Ah...Charlotte, how times have changed...

I just finished the book Jane Eyre and smiled through every page. It has been over 30 years since I last read it and it was just as delightful as the first time.  I thought of Charlotte Bronte writing this story prior to it's publication in 1847 and how much of herself was written into the character, Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816 and married in her late 30's. She spent most of her life on the Yorkshire Moors.  I imagine she was a woman of strong constitution. In the book, Jane Eyre contemplates her choices with Mr. Rochester and asks herself, which is better?...

"-To have surrendered to temptation, listened to passion; made no painful effort- not struggle; but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester's mistress; delirious with his love...
-But where am I wandering, and what am I saying, and above all, feeling?
-Whether it is better, I ask, to be a slave in fool's paradise at Marseilles- fevered with delusive bliss one hour- suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next- or to be a village school-mistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?
-Yes; I feel now that I was right when I adhered to principle and law, and scorned and crushed the insane promptings of a frenzied moment. 
-Having brought my eventide musings to this point, I rose, went to my door, and looked at the sunset of the harvest-day, and at the quiet fields before my cottage, which, with the school, was distant half a mile from the village. The birds were singing their last strains--
'The air was mild, the dew was balm.' "

What a contrast to the stories of today. I watched the move I Am Love with Tilda Swinton over the weekend and wondered what Charlotte Bronte would have thought...

"I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. But Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef. At the heart of the family is Tancredi's wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edo's friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever."

Both stories speak of passion, love and choices. I Am Love is a powerful story and I will say no more for those who have not seen it. I wonder if Jane Eyre would have been considered the same in it's day?  Just something I have been thinking about on this summer's day :)

Jane Austen is next on my list...now the question is which one?

Images:1~me, 2, 3
Text for Jane Eyre from the novel
Text for I Am Love from www.iamlovemovie.com


  1. Ah, Jane Eyre. It ranks, without a doubt, in my top three favorite reads. Though I am an Austen fan as well, I do not think that any of them compare to Bronte's wonderful way with story telling. If I had to pick my favorite Austen, though, I would have to say Sense and Sensibility.

    Are you familiar with the movie versions of Jane Eyre? I highly recommend the latest BBC version with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. Very well done, I think.

    After my last Eyre read-though I found myself asking if Jane Eyre would have been a scandalous book when it was printed, Jane having fallen in love with a married man. I have a hard time thinking of him as such, but it truth, he was very much married. I do respect Bronte for the choices that Jane makes - hard, but ultimately, the best, I believe.

  2. I love Jane Eyre....one of my very favourites....and I am looking forward to,'I Am Love' too....xv

  3. I am currently working my way through all 6 Austen novels and, if you've not read any of them, you might want to start with Pride & Prejudice or Emma.
    Northanger Abbey was nice and short but not too gripping for me.
    Sense and Sensibility is great but rather long.
    And Mansfield Park, which I just finished, is waaaaay too long with massive detail for the first 400-500 pages, then the final chapter wraps everything up at top speed with hardly any dialogue (left me feeling robbed of the romantic bits!). Plus the heroine is a bit of a wet blanket :)
    Haven't got to Persuasion yet so can't comment on that.
    It's been a while since I read Jane Eyre: I must loop back around to that!

  4. Gosh, we really need to meet for lunch. I just reread Jane Eyre last month, and have been waxing rhapsodic over I Am Love for several weeks now.

    I remembered why I always said Jane Eyre was my favourite book. It is just magnificent, isn't it? And there are so many wondrous items to glean from I Am Love.

    As for Austen, Pride and Prejudice is quite nearly perfect. I'm also besotted with the Sense and Sensibility movie version with Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. Swoon-worthy.