Wild #Turkey: Try Something New This #Thanksgiving!

Hester Prynne, the Purantical character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, remembers when all turkeys were wild. This means a large bird typically with bronze-colored feathers, a fan-shaped tail and wings marked with black and white bars. To modern palates, used to domesticated fowl, it might taste a bit dry and tough, with even the white meat seeming as strong as the dark. Hester’s tip: soak your bird overnight in cold, lightly salted water (after you have plucked it, of course). While these parts may not be edible–or worth the trouble to make them so–it is always good … Continue reading Wild #Turkey: Try Something New This #Thanksgiving!

Is #Karen the New Shrew?

Hester Prynne, protagonist of The Scarlet Letter and a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, has observed the recent spate of “Karens” with interest. Outings of the Karen–typically a middle-aged, middle-class woman with a sculpted bob and delusions of grandeur–seem to appear in the media daily. While some Karens may indeed be over the top in their aggrieved expressions of complaint, Hester wonders if this sudden obsession with Karens is not a subtle attack on outspoken women. Are Karens the modern equivalent of “shrews”, a term first applied to women in the 14th century? In medieval times the shrew, a … Continue reading Is #Karen the New Shrew?

Take It or Leaf It: Japanese Street Art

Hester Prynne, of The Scarlet Letter fame, is the only Puritan character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. As autumn comes to New York City, Hester keenly registers the turning of the leaves; as they drop she dreads the winter to come. Puritans viewed Nature as a hostile force (well, ok, they pretty much viewed everything as a hostile force..but Nature especially). They knew America would hold for them “a sharp and violent winter” (in the words of #Mayflower survivor William Bradford), in which sickness and starvation would be rampant. However, in modern day #Japan there are no such worries. A … Continue reading Take It or Leaf It: Japanese Street Art

Bells Tolling #9/11

In Manhattan, the tolling of bells will be part of the 9/11 memorial, along with a moment of silence and the reading of names of those lost on this tragic day. Hester Prynne, of A Scarlet Letter and Jane Eyre Gets Real, knows of bell-tolling from Puritan times. Funerals were one of the few events Puritans could celebrate lavishly (as, oddly enough, they were regarded as civil and not sacred occasions). In fact, so many bells rang for the dead in Boston they were deemed “a nuisance” by the press. Guests received, as an invitation, white gloves often of high quality (and sometimes … Continue reading Bells Tolling #9/11

You Gotta Be Crewel To Be Kind

  Hester Prynne is the character in Jane Eyre Gets Real who is best known for her embroidery skills. Though Puritans were encouraged to dress mainly in muted or dark colors, with some touches of white for relief–or to be better seen in candlelight?–this code was known to be broken. They might, for instance, wear extra-large collars, gloves with gauntlet cuffs, prominent shoe buckles, even lace trimmings from time to time. This doesn’t mean the fine art of embroidery fell into abeyance. Women and girls were expected now more than ever to practice morality in the home and nothing was considered … Continue reading You Gotta Be Crewel To Be Kind

Not Your Grandmother’s Cross Stitch

Hester Prynne, the sultry femme fatale in Jane Eyre Gets Real, is known for wearing a scarlet letter A, the mark of an adulterer, as part of her penance (for being, well, an adulterer). What is not so well-known is that she had to embroider all those As herself and that she eeked out a living in Puritan New England by doing fancy handwork for other colonists. In Hester’s day embroidery was a tolerated but relatively unimportant skill. With renewed interest being taken in traditionally feminine pursuits, however, some modern-day artists are challenging the world to take embroidery seriously. Needlework can now … Continue reading Not Your Grandmother’s Cross Stitch

Snow White & Blood Red

Hester Prynne, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, and who was first introduced to the world in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, loves omens and portents. What could be more dramatic than tonight’s Blood Moon? For the first time in over 30 years, a blue moon (the second full moon in a month) has “hooked up” with a supermoon–kind of like the moon’s version of a supermodel–and a total lunar eclipse. To summon all of the good energy this moon might portend, Hester is sleeping tonight with a bloodstone. Called “heliotrope” (meaning sun-attracting) by the ancient Greeks, the bloodstone is green with red … Continue reading Snow White & Blood Red

No Sex Please, We’re Puritans

  Hester Prynne is one of the characters in the Annabelle Troy novel Jane Eyre Gets Real. She also has the starring role in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Because Hester is naturally frugal, when she wakes up to find herself in contemporary New York City she doesn’t run off to the movies or the theater. Plus, she is scared of going outside…She stays home a lot and watches cable TV, DVDs, and youtube. Naturally the amount of sex on TV has come as a shock to her, especially the joyful participation of most women in physical acts that, in Hester’s day, were … Continue reading No Sex Please, We’re Puritans

Star Signs of Your Favorite Characters

Literary characters have birthdays like everybody else. And sun signs. Since specific birthdays are rarely mentioned in print, the trick is to figure out when our favorite protagonists might have born based on their temperaments and inclinations. Here’s my best guess: VIRGO: JANE EYRE–gentle, with love of duty and heart of gold, studious and accomplished, who comes up from behind; Cinderella was also a Virgo. ARIES: EMMA BOVARY–impetuous, impatient, idealistic; Aries is the sign most likely to get into significant debt and they live for whirlwind romance. SCORPIO: HESTER PRYNNE–intense, smoldering and never lets anything go. Obsessed with birth, death, love, … Continue reading Star Signs of Your Favorite Characters