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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Nell Booker illustrations, and P.B.B.

Here are a few illustrations from a 1946 edition of Jane Eyre, illustrated by Nell Booker, with introduction by May Lamberton Becker. Apparently "a Rainbow Classic".

*insert other illustrations here... Blogger is once again giving me grief! eheu! I'll try again this evening.

In other news, I was tired of studying this evening and so I took a peek at 'Poems of Patrick Branwell Brontë' or rather the introduction. I didn't feel justified in reading the poems themselves since I really do need to study for midterm exams, but the introduction was an interesting read... Especially the declaration: "Branwell was the second best poet among the Brontës." A pretty strong statement! I have read a few poems by Branwell in my travels. Several were quite good and one was plain awful. It seems to me that people are in the habit of saying ridiculous things about Branwell and his work. I recall reading an article for a seminar which declared that, under certain circumstances (hinting that this applied only to Branwell) "the Parsonage produced trash." I cannot say that I've seen such language used in literary criticism elsewhere, and it is shocking.


ThisbeCiel said...

Oh that illustration is pretty. *kicks blogger for not letting me get my JE illustration fix*

'Second-best' eh? I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on PB's work when you have time.

Brontëana said...

I've tried again today and it still won't work, the capricious bastard- I mean, bad blogger... (I've been reading too much Greek literature about illegitimate tryant sons rampaging around).

I actually don't like her illustrations. The coloured ones aren't that bad but the line drawings are very wobbly. Jane looks rather pointy of nose, and Rochester quite large of chest (which isn't wrong, I suppose- just looks a little strange when he has this tiny head and HUGE chest). I may be exaggerating. But we shall see.

Second best seems pushing it. He's not terrible but his poems don't often say very much. I think he tried too hard. A few of the ones I've read are very good- but most seem very strained. The rhymes aren't very imaginative... the lines are usually end-stopped. I'd personally say Anne was the second best poet of the family. Charlotte third, and Papa fourth ahead of Branny.

Emily's poems are local but universal at once, Anne's are very poignant and personal, Charlotte is good at dramatic monologues and narrating scenes in verse but doesn't go farther than that. Papa was a great Romantic, I think, and Branwell tried too hard most of the time- and so didn't find his voice in any particular kind of verse.