A tall glass of cold hero

A tall glass of cold hero

Figuring out my personal canon, here—historical romances are bound to pop up. Among the more notable: Slightly Dangerous, by Mary Balogh. It's a love story between two very sensible adults, very much attracted to each other, very much aware of how far they're willing to satiate their wanting. They're two adults, too, with the necessary barricades around their hearts—and seeing them ease up, seeing them let a little of their control go—it's so satisfying. [Continue reading.]

“More vivid kinds of goodness.”

“More vivid kinds of goodness.”

When I closed the book, it was as if I’d been cut adrift. Having been submerged so intensely in Charlotte Brontë—to have cared, again, and always so immensely, for Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester—to have realized something about myself and about the small, still Janet—and then having to return to the real world. Returning to the real world and my mind realigning to look upon landscapes as stormy moors, to look upon clusterfucks as madwomen in my attic. To spy Blanche Ingrams and Mrs. Reeds and St. Johns and scolding my brain whenever it strays towards what Rochesters this world has to offer. And to look upon that book now closed and replaced on the bedside table, waiting for the next time I’ll read it again as though it were the first time, as though it was just another marker in this long-and-longest bibliophiliac constancy. [Continue reading.]

“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”

“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”

My love for Jane Eyre seems to me one of my constants. It’s up there with Madame Bovary being my spirit animal, with Barthes’ “extreme solitude” ringing true time and again, with the implacability of Hogwarts. I first read Jane Eyre when I was about nine—having stolen my mother’s Bantam paperback edition from her dresser—and promptly avowed that spunky Jane was my best friend; was as furious and indignant with the slights and injustices at the Reeds, at Lowood, at Thornfield Hall, and wherever goddamned moor she stayed in much later; and fell violently in love with the odd Edward Rochester. I’d return to the book over the years, never something set; Jane Eyre would accompany me from one house to another, editions growing in number, the marginalia growing more and more confident (even in sometimes-quiet). [Continue reading.]

Letter to my nine-year-old self, on the occasion of my reread of Jude Deveraux’s The Duchess twelve years later

I. On a whim, I bought a brand-new edition of The Duchess by Jude Deveraux as a 21st birthday gift to myself. The copy you read—mass market paperback, scarlet, an embossed image of a portrait-ed brooch on the cover—has long gone. Somewhere. You haven't bothered to look. This book was our introduction to the romance [...]

marginalia || Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – pt. 03

Most true is it that “beauty is in the eye of the gazer.”  My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,—all energy, decision, will,—were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an [...]

marginalia || Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – pt.02

[For those inclined, here's Part 01 of the Rereading Jane Eyre series, which talks about: This long-awaited reunion. Things I've forgotten, things to remember. And, re the book itself (hee), Jane Eyre's childhood.] I have realized that I am now older than the Jane Eyre that most appears in the novel. I am twenty-one. [Present] [...]