Already Broken #NewYearResolutions

The characters of Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy may be better known for their whimsy than their stamina. Below are the resolutions of the famous nine, which have proven to be a tall order: Hester Prynne: stop compulsively embroidering Alice in Wonderland: don’t follow strange rabbits Heidi: trade that dirndl for some North Face Emma Bovary: clip coupons Jane Eyre: don’t become engaged to already-married men Sherlock Holmes: no more mansplaining, even to Dr. Watson Mr. Darcy: never marry a bookish girl with an irritating mother & ineligible sisters David Copperfield: step up and be the hero of my own life … Continue reading Already Broken #NewYearResolutions

Very #Bronte Holiday Problems

The characters in Jane Eyre Gets Real wish you a happy #Christmas. Below is Jane’s affectionate homage to the family of her original creator: Branwell Drinks All The Punch, Mistakenly Thinking It Contains Rum All the Girls Get New Darning Eggs For Christmas From Their Beloved Father! In Case of Unexpected Visitors, Emily Hides In The Steamer Trunk. Sadly, Anne Forgets Where She Put The Key. In Order To Ease Her Chilblains, Charlotte Burns New Manuscript Chicken In Your Backyard/Cemetery Too Quick To Catch–Porridge for Dinner Again A Whole Lot of Wuthering Going On     Continue reading Very #Bronte Holiday Problems

Very Regency #Thanksgiving Problems

Mr. Darcy, created by Jane Austen and recreated by Annabelle Troy in her book Jane Eyre Gets Real, didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But if he had he might have faced these common Regency entertainment problems: Must Harvest Your Own Cranberries Plenty of Stove But No Stove Top Stuffing You WILL Be Judged On Your Napkins Your Dessert Just Isn’t Wobbly Enough Your Cook Thinks This Is A Turkey Continue reading Very Regency #Thanksgiving Problems

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

Lizzie Borden House: Rent A #Ghost

Jane Eyre is no stranger to the power of hauntings. Before she “got real” in the Annabelle Troy novel, Jane was imprisoned by her cruel Aunt Reed in a red room said to be visited by her dead uncle. This episode so traumatized her that she fell into fits. So why, Jane asks, would anyone pay for such an experience? Yet many flock to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, the former home of the alleged 19th century murderess (who has been played by actresses as diverse as Elizabeth Montgomery and Christina Ricci). In the spooky old house located in Fall … Continue reading Lizzie Borden House: Rent A #Ghost

Very Victorian #Music Problems

On the 50th anniversary of #Woodstock, the characters in Jane Eyre Gets Real present these Victorian musical dilemmas: This Is Your Ipod–And It Only Plays One Tune The Cat Next Door Won’t Stop Fiddling Strangers Keep Gathering Around Your Piano When You’re Trying to Eat Dinner Your Sheet Music Is Prettier Than You Are It’s Hard To Amplify The Volume On A Harp You’ve Worn Out All Your Discs This Song Is Stuck In Your Head Continue reading Very Victorian #Music Problems

Cute #Cats & The Victorians

With all the fuss surrounding the just-released “Cats” trailer, Jane Eyre wants us to know that, long before Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson or even T.S. Eliot uttered their first meows, cats-for-entertainment were a Victorian concern. Harrison Weir organized the first cat show in 1871 at the Crystal Palace. He wanted to change the public image of the feline, still linked to medieval notions of witches, disease and upset cradles. Weir wrote, “The Cat is an object of increasing interest, admiration and cultured beauty”–and he set out to prove it by awarding medals to felines of various breeds and … Continue reading Cute #Cats & The Victorians

Mr. Darcy’s #Disneyland: Vauxhall

If you’ve ever wondered where people in the Regency and early Victorian eras went to beat the heat, Mr. Darcy, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, will whisper this word in your ear, “Vauxhall.” This pleasure garden was opened in South London, on the banks of the Thames, in 1661. However, Vauxhall didn’t reach the height of its popularity til the late eighteenth century, when it was owned and managed by Jonathan Tyers, a P. T. Barnum-like promoter. He introduced season tickets (for a guinea) that looked like metal tags, engraved with the owner’s name. It was also possible to … Continue reading Mr. Darcy’s #Disneyland: Vauxhall

The Sense & Sensibility of #Roses

A character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, #Mr.Darcy knows a thing or two about roses. His garden at Pemberley is full of them. The most popular styles in the Regency included Damask, White, Moss, Provence and French roses. It was common to grow roses in large pots or to plant them in gardens in a circular manner, using boxwood as “borders”, as if flowers were decorations on a page. However, with all his love for flowers and plants, Mr. Darcy never thought of them as sentient beings. Only recently has science taken plants seriously as sensitive beings, potentially capable of feeling … Continue reading The Sense & Sensibility of #Roses

White Not Always Right for #Weddings

Yes, dear reader, Jane Eyre ultimately married Rochester, her one true love. But not before his first wife shredded Jane’s wedding veils to pieces…Perhaps the color, not the intent, was what didn’t appeal to Bertha Rochester! We think of white as being traditional for a bride; this, however, only became the case after Queen Victoria chose the color (or non-color) for her own nuptials. Even after she popularized the white wedding gown many less fortunate, more practical women chose to wed in wool or linen dresses that could be worn again and again; for the wedding ceremony they often threw … Continue reading White Not Always Right for #Weddings

Rich Baby, Poor Baby

Jane Eyre was always a governess, never a nursemaid. However, with all the hoopla surrounding the royal birth of Archie, first child of #PrinceHarry and #MeghanMarkle, she has begun to think a lot about babies (after all, she was a mother herself–she had at least one recorded son with husband Edward Rochester). Infants were treated a certain way  depending on their parents’ status; like everything in the Victorian world–and perhaps our own–wealth had a lot to do with it. A rich baby could expect its own living space, a nursery, equipped with such items as a wicker bassinet trimmed with … Continue reading Rich Baby, Poor Baby