I used to confuse those three Bronte sisters and their novels. Who wrote which? I might even have mixed Jane Austen in there.
Not any more.
Having recently completed a biography of a woman novelist from time past, I’ve taken an interest in similar contemporary works. My engagement with Claire Harman’s book about the life of Charlotte Bronte increased as the story progressed. I flew through the final third of the book, which read like a novel. Maybe part of it was the parallels between Charlotte and Rachel Field. Neither was conventionally attractive, and both lamented it. Both experienced earth-shaking, impassioned love that remained unrequited. Both translated their passion into the pages of their work. Both married at last, late in life, to men named Arthur. Both died young after becoming pregnant.
Dissimilarities abound as well, but the heat off their pages rings familiar. Poor Charlotte Bronte saw stunning losses in her life, but proved herself to be stunningly powerful, in spite of her tiny, undernourished frame. I found it a haunting, gripping read.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 265: 174 words, TOTAL = 45,025; 14,975 remaining
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Robin Clifford Wood is an award-winning author, poet, and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her children, grandchildren, and granddogs.