Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Charlotte Bronte, I have a bone to pick with you.

OK, I am usually more than happy to ignore the odd coincidence in 19th century literature. I was for example, perfectly able to enjoy 'A Tale of Two Cities' without ever once reflecting on the amazing fact that Sydney Carton looks exactly like Charles Darney. Pride and Prejudice will always be my favourite book even if Mr Darcy is by sheer chance the nephew of Mr Collins patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. But there are limits to my ability to suspend my disbelief for the sake of a good book.

So Jane Eyre is heartbroken and runs away from Mr Rochester asking the coach to take her just as far as her money will allow. She is set down at a crossroads in what I am guessing is supposed to be the middle of the Peak District. She wanders for three days in the wild before passing out on the doorstep of an isolated cottage. It turns out that the three inhabitants of said isolated cottage are the cousins Jane never knew she had.

Reader, at that point I nearly ditched the book.

Give me some realism any day - A good Jilly Cooper for example (Question from ed. "Is there such a thing?")

P.S. Was going to make sarcastic comment about poor Jilly being unable to attend the ruby wedding of her dear friends Jeffery and Mary Archer which she understands was such a 'Wow', but having seen the reason she missed it I will try and resist. However, her on-line diary is well worth a quick look. Highlights include the tale of how another 'lovely party was graced by Dame Vera Lynn, looking as beautiful as ever.She is such fun and such a wonderful example of how an A List celebrity should behave.'. There is also reference to the 'Jillywood Tours' where apparently we mere plebs can take a bus tour past various cleb houses,including Jillys well appointed home. She name drops, amongst many others, such people as Alan Titchmarsh, David Mellor and John Craven ( he of the Newsround). Oh yes, her web pages are worth ten minutes of anyone's time.

P.P.S. Apologies for the Jilly Cooper bit which was certainly not planned. I got carried away by her unassuming modesty which is an example to us all.


Reidski said...

Namedropping John Craven - that had me laughing out loud at my desk at work!

The Moy said...

That's nothing. The coincidences in OLIVER TWIST and DAVID COPPERFIELD are even more egregious. When I was a kid I excused them by sagely concluding the England was a LOT smaller than the US and that made such things more possible.

The humor that runs through Jane Eyre is its great saving grace, and I'll defend it as a novel, but if you want a lesser-known Bronte novel largely free of any violations against the laws of probability, you should read VILLETTE. It's a wonderfully unromantic love story and my favorite Bronte.

Babs said...

Is it good or bad that I've never heard of this Jilly Cooper person??

cookie monster said...

sadly as far as the Cooper clan goes then i dont mind Jilly. its mark cooper that brings me out in hives! (the only people who will get that are those that have watched lower league football in the 90's!)

J.J said...

Reidski, the woman is clearly an idiot.

The Moy, I haven't read Villete but you have inspired me to give it a go.

Babs, it is very, very good - unless you like stories about English toffs playing polo and shagging a lot.

Cookie - a very specialised subject indeed!

Gill said...

coincidences happen to me all the time. Maybe writers attract them?

Jim said...

I'm so glad you gave the link to Jilly Cooper's wondeful web page. Never in a million years would I have thought about going there for a visit. How very inspired. How did you find it?

J.J said...

Gill, yes, maybe Charlotte Bronte also bumped intio three cousins she didn't know she had in the middle of nowhere!
Hope the reading went well by the way.

Jim, she is inspirational isn't she? Found by sheer mischance!