After my recent successful (third) attempt to read Pride and Prejudice, I began thinking about those Bronte sisters, wondering why they haven't enjoyed the same renewed reader interest as Jane Austen. Every high school girl who discovered and inhaled Victoria Holt eventually found her way to Wuthering Heights and/or Jane Eyre. I sure did, and now, all these years later, finally reading Jane Austen convinced me to revisit some classics and perhaps even fill in some reading gaps. (No, I will not give in and add a 19th bookmark to Anna Karenina. In fact, to prevent that time suck, I donated the book in hopes that the right person will find it, adore it and wonder at the crazy variety of bookmarks including several grocery store tallies a few ticket stubs and some random envelopes).
Austen and Bronte were not contemporaries as I had thought. In fact, Emily Bronte was born one year after Austen died. The combination of lurid and violent scenes in Wuthering Heights must have been shocking to delicate 19th century readers and may have been responsible for Bronte publishing this book under a pseudonym. Publishers considered this book by Ellis Bell such a shock that Bronte had to defray the cost of publication until a sufficient number of copies had been sold.
Comparing Bronte and Austen would occupy more blog posts than I bet you would be willing to read. I would have to begin with a discussion of light and dark, lyrical syntax as opposed to harder, more driven narrative... on and on. Both writers do give us exaggerated characters that exist in a more than life-size vitality created by their own consuming passions. Oh oh, this is beginning to sound like a lecture....moving on...
Emily Bronte chose a suitable title. The word wuthering is a provincial adjective used to describe the atmospheric tumult of stormy weather. And tumul there is a-plenty. In fact, there is little let up beginning with the frenzy of who is related to whom and ending with last minute redemption. In case you haven't read this book, I won't give anything away except to say it one of those heart-braking stories of a love that cannot ever be. I liked it OK - but for me, the award for best aching novel of all time goes to Love in the Time of Cholera.
This is my annual week of anxiety as I prepare to get myself to our booksellers regional tradeshow. This means I must travel in a vehicle other than one between bookboard covers. I am a homebody and a terrible traveller. Funny how one can be a risk taker in some aspects and dramatically opposite in others. Anyway, there might not be a post next Monday, depending on how much post show organizing I have to do. I'll be sure to say "Hello" from all of you to the writers I bump into in the coming days.
Thanks for stopping by.
Check out our EVENTS tab for info on our Pete the Cat visit.