. Charlotte and her sisters were treated cruelly at their boarding school; malnourished and weak, her two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, caught ill in their first year. After their deaths, Mr. Brontë removed the rest of his daughters from the school and educated them himself.
  3. Charlotte and her sisters and brother entertained themselves in their lonely house by creating characters and stories about their rivaling imaginary kingdoms, “Angria” and “Gondal.” Gondal was a land of wild moors, like Charlotte’s home.
  4. Charlotte’s discovery of her sisters’ writing led to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne’s first-ever publication, a collaborative collection of poetry under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
  5. Charlotte and her sisters, Emily and Anne, all went on to become famous writers; most notably, Emily Brontë is the author of the novel Wuthering Heights.
  6. After publishing the poetry anthology with her sisters, Charlotte continued to publish her writing under the pseudonym Currer Bell— interesting because Currer could be either a girl’s name or a boy’s name. Her sisters kept the assumed names Ellis and Acton Bell for their own publications. The genderless names protected the sisters from discrimination. Charlotte’s publisher didn’t know that the three sisters were the authors of their novels and poetry, and eventually Charlotte and Anne visited him to refute the rumor that all three of their novels were written by one person—a man. Emily didn’t accompany them; she preferred to remain anonymous. Charlotte, the

    boldest of the sisters, let Emily’s identity slip to the publisher, which made Emily furious.

  7. Many of the events in Jane Eyre mirror those that took place in Charlotte Brontë’s life. The boarding school conditions that lead to her older sisters’ deaths inspired Charlotte’s depiction of the Lowood School. Charlotte served as an assistant teacher and as a governess, much like her character Jane. And when Charlotte moved to Brussels, Belgium, to teach and improve her language skills, she’s said to have fallen in love with her employer, Constantin Heger, an older, married man who was her teacher and the owner of a boarding school. While Charlotte’s love for Constantin was allegedly unrequited, Charlotte’s fictional counterpart, Jane, had more success with Edward Rochester.
  8. Charlotte’s brother, Branwell, took to drinking and using opium after an unsuccessful attempt at a career in painting and writing. Once, while drunk, he knocked over a candle and set his bed alight. It was Charlotte’s sister, Emily, who came and put out the fire with a jug of water. Branwell ultimately died as a result of complications of his addictions at the age of thirty-one.
  9. None of the famous Brontë sisters lived past the age of forty years old; Emily died when she was thirty-one and Anne died when she was twenty-nine. Both succumbed to what at the time was called consumption, which we now know as tuberculosis.
  10. Even though Charlotte outlived all of her siblings, she only lived to be thirty-eight years old. She married in 1854 and was pregnant with her first child when she tragically died in 1855. The cause of her death is disputed; her death certificate says tuberculosis, but many historians point to malnourishment and dehydration during her pregnancy.

Sources:

www.online-literature.com/brontec/

http://www.haworth-village.org.uk/brontes/charlotte/charlotte.asp

http://www.thebrusselsbrontegroup.org/heger.html

The Brontës: Three Muses and Their Men, VHS, Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1999

 

Ingredients for a Gothic Romance

 

So you want to write a dark romance? Do you love ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and undying love? Here are the ingredients that every gothic romance should have:

A dark, gloomy setting. Does your heroine have a penchant for exploring forbidden hallways in mysterious, haunting buildings, like Jane? Does the mansion she lives in have scary, dark rooms, creaky doors, and strange staircases? Don’t forget that the sun rarely shines in a gothic setting.

A brooding, inscrutable man. Does your heroine fall in love with someone she just shouldn’t end up with? Does the leading man have mysterious worries etched deep in his beautiful face? Don’t forget to make your leading man complex; he should do things that are hard to understand!

A willful, irresistible heroine. Does your heroine have an undefeatable spirit, in spite of the hardships she faces? Does every man around fall in love with your leading lady? Does she behave strangely and just generally do whatever she wants, disregarding propriety (or common sense)? Remember that she should probably be beautiful but unusual!

An element of the mystical. Perhaps your heroine sees what might be ghosts behind locked doors. Perhaps your leading man is actually a vampire. Whatever you choose, make sure you juggle the mystical and the real effectively; your story should still be believable, and your readers should be able to relate to your characters’ lives!

An undying love. The love between your two leads should be passionate, dark, and stormy. Extra points if you use the setting to reflect the mood of the lovers throughout the story.

A rich sense of the history of gothic romance. Popular gothic works today, such as Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, Lauren Kate’s Fallen, and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures, are very much informed by works of the past such as Wuthering HeightsJane Eyre, and even Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. The more great examples you read, the better you’ll be able to structure your own story!

Plenty of ornate details, ominous symbols, and over-the-top events. Finally, don’t forget to pepper your story with other fun elements that are commonly associated with gothic novels and gothic romance such as disappearances, omens, prophecies, foundling children, dark figures, sudden deaths, roses, dreams, strange happenings, and emotion triumphing over logic.

QUIZ: What would you do in the name of love? Find out how you measure up against Jane

Eyre!

 

  1. Your boyfriend wants to go see the newest action flick this Thursday, but you usually have dinner with your girlfriends on Thursday nights. You . . .
    1. ditch your friends. You have dinner together every Thursday. They won’t miss you this once.
    2. tell your boyfriend you’ll go on Friday because Thursday nights are sacred.
    3. invite your guy along for dinner, and tell him if there’s a late showing of the movie you’d be up for it.
  2. Your crush’s birthday is coming up. You’ve liked him for a year, but as far as you know, he sees you as just a fun friend. On his birthday, you . . .
    1. make sure to pass by his locker in between classes, and give him a big smile and a “happy birthday!”
    2. make him a playlist of some of your favorite new songs, and wink at him as you unzip his backpack to give it to him.
    3. camp out on his front lawn to serenade him as he leaves for school. You’ve spent the past month learning how to play his favorite song on the guitar.
  3. It’s spring of senior year, and you just got a nice big pile of college acceptances. You got into your dream school with a full scholarship, but your boyfriend unfortunately did not. Now what?
    1. College is college, right? We can just go to the state school we both got into.
    2. Um, there’s no way I’m passing up my dream acceptance and all that money for my boyfriend. We can visit on holidays.
    3. I’ll talk to my boyfriend about applying to that rolling admissions state school that’s near my dream college. Either way, things will work out the way they’re supposed to. . . .
  4. Your boyfriend wants to whisk you away for a romantic weekend vacation, but you’ve already promised your parents and your little sister that you’d go with them on the family beach vacation. What do you do?
    1. Ditch the ‘rents. A family vacation would have been boring anyway.
    2. If the weekend getaway is in Paris or Tahiti, you’ll go with your boyfriend—can’t miss out on an opportunity like that! But otherwise, you’d feel guilty going back on family plans.
    3. Tell him sorry, family comes first. Another time.
  5. The guy you’ve been dating is away on a school trip and won’t be back for a couple of days. Because you miss him, you . . .
    1. listen to the songs that remind you of him . . . and then listen to some happy songs since all this moping is making you depressed.
    2. spend extra time hanging out with your friends and just generally keeping busy.
    3. head over to his house to hang out with his family. Being around them really reminds you of him.
  6. You go out for a nice dinner to celebrate your one-year anniversary with your boyfriend, and he presents you with a telltale little teal box with a white ribbon. When you open it to discover a huge ring inside, you . . .
    1. freak out. That is so not appropriate at this age. And where did he get the money for this?
    2. secretly love it, but make a few wisecracks about getting married young just so he knows that you won’t be ready for

      anything like that anytime soon.

    3. shriek and then kiss him, wishing desperately the box had been accompanied by a certain significant question.

Key:

  1. a=3, b=1, c=2
  2. a=1, b=2, c=3
  3. a=3, b=1, c=2
  4. a=3, b=2, c=1
  5. a=2, b=1, c=3
  6. a=1, b=2, c=3

If you got . . . 6–9 points:

You’re a sensible, cheerful person. You have definite priorities in life, and you’re wise enough not to let boys come between you and your family, your friends, and your goals. But be careful that you aren’t being too sensible. Remember that Jane almost accepts St.

John’s proposal just because it seems practical, but leaves for Thornfield on impulse when she feels Mr. Rochester calling her. It turns out that being impulsive every once in a while doesn’t hurt.

10–13 points:

Sometimes you’re emotional and impulsive, but you usually see reason when making big decisions. You’re pretty balanced in your relationships, but like Jane, you won’t compromise your morals for love. Good for you! Just make sure you’re seeing straight when important decisions come your way.

14–18 points:

You’re a true romantic. You feel everything very deeply, and you don’t understand people who don’t make sacrifices for love. Jane would commend you on your loyalty and passion. But be careful; remember the truth Jane discovered about Mr. Rochester’s past when

she let him rush her to the altar. Make sure you’re well-informed before making any drastic decisions!

Sense & Sensibility

by Jane Austen

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old Gentleman’s days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish

to his existence.

By a former marriage, Mr. Henry Dashwood had one son: by his present lady, three daughters. The son, a steady respectable young man, was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother, which had been large, and half of which devolved on him on his coming of age. By his own marriage, likewise, which happened soon afterwards, he added to his wealth. To him therefore the succession to the Norland estate was not so really important as to his sisters; for their fortune, independent of what might arise to them from their father’s inheriting that property, could be but small. Their mother had nothing, and their father only seven thousand pounds in his own disposal; for the remaining moiety of his first wife’s fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life-interest in it.

The old gentleman died: his will was read, and like almost every other will, gave as much disappointment as pleasure. He was neither so unjust, nor so ungrateful, as to leave his estate from his nephew;—but he left it to him on such terms as destroyed half the value of the bequest. Mr. Dashwood had wished for it more for the sake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son;—but to his son, and his son’s son, a child of four years old, it was secured, in such a way, as to leave to himself no power of providing for those who were most dear to him, and who most needed a provision by any charge on the estate, or by any sale of its valuable woods. The whole was tied up for the benefit of this child, who, in occasional visits with his father and mother at Norland, had so far gained on the affections of his uncle, by such attractions as are by no means unusual in children of two or three years old; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of having his own way, many cunning tricks, and a great deal of noise, as to outweigh all the value of all the attention which, for years, he had received from his niece and her daughters. He meant not to be unkind, however, and, as a mark of his affection for the three girls, he left them a thousand pounds a-piece.

Mr. Dashwood’s disappointment was, at first, severe; but his temper was cheerful and sanguine; and he might reasonably hope to live many years, and by living economically, lay by a considerable sum from the produce of an estate already large, and capable of almost immediate improvement. But the fortune, which had been so tardy in coming, was his only one twelvemonth. He survived his uncle no longer; and ten thousand pounds, including the late legacies, was all that remained for his widow and daughters.

His son was sent for as soon as his danger was known, and to him Mr. Dashwood recommended, with all the strength and urgency which illness could command, the interest of his mother-in-law and sisters.

Mr. John Dashwood had not the strong feelings of the rest of the family; but he was affected by a recommendation of such a nature at such a time, and he promised to do every thing in his power to make them comfortable. His father was rendered easy by such an assurance, and Mr. John Dashwood had then leisure to consider how much there might prudently be in his power to do for them.

He was not an ill-disposed young man, unless to be rather cold hearted and rather selfish is to be ill-disposed: but he was, in general, well respected; for he conducted himself with propriety in the discharge

of his ordinary duties. Had he married a more amiable woman, he might have been made still more respectable than he was:—he might even have been made amiable himself; for he was very young when he married, and very fond of his wife. But Mrs. John Dashwood was a strong caricature of himself;—more narrow-minded and selfish.

When he gave his promise to his father, he meditated within himself to increase the fortunes of his sisters by the present of a thousand pounds a-piece. He then really thought himself equal to it. The prospect of four thousand a-year, in addition to his present income, besides the remaining half of his own mother’s fortune, warmed his heart, and made him feel capable of generosity.— “Yes, he would give them three thousand pounds: it would be liberal and handsome! It would be enough to make them completely easy. Three thousand pounds! he could spare so considerable a sum with little inconvenience.”— He thought of it all day long, and for many days successively, and he did not repent.

No sooner was his father’s funeral over, than Mrs. John Dashwood, without sending any notice of her intention to her mother-in-law, arrived with her child and their attendants. No one could dispute her right to come; the house was her husband’s from the moment of his father’s decease; but the indelicacy of her conduct was so much the greater, and to a woman in Mrs. Dashwood’s situation, with only common feelings, must have been highly unpleasing;—but in HER mind there was a sense of honor so keen, a generosity so romantic, that any offence of the kind, by whomsoever given or received, was to her a source of immoveable disgust. Mrs. John Dashwood had never been a favourite with any of her husband’s family; but she had had no opportunity, till the present, of shewing them with how little attention to the comfort of other people she could act when occasion required it.

So acutely did Mrs. Dashwood feel this ungracious behaviour, and so earnestly did she despise her daughter-in-law for it, that, on the arrival of the latter, she would have quitted the house for ever, had not the entreaty of her eldest girl induced her first to reflect on the propriety of going, and her own tender love for all her three children determined her afterwards to stay, and for their sakes avoid a breach with their brother.

Elinor, this eldest daughter, whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding, and coolness of judgment, which qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counsellor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to counteract, to the advantage of them all, that

eagerness of mind in Mrs. Dashwood which must generally have led to imprudence. She had an excellent heart;—her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn; and which one of her sisters had resolved never to be taught.

Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

Elinor saw, with concern, the excess of her sister’s sensibility; but by Mrs. Dashwood it was valued and cherished. They encouraged each other now in the violence of their affliction. The agony of grief which overpowered them at first, was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future. Elinor, too, was deeply afflicted; but still she could struggle, she could exert herself. She could consult with her brother, could receive her sister-in-law on her arrival, and treat her with proper attention; and could strive to rouse her mother to similar exertion, and encourage her to similar forbearance.

Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humoured, well-disposed girl; but as she had already imbibed a good deal of Marianne’s romance, without having much of her sense, she did not, at thirteen, bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanced period of life.

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