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Posts Tagged ‘Jane Eyre’

For friend hearts, and sweethearts, and parent hearts, too,

for hungry tummies, and open arms, this one’s for you.

Some truth, some fluff, some real love stuff . . .

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Ah, Janey, make us swoon.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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Love? Yeah . . . You’ll be crying . . .

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Well, well . . .

Handsome is as handsome does.

~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Ah, at last . . .

I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you.

~Lucy Maud Montgomery,

Anne of the Island

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Sweetest video ever made–send this one to your honey.

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And this is what you can tell them over Valentine’s dinner 😉

Opening her eyes again, and seeing her husband’s face across the table, she leaned forward to give it a pat on the cheek, and sat down to supper, declaring it to be the best face in the world.

~Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

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Love? Oh, WOW.

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Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.

~William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

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A little something for the Valentine table.

For your children, for your honey, or for you!

Beetroot and Parsnip Soup with Horseradish*

(nope, not tomato!)

pink soup? think of that! and jolly easy to make!

30 grams butter

1 potato, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 large or 4 small beetroot,

peeled and chopped

800 ml vegetable stock

1oo ml cream and sour cream,

combined

1 T horseradish mixed with

1 T olive oil and 1 t vinegar

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. And the onion and cook till soft but not brown, then add the potato, parsnip, and vegetable stock/broth. Bring to the boil and then add the beetroot, cooking for a further 15 minutes. Don’t overcook, as the beetroot will go from a lovely deep pink to a red color. When the vegetables are tender, remove from heat and puree with a stick blender (or blender) until the soup is smooth, but with a few lumps. Stir in the cream, sour cream, and horseradish mix and season with salt and black pepper. Exquisite!

*Recipe adapted from Delicious Soups by Belinda Williams

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Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.

~C.S. Lewis

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Wishing the happiest of Valentine weekends to you!

Avonlea x

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Happy Little Sigh is now on Pinterest! Join me there?

http://www.pinterest.com/happylittlesigh/

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The moors. Just say the words and I immediately picture a young woman in dark, drab clothes, fighting the wind as she makes her
way across vast, boggy, windswept hills. This is, of course, because one of my favourite authors—Charlotte Brontë— lived for most of her life in the town of Haworth, in the moors of the historic county of Yorkshire, England. It seems that the often bleak, desolate landscape filled the imagination of Charlotte and her sisters Anne and Emily, and inspired their works of fiction.

The Moors

If you are not well acquainted with the Brontë  sisters, Charlotte, Anne, and Emily were literary geniuses and authors of some of the best-loved books in the English language. Nothing short of extraordinary, considering they all came from the same family. Their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë, and their brother Branwell, also saw their works in print.

Anne, Emily, & Charlotte

Charlotte’s most famous novel is Jane Eyre. She also wrote Shirley, Villette, and the Professor. Anne wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey, and Emily wrote Wuthering Heights. Since writing was not considered an appropriate profession for ladies in the middle of the 19th century, the Brontës published under the nom de plumes (pen names) of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.

At the time of publication, their works were acknowledged for their directness and passion, qualities which were sometimes considered by the critics to be “coarse” and “brutal”. The sisters certainly were extremely talented authors and had vivid imaginations, but writers write best about what they know, and the sisters led lives full of tragedy.

The girls had two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, and a brother, Branwell. Their mother died in 1821,when the children were very little. In 1824 the sisters first left home to attend a boarding school. It seems it wasn’t the nicest of places, and the experience provided Charlotte with a model for the infamous Lowood School in her novel Jane Eyre. The eldest daughter Maria was sent home from the school because of ill health and died at home, aged eleven. Ten-year-old Elizabeth was sent home shortly after and died the following month. It’s no surprise that the other girls were withdrawn from the school after that. But then their brother Branwell died while still a young man, and Emily and Anne died not long afterwards from tuberculosis, at thirty and twenty-nine years old. It’s hard to understand why they didn’t move from their home, when the sanitation and water supply in the town were so polluted and inadequate, and when the average age at death was only twenty-five. But perhaps it was too late by the time they realized the effects their environment had on them, and I suppose it’s hard to comprehend how ill-informed not only the general public but also doctors were in those days.

In spite of that, I would very much like to travel back in time and be a guest in the Brontë parlour. I would choose a howling windswept night, when the sisters would have pulled their chairs even closer around the fire so they could read to each other and discuss their novels. Perhaps being present for such discussions would have some beneficial effects on my own literary skills. But
alas, such a visit is not possible, and I shall have to content myself with reading their finished works.

Charlotte Bronte

While I must admit to having read only two of their books—Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre—both novels made a lasting
impression on my mind, unlike so many other books I’ve finished, whose characters, titles, and story lines have long faded from memory. That being said, I didn’t particularly like Wuthering Heights. It’s a bit too strange and a bit too sad for my liking, although
don’t take my word for it. The book isn’t considered one of the world’s best for nothing. Jane Eyre, on the other hand, is one of my very favourites. It’s that rags to riches theme again—the poor, plain, orphan girl who falls hopelessly in love with her wealthy yet
misunderstood and somewhat dangerous employer—combined with the dramatic setting of an English manor house and all the secrets, mysteries, and drama bound to be uncovered in such a place. And then there are the wonderful but surprising themes of redemption, forgiveness, and grace . . . but more on that next time.

At the moment, I’d like to hear which of the Brontë novels you like best. What is your opinion of Wuthering Heights? And which book do you suggest I read next? Something by Anne, perhaps?

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Let me suggest the following websites for more information and pictures on the Brontës and their works . . .

The Bronte Family – Exploring the lives, literature, and art of these important Victorian women writers.  http://www.brontefamily.org/

Jane Eyre – A guide to film and stage adaptations of the book from as far back as 1909.  http://eyreguide.awardspace.co.uk/adaptations.html

Haworth – The Bronte Parsonage Museum website. http://www.bronte.org.uk/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=26

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Do you suppose that as Prince William slipped the gold ring onto his bride’s finger last Friday that her mother might have turned to Kate’s father and whispered, “I was sure she could not be so beautiful for nothing!” just as Mrs. Bennett said to her eldest daughter Jane after the announcement of her engagement to the wealthy Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice.

Even more than we like the princess getting the prince, we do so like it when the Cinderella–the common girl–gets the prince, do we not? So long as she is good and worthy, of course, and from what we can tell, Kate Middleton–or the Duchess of Cambridge, I suppose we must now address her–does seem to fit the shoe very well.

As Kate stepped onto the Buckingham Palace balcony and saw the crowds waving and cheering below, her first word was “Wow.” I smiled to myself, for it gave me the tiniest glimpse of what it must be like to be in her real life princess shoes. To be suddenly moved from just another middle class girl to the wife of the future king. Wow indeed.

He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?" ~ I Capture the Castle

And speaking of first lines, how well-acquainted are you with some of our other favourite literary heroines? Can you identify the below novels by their first lines?

  1. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
  2. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
  3. Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow . . .
  4. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
  5. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  6. “The Signora had no business to do it,” said Miss Bartlett, “no business at all.”
  7. The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.
  8. I wish I could write that I began my journey by train.
  9. It is a truth universally acknowledged,  that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
  10. To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood.
  11. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
  12. ‘HASTE TO THE WEDDING’ ‘Wooed and married and a’.’
  13. When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.
  14. Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
  15. Once on a dark winter’s day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
  16. I have just returned from a visit to my landlord–the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
  17. Scarlet O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
  18. No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

~ ANSWERS BELOW ~

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

3. Anne of  Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

8. Beyond the Castle by Avonlea Q. Krueger *

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

11. Emma  by Jane Austen

12. North  and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

13. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

14. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

15. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

17. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

18. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

*Ah, I couldn’t help but add the first line to my own novel, Beyond the Castle. My heroine’s name is Florence Elliot, and I think you shall like her very much. I hope to give you the chance to get to know her better in the weeks to come!

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Coming up in my next post, more on the life of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, as well as film locations and other information on the most recent adaptation of the novel.

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