This week’s Fodder for Fiction Birthday Bash is for Charlotte Bronte. Poor Jane Eyre was excluded from the celebrations at Gateshead. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t appreciate the festivities. This passage makes me feel like I’m spying on the party, right along with Jane! I thought it was the perfect excerpt to share in honor of Charlotte Bronte’s Birthday. Enjoy!
November, December, and half of January passed away. Christmas and the New Year had been celebrated at Gateshead with the usual festive cheer; presents had been interchanged, dinners and evening parties given. From every enjoyment I was, of course, excluded: my share of the gaiety consisted in witnessing the daily appareling of Eliza and Georgiana, and seeing them descend to the drawing-room, dressed out in thin muslin frocks and scarlet sashes, with hair elaborately ringletted; and afterwards, in listening to the sound of the piano or the harp played below, to the passing to and fro of the butler and footman, to the jingling of glass and china as refreshments were handed, to the broken hum of conversation as the drawing-room door opened and closed. When tired of this occupation, I would retire from the stairhead to the solitary and silent nursery there, though somewhat sad, I was not miserable.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
(Second Jane Eyre): “There are Mrs. Eshton and her three daughters—very elegant young ladies indeed; and there are the Honourable Blanch and Mary Ingram, most beautiful women, I suppose: indeed I have seen Blanch, six or seven years since, when she was a girl of eighteen. She came here to a Christmas ball and party Mr. Rochester gave. You should have seen the dining-room that day—how richly it was decorated, how brilliantly lit up! I should think there were fifty ladies and gentlemen present—all of the first county families; and Miss Ingram was considered the bell of the evening.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Share what you love about Charlotte Bronte. I’d love to hear it.
Come back again next Wednesday for another Fodder for Fiction Author Birthday Bash!
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s
This month, so far, I read The Photograph by Penelope Lively. The Photograph was an interesting combination of prose character portrait and mystery. I love the premise of an historian trying to put together the pieces of the life of the woman he should have known best – his wife. After her death, he discovers a curious and incriminating photograph of his wife holding hands with her sister’s husband. I found Penelopy Lively’s prose beautiful to read – this was wonderful character-driven fiction.
I also read Eva Moves the Furniture by Margot Livesy. This is the first I have read of Livesy’s work. It was a ghost story and historical fiction wrapped up into one. I enjoyed it, too.
Finally, I still have about two hours left before I finish listening to The Hemings of Monticello. However, my i-pod and several baskets of clean laundry await me after I post this blog. So, I should be done with it soon!
I’ll check back again next month to let you know what I’m reading. In the meantime, you can follow along with my progress at http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/262330-lisa-s-2010-reading-goals.
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction