PDA

View Full Version : An FSU Without a Book Thread is Like an FS Event Without Snark



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 [47] 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

aliceanne
01-08-2012, 02:10 AM
Charlotte Bronte LIED!!!! Or LEID, whatever you prefer.

In the opening paragraph she wrote the book will be mundane as Monday morning, swore up and down there will be no romance. And indeed, the first few chapters are dry and wonderfully snarky. I also enjoyed the discourse on the Luddite revolts and the effects of the Napoleonic war on England.

Then there was a great scene of two gentlemen arguing about politics that was not unlike some of our debates in PI. :shuffle: Some things never change.

And then I am smacked with a maudlin chapter where Caroline Helstone is sick with puppy love for her cousin.

Ms. Bronte said "NO ROMANCE!" Oh well, I should have known, this is
Charlotte Bronte after all, who was enamored with George Sand's creations.
Nuff said. :snort:

I laughed to myself when you quoted her lines about no melodrama. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to discourage you from reading it, but you haven't seenanything yet. I found the ending very bizarre (and I love Jane Eyre).

Elizabeth Gaskells' biography of her contains a lot of her correspondence and Bronte tended to be on the verge of hysterics even when writing about mundane events. Apparently she was very high strung. Shirley and Villette are interesting views into her 19th century world, but I've learned to take her novels with a grain of salt. That may have been the way life was for her, but I doubt it was that way for all women in her situation,

danceronice
01-08-2012, 02:16 AM
I've heard about that and this has been among my reservations. Not sure why, but I am feeling a bit squeamish about this and I am not, normally. I don't mind disease or deformity but I mind violence very much and foot binding is a violent act.


I am not normally squeamish and I'd honestly rather be handed the actual bones from a woman's foot that was bound and analyze them than reread the scenes in Snow Flower about adapting to bound feet. (Bearing in mind, I've eaten lunch off the same table where an hour earlier we were handling the bones of a murder victim, so bones are kind of my thing.) OTOH, that means the writing was really effective....

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 03:02 AM
Yes, one day I will brace myself and go for it. :yikes: I do own the book.

Lara
01-08-2012, 03:37 AM
Yes, one day I will brace myself and go for it. :yikes: I do own the book.

I have the book too and have been meaning to read it. I hope it's not *that* bad for someone who's heard about binding before... :yikes:

Prancer
01-08-2012, 03:44 AM
Mostly, I have in mind authors of the Realism school, like Stendhal, Balzac; and besides these, Zola and de Maupassant.

Meh. Just not a fan of the 19th or early 20th century.


Elizabeth Gaskells' biography of her contains a lot of her correspondence and Bronte tended to be on the verge of hysterics even when writing about mundane events. Apparently she was very high strung. Shirley and Villette are interesting views into her 19th century world, but I've learned to take her novels with a grain of salt. That may have been the way life was for her, but I doubt it was that way for all women in her situation,

Nothing is true for all of anyone, but "female hysteria" was considered quite the thing in 19th century Britain, although what it meant in the beginning and what it meant as the term evolved kind of changed :shuffle:. But it was something of an expectation and a fad that women would be highstrung and given to emotional distress, especially gently born spinsters. Add in all the social stresses on women at the time and the tendency of men to dismiss women's unhappiness as "hysteria," and you have a pretty evil stew for an intelligent and ambitious woman.

Of course, there was a "cure" for this condition. To this day, when I see a chaise longue, it makes me think of house calls from the doctor, and I snicker.

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 03:47 AM
I laughed to myself when you quoted her lines about no melodrama. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to discourage you from reading it, but you haven't seenanything yet. I found the ending very bizarre (and I love Jane Eyre).

Elizabeth Gaskells' biography of her contains a lot of her correspondence and Bronte tended to be on the verge of hysterics even when writing about mundane events. Apparently she was very high strung. Shirley and Villette are interesting views into her 19th century world, but I've learned to take her novels with a grain of salt. That may have been the way life was for her, but I doubt it was that way for all women in her situation,
:lol:
Thanks, that explains a lot. I will prepare myself for more :drama: and :yikes: now.

aliceanne
01-08-2012, 04:16 AM
Meh. Just not a fan of the 19th or early 20th century.



Nothing is true for all of anyone, but "female hysteria" was considered quite the thing in 19th century Britain, although what it meant in the beginning and what it meant as the term evolved kind of changed :shuffle:. But it was something of an expectation and a fad that women would be highstrung and given to emotional distress, especially gently born spinsters. Add in all the social stresses on women at the time and the tendency of men to dismiss women's unhappiness as "hysteria," and you have a pretty evil stew for an intelligent and ambitious woman.

Of course, there was a "cure" for this condition. To this day, when I see a
chaise longue, it makes me think of house calls from the doctor, and I snicker.


Her life wasn't quite as barren as she would have you believe. She turned down three marriage proposals (before and after JE). Her school friend Mary Taylor emigrated to New Zealand, and started her own business, she invited Charlotte to join her, but she wouldn't go. She was invited by another friend to start a school in a favorable location (after her school at home failed), she wouldn't move.

Elizabeth Gaskell (her friend) was a preacher's wife and published social commentary and novels.

Even after she finally did marry (I think she was afraid her father would die and leave her alone), her husband was offered his own living, but again she wouldn't move out of her childhood home (where the water was contaminated by the cemetery).

Her father never paid any attention to her until she became famous, he even hinted she should move to London and marry (preferably some famous intellectual. Instead she married someone just like dear old dad (which he
hated). All this after a lifetime of moaning about being sick all the time , and
home lacking stimulation.

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 04:19 AM
Thanks, aliceanne. That's all very interesting. What's the title of the book about her that you read?

Prancer
01-08-2012, 04:35 AM
Her life wasn't quite as barren as she would have you believe. She turned down three marriage proposals (before and after JE). Her school friend Mary Taylor emigrated to New Zealand, and started her own business, she invited Charlotte to join her, but she wouldn't go. She was invited by another friend to start a school in a favorable location (after her school at home failed), she wouldn't move.

Elizabeth Gaskell (her friend) was a preacher's wife and published social commentary and novels.

Even after she finally did marry (I think she was afraid her father would die and leave her alone), her husband was offered his own living, but again she wouldn't move out of her childhood home (where the water was contaminated by the cemetery).

Her father never paid any attention to her until she became famous, he even hinted she should move to London and marry (preferably some famous intellectual. Instead she married someone just like dear old dad (which he
hated). All this after a lifetime of moaning about being sick all the time , and
home lacking stimulation.

Yes? None of that negates the fact that there was an expectation that ladies like her would by highstrung and hysterical. And a lot of them were.

aliceanne
01-08-2012, 06:03 AM
Yes? None of that negates the fact that there was an expectation that ladies like her would by highstrung and hysterical. And a lot of them were.

Well she certainly believed in following rules, so if that's what it took to be feminine by golly she would do it. :rofl:

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 06:40 AM
My pet interest in college was genius and mental disease. If anyone's interested, check out Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison. There are other books I can recommend.

Writers have a higher incidence of depression than general population. IIRC, poets are more prone to psychosis. And so on.

Odds were certainly against Charlotte being a mentally stable person.

Buzz
01-08-2012, 07:04 AM
My pet interest in college was genius and mental disease. If anyone's interested, check out Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison. There are other books I can recommend.

Writers have a higher incidence of depression than general population. IIRC, poets are more prone to psychosis. And so on.

Odds were certainly against Charlotte being a mentally stable person.

So artists have a higher incidence of mental disease than the general population? That is both interesting and depressing at the same time. Thanks for the recommendation. I will check out the book as soon as I can.

Japanfan
01-08-2012, 07:25 AM
Yes? None of that negates the fact that there was an expectation that ladies like her would by highstrung and hysterical. And a lot of them were.

That's quite a sweeping generalization. As you saying they were hysterical because they were expected to be?

I'm deeply troubled by views which equate female with high-strung and hysteria - such views support the notion that women are weak, fickle, irrational, and unstable.

And I think such views persist today, although they my veiled (i.e. in jokes about PMS). I was exposed to that view back in the early 80s by my Greek boyfriend. He told me that sometimes it you had to hit women, and this was when women were hysterical, a state in which we lost the ability to control ourselves.

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 07:28 AM
It appears that way, according to the research I had done, Buzz. To me it makes sense: artists don't see the world the same way most people do and a lot of the time that view is colored by mental disease. After all, artistic genius in itself is an abnormality (in a good sense).

My boys were at a hockey game tonight and so I used this time to read Shirley. Charlotte has left off the :drama: for now and is back to the politics, the revolt against industrialization in this case. The confrontation between the mill owner and the jobless workers was very well done. I think I will end up having mixed feelings about this book.

Japanfan
01-08-2012, 11:36 AM
Writers have a higher incidence of depression than general population. IIRC, poets are more prone to psychosis. And so on.


I question whether evidence really supports this. It's the tormented artist myth. Plus, there is also a belief that intelligent people are more prone to mental illness. . .however, people I know who've been in psychiatric hospitals tell me that this is not their experience at all.