Monthly Archives: May 2016

Summer Readin’

Given that most major shows are on hiatus for the summer, I’ve spent a lot more time reading. And, going by the fact that favourites such as Agent Carter and The Muppets were recently cancelled, will probably continue this trend into next year.

Among the works I’ve picked up at some point this week are

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling)

Shirley (Charlotte Bronte)

Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel)

The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala (Kevin Costner, Jon Baird, Rick Ross)

Quite honestly, if I could clone multiple copies of myself solely for the purposes of expanding my reading potential I totally would, transcription errors be damned.

As with all summer-reading initiatives, I’m usually tempted to go the way of the beach read and gorge myself on the kind of fluff I would normally approach with, at the least, a fair degree of trepidation or a couple of glasses of wine.

(Oh, who am I kidding, AND is the word I want there. There’s always room for wine. It’s basically grownup Jello.)

However, my usual method involves balancing out less-strenuous reading with something a little more serious. It’s essentially a teeter-totter with fluff on one end and Literature on the other; ideally, you’re aiming for a happy balance.

My favourite option is to read a reputable book of Tudor history at the same time as Tudor-themed chick-lit and point all the factual inaccuracies (such as noticing that they have Katherine of Aragon in a French hood instead of a gable hood). I’m small and petty like that.

I feel it’s a good balance between the warring halves of my personality.

Which would be pretty cool to see animated, by the way.


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No thanks, Mr. Rochester, I don’t want to be a sister wife

Rereading my way through Charlotte Brontë’s work, I always come back to Jane Eyre.

This, her first published novel (The Professor was written previously, but was only published posthumously) is arguably her most famous work. One could even make the point that it’s the most well-known of all the Brontë oeuvre, although Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall come in fairly close.

Which is funny when you stop to think about it, because Mr. Rochester would probably have been the worst guy to end up with out of the three leading men (Heathcliff, at least, is honest in his volatility and Gilbert,  a bit of a wet blanket, is dependable).

Compare that to a man who locks his crazy wife in the attic and only comes clean when his attempt at bigamy is thwarted by her brother stopping the wedding. (In retrospect, locking a crazy person in an attic is probably a reasonable alternative to Bedlam, but still. Not cool, dude)

Let’s not forget he also turns Jane into a doll, dressing her up in finery that is not to her taste at all, and idolizes her to a point where the reality is completely subsumed by an eerily Blanch-like illusion.

And while we’re at it, telling your virginal, soon-to-be wife/mistress about your international smorgasbord of past sexual liaisons is not exactly romantic there, buddy boy. But one does have to admire his thoroughness in running the European gamut.

The fact that he’s only a suitable husband for Jane is when he’s crippled and blind, a neutered Byronic hero shambling about, should really tell her that maaaaybe there’s other, better options out there?

(Not St. John Rivers, though, he’s a whole ‘nother bucket o’ issues)

But all of this doesn’t really weigh much when as a child you read Jane Eyre and fall in love with Mr. Rochester because he’s damaged but I can save him and damn that shit is romantic.

Which, if nothing else, is a testament to both the eternal allure of the bad boy and the stupidity of youth.

I’ll just close by saying that I would have loved to see the book end with Jane and Bertha ditching Rochester and starting a ladies detective agency.

Any takers?

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