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Friday, August 04, 2006

Brontes in Oxford and Penguin Books

Heathcliff and Catherine make the Penguin books list of 'Best Lovers'. Some of the other categories and choices are amusing or objectionable (Wide Sargasso Sea made the 'Best Crazies' list. I was also not aware that I, Claudius is a classic. And just who is the 'great hero' from H. Rider Haggard's She? Is it Leo Vincey, the lounging blond beauty? I hope not!). The entire list is available here. Probably English professors everywhere should try to take advantage of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales making the 'Best Sex' list.

Anecdotes about the Bronte sisters are highlighted in this article about the New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes. Among those concerning Charlotte Bronte is the following from a meeting with William Makepeace Thackeray:

Some of the greats were very odd indeed. Algernon Charles Swinburne, frustrated at not finding his hat in the hall of his club, proceeded to stomp on those that were there until the porter told him he had entered the club without one. And the Brontes were remembered by an old lady in their village thus: "They were all dressed alike until they gate into young women. I don't know that I ever saw them in owt but print -- I've heard it said they were pinched -- but it was nice print." Charlotte was given a party in London by William Makepeace Thackeray. It was not a success. One guest, trying desperately to engage her in conversation, opened with, "I hope you like London?" to which Charlotte replied, "I do, and I don't." That was it.

Oh, but she did have more to say about it afterwards!

ETA: Also, if you've been thinking of re-reading Jane Eyre, there's a new blog just for you: Eyre-along!

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