Jane Eyre Archive

Literary Television: THE AFFAIR’s Gender-Swapped “Madwoman in the Attic”

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This is the third in a series of posts entitled Conversations Between TV and Literature. In each entry, I will explore literary allusions on specific television shows and the resulting intertextuality between the two works.

On the Enduring Appeal of the Bildungsroman

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Though genre forms and conventions have changed rapidly throughout the short history of the novel, the popularity of one subspecies has endured: the bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel.

The Weird Nineteenth Century

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The reputation of the nineteenth century novel tends to precede its reading. By this I mean: few readers come to first contact with the likes of JANE EYRE, MIDDLEMARCH, or TESS without some established prejudice for or against the genre, usually in the milieu of a middle or high

Armchair Traveling through History: The Orphan Trains in Literature

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Between 1854 and 1929, around 200,000 homeless, abandoned, and orphaned American children were sent by train, mostly from New York City, to new homes, mostly in the Midwestern U.S. Later in the twentieth century and early in the twenty-first, in our contemporary versions of the Orphan Trains, planes from

Literary Blueprints: The Orphan

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  In the wide realm of literature, having parents is a convenience that escapes many characters. The Orphan is one of the most prominent characters in literature, in part because the absence of parental figures automatically fuels so many possible motivations. Origin Story: Unlike some blueprints, which can be

On Opening Secret Rooms

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My childhood copy of The Secret Garden is unusually pristine for one of my books though I read it many times. Two of us must have worked hard to keep it that way; the book was my mother’s before it was mine. Next to the flowery, rabbity bookplate I

Literary Blueprints: The Mad Woman

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In this second installment of the Literary Blueprints series, we’ll look at the Mad Woman. Don’t forget to read the first Blueprint, The Byronic Hero. Origin Story: Also referred to as “The Mad Woman in the Attic,” this character type hails from the dark side of Jane Eyre. Bertha

Literary Blueprints: The Byronic Hero

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Follow this new blog series in 2015, where we’ll delve into the background of character archetypes–the Mad Woman, the Detective, and the Wise Fool, to name a few. In this first installment, we take a look at the Byronic Hero. Origin Story: In literature, the Byronic Hero’s first embodiment is

Likeable, Relatable, and Real

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When I was a junior in high school, we read The Great Gatsby in English class. I hadn’t read the book yet, but I knew the rest of my family hated it. (They’re Hemingway fans.) “Ugh, that Daisy,” my mom said. “Who cares?” Obviously a lot of readers care

Writing Lessons: Miranda K. Pennington

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In our Writing Lessons series, writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Miranda K. Pennington, a student in the MFA program at Columbia University. You can follow Miranda @MirandaKPinNYC. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor Whenever I’m in search