Best Bronte Quote?

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Best Bronte Quote?

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1A.Scott.
Ene 6, 2014, 4:09am

My all time favourite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. One day on a train to Milano, while reading the book for the umpteenth time, a fellow passenger, an Austrian girl, caught the cover of my book and instantly asked if I'd read "The truest love that ever heart" poem yet? I told her I had and we both oohed, ahhed and gushed, and spent the rest of the three hour trip catching up like old friends. The Austrian girl, Astrid, is now an old friend, as is the poem.

My favourite quote from the Bronte, Jane Eyre, poem is:
"Her coming was my hope each day.
Her parting was my pain;
The chance that did her steps delay
Was ice in every vein".

This, for me, bottles absolute love.

Interested to hear favourite Bronte quotes from members and the stories behind them.

2CurrerBell
Ene 6, 2014, 4:58am

Number One: Emily's poem that starts....
No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven's glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear
(You can find the entire poem at Poetry Foundation.)

 
Number Two: The opening sentence of Charlotte's Shirley....
Of late years an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England: they lie very thick on the hills; every parish has one or more of them; they are young enough to be very active, and ought to be doing a great deal of good.
The curates sound like a Biblical plague of locusts. Shirley's a very underrated novel and I love Charlotte's satire of the Anglican clergy and of the Dissenters as well.

 
Number Three: The first couple stanzas of Charlotte's "Web of Childhood" poem....
We wove a web in childhood,
A web of sunny air;
We dug a spring in infancy
Of water pure and fair;

We sowed in youth a mustard seed,
We cut an almond rod;
We are now grown up to riper age-
Are they withered in the sod?
....but only those first couple stanzas, and possibly the third as well. The problem was, Charlotte didn't know when to quit and she ran on too long with a poem that would have been more powerful had it been terser, wrapped up in eight or a dozen lines. (The full poem's available at Wikisource.)

3susanbooks
Editado: Ene 6, 2014, 9:47am

My fave is from Charlotte's preface to Shirley. Telling her readers not to expect another Gothic like Jane Eyre, she says that instead,

"Something real, cool and solid lies before you."

I love that line.

4madpoet
Ene 7, 2014, 7:51pm

Then there is the famous line, terse and unembellished:

'Reader, I married him.'

I can't imagine a character in a Jane Austen novel saying that, can you? But it perfectly matches Jane Eyre's character. Direct and honest. No flowery romantic nonsense. And notice she doesn't say 'he married me' but rather 'I married him'. Jane is not the passive type.

5susanbooks
Ene 8, 2014, 10:18am

Madpoet, yes! That has to be the best line!

6A.Scott.
Ene 9, 2014, 11:59pm

Madpoet and Susanbooks, "Reader, I married him." is up there with the best.

So much so that by now it really should be a staple in modern day wedding ceremony scripts, many of which can still place the woman in the passive. For instance, when the celebrant says to the groom "You may now kiss the bride", after passively accepting the kiss the bride should turn to her guests and say "Reader, I married him."

Hmmmm... if only Charlotte had played a part in scripting wedding ceremonies... imagine...

7ElizabethPotter
Editado: Ene 15, 2014, 7:12pm

I don't know if I want Charlotte writing wedding script. Notice we (The readers) did not actually get invited to that second wedding. Only the first. And I don't think I have to say anything more about that.

8celiacardun
Ene 29, 2014, 2:04am

Great topic! One of my favorite passages in the Bronte novels is at the beginning of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, where Mrs Graham passionately argues against the different educational approach of boys and girls:

"Well then, it must be that you think that they (boys and girls) are both weak and prone to error, and the slightest error, the nearest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things." (P.85)

I like it because it shows a strong woman who is passionate about changing this inequality between men and women.

I also love Anne's poem 'My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring / and carried aloft on the wings of the breeze / For above and around me the wild wind is roaring / Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas. Etc.

I also love CB's poem Winter stores, which is basically about storing beautiful memories for when 'Winter' has come.

Ps And I guess Jane Eyre is up for a reread this year, as I can't quite recall that poem...