Author Archives: Charlotte Phillips

Morgan Library: Bronte and Family

Reading Gaskell, as well as the introduction to Jane Eyre impressed upon me the importance of family as inspiration for Charlotte’s writing. Seeing the exhibit provided primary source evidence for this dedication to family. Charlotte wrote (and illustrated) the book above … Continue reading

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Sinking Ship

In the middle of a description of the Durbeyfield family, Hardy inserts the observation that the children of the family are trapped in the “Durbeyfield ship”: “If the heads of the Durbeyfield household chose to sail into difficulty, disaster, starvation, … Continue reading

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Families in “North and South”

Chapter fourteen of part two in “North and South” presents the reader with the first complete domestic scene of the novel. Earlier scenes have been missing a father figure (the Shaws’, the Thorntons’, and the Bouchers’), a child (the Hales’), … Continue reading

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Goldilocks and the Three Sitting Rooms

As a domestic novel set in 19th century Britain, it is no surprise that much of the action in North and South takes place in drawing rooms. In Milton, Gaskell presents the reader with three sitting rooms of sorts: the … Continue reading

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Rochester as Persephone

In Jane Eyre, Bronte deploys her knowledge of mythology to fill the text with intentional references that suggest allegorical comparisons to other works. Mr. Rochester’s account of his epiphany in Jamaica, where he “walked under the dripping orange-trees of my … Continue reading

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Kokoro- Natsume Sōseki

“Just as you can only really smell incense in the first moments after it is lit, or taste wine in that instant of the first sip, the impulse of love springs from a single, perilous moment in time, I feel.”

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