Is Elisabeth Moss the New Joan Crawford?

Hester Prynne, the Puritan character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, never misses an episode of #TheHandmaid’s Tale. While the show, famously based on the book by #MargaretAtwood, has been touted as showing what life would be like for women under an ultra-conservative regime (think Reagan era on steroids), Hester sees it more as a stark portrayal of gender politics. Men traditionally want women to fall into one of four categories: sexual objects, wives, maids or fertility totems. In Gilead, they have achieved their desire. The heroine, June Osborne, is played by #ElisabethMoss with gutsy stoicism. June is … Continue reading Is Elisabeth Moss the New Joan Crawford?

Was Jane Austen Woke?

“There are places in town, offices, where inquiry would soon produce something – offices for the sale, not quite of human flesh, but of human intellect”, to which Mrs Elton replies with, “Oh! my dear, human flesh! You quite shock me; if you mean a fling at the slave trade, I assure you Mr. Suckling was always rather a friend to the abolition.” Passages like the one above, from Jane Austen’s novel Emma, would seem to suggest Austen herself was in favor of the abolitionists. However, as anyone who doesn’t live under a tea cozy would know, controversy was stirred … Continue reading Was Jane Austen Woke?

Love’s Wild Ride: Flying Kiss of #China

Jane Eyre, the lead character in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, is no stranger to the travails of #love. However, even she would hesitate before visiting the new carousel ride at China’s Flying Kiss Amusement Park, Chongqing. There, on a cliff 3,300 feet above the Wu River, are poised two gigantic statues; one represents Chaofeng, the other The Purple Fairy, mythic lovers from an ancient tale. Each figure holds a revolving carousel in their hand, which takes human passengers to a height of 52 meters then spins them around in the air, allowing them gorgeous–if dizzying–panoramic views. The … Continue reading Love’s Wild Ride: Flying Kiss of #China

Christmas Fairy Tales

In an all-too literal world, Alice in Wonderland–appearing courtesy of #LewisCarroll in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real–recommends the following old-fashioned diversions: The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens: an early Dickens novel where a chirping cricket acts as a young family’s guardian angel. Set during #Christmas, it was a Victorian sentimental favorite and was produced several times on the stage, both in England and Russia. Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Get a complete edition of the original stories (there should be over 200 tales), preferably in a leather-bound, gilt-edged edition. #Disney adaptations notwithstanding, these are … Continue reading Christmas Fairy Tales

It’s Only A Paper #Rose

Jane Eyre is no stranger to crafting. Victorian heroines practically invented the pastime. As early as 1850 (when Jane would have long been Mrs. Rochester with her austere childhood securely behind her), a lady could buy a kit with everything she needed to make fake posies. Natural shapes were favored, petals carefully cut out then crimped or dipped in wax, before being wired onto stems. The paper flower can trace its roots to #China in 100 BC; the Chinese are credited with inventing paper, which was ultimately used not just for printing but for fans, lanterns, and lotuses which were … Continue reading It’s Only A Paper #Rose

Don’t Deface Queen Anne’s Lace!

Jane Eyre, the heroine of Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, is not pleased being stuck in contemporary NYC during #Covid-19. As spring commences she longs to be back in Thornfield Hall, dodging madwomen and strolling through the surrounding woods, picking flowers to make into medicine and jewelry. Jane’s favorite wildflower has always been #Queen Anne’s lace. Queen Anne herself was the last of the Stuart monarchs, reigning only five years (between 1702-1707). Best-known today as the gouty, rabbit-loving lesbian from the film The Favourite, where she is played by Oscar winner #OliviaColman, the real Anne was probably quite likable … Continue reading Don’t Deface Queen Anne’s Lace!

How to Pamper An Invalid

The concept of an invalid–a sick person confined for a long time to bed, usually at home– hasn’t had much play in modern life. But now that #coronavirus has changed everything, Jane Eyre is here to guide us on this very Victorian role. Below are some ways to spoil your special invalid during convalescence. Bed Jacket: First you might want to get them, if female, #transgnder or gender neutral, a Bed Jacket. This charming garment can be worn over a pajama top or tank then used later for evening wear or to dress up jeans. Lots of vintage examples, from … Continue reading How to Pamper An Invalid

Pale Horse, Pale Rider: A #Pandemic Love Story

Alert, Contains Spoilers: Now living in New York City, Jane Eyre has been self-isolating–even more than usual–and so has turned to her collection of 20th century lit. written by women. In these times of #coronavirus, we might want to remember things could always be worse–in 1918 the world had to deal with #Spanishinfluenza.  Katherine Anne Porter, whose iron butterfly novellas deserve a resurgence, wrote an autobiographical work entitled “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” based on her experiences with a nasty bout of this notorious flu and with her lover, a soldier, who dies after taking care of her. It’s an ironic … Continue reading Pale Horse, Pale Rider: A #Pandemic Love Story

Rats! Jane Eyre & #TheYearoftheRat

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Rat. Interestingly, along with such celebs as Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry and #Prince Harry, Charlotte Bronte was born under this sign. Consider the personality traits of Female Rats: Hardworking, adaptable & cheery Frugal & clean–hey, it may look like a rat’s nest but it’s really a home! Dedicated to family Clever & shrewd; detail-oriented Known to have a jealous streak, due to the strength of their love A survivor, though sometimes also a social outcast These qualities were not only evident in Charlotte, who urged her sisters to publish … Continue reading Rats! Jane Eyre & #TheYearoftheRat

Snow Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

David Copperfield appears as a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. Some people say that Copperfield’s original creator, Charles Dickens, popularized the idea of a white Christmas–having written A Christmas Carol during a particularly stormy winter. Being then something of an expert on the subject, David gives us three variations of Victorian snow-related themes: 1. The #Snow Baby: a miniature figurine, in the shape of an infant or small child, engaged in some winter activity. The figure’s snowsuit is often covered in tiny pieces of crushed bisque which appear to glitter like snowflakes. The first snow babies were … Continue reading Snow Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Very Anne #Bronte Problems

In honor of Anne Bronte’s birthday on Friday, January 17th the characters in Jane Eyre Gets Real bring you these: Branwell Is Always Mansplaining How To Write A Novel Agnes Grey Is Never Seduced By Mr. Rochester Anne penned “There is always a butt in this imperfect world” before Charlotte changed it to “but” Big Movie Deal Fell Through For Tenant of Wildfell Hall Had A Tendency to Appear As A Fairy To The Naked Human Eye Anne Who??? Continue reading Very Anne #Bronte Problems

Were Fairies the First #Ballerinas?

If you are in any doubt, read The Grace of the Hunchback by Annabelle Troy–available on Amazon, for free Jan. 12, 13th and 14th. It is a novel based on real-life prima ballerina Marie Taglioni who, among other famous parts, played a sylph, the most ethereal type of fairy. The book is about her quest for love. However, it is not a romance; rather, it portrays Marie’s yearning for affection in a world where she plays a beauty on stage but spends her reality as an awkward outcast. Jane Eyre gives it 5 stars!     Continue reading Were Fairies the First #Ballerinas?