A Scarlet Rose: Ann Hutchinson

This week esteemed Supreme Court Justice #RuthBaderGinsburg was laid to rest. Hester Prynne, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, was led to think of Puritan feminist and free thinker, Ann Hutchinson. The Scarlet Letter takes place several years after Hutchinson’s death and contains a notable passage in her honor; in describing roses outside the prison door where Hester will emerge, Hawthorne says they might have “sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson as she entered the prison.” Fiery women, such as Hester, Ann–and centuries later, Ruth–bring forth fiery blooms. Daughter of a dissident minister, Ann was … Continue reading A Scarlet Rose: Ann Hutchinson

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

Eat Your Rosebuds While Ye May

Alice in Wonderland, a character in Annabelle Troy’s whimsical novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, loves roses. To combat the #coronavirus blues she is planning on holding a celebration tea on June 8th, the day #NewYorkCity is scheduled to come out of #lockdown. Not only will she serve everything on rose-patterned china, the menu too will be based on this classic flower. Keep in mind that roses in their natural state are edible–beware though of long-stemmed beauties from the florist’s, as they might have been treated with insecticides harmful to humans. Alice’s Rosy Menu: Rose Jelly on Crumpets–aka Rose Jam https://www.gourmeturca.com/rose-jam Organic … Continue reading Eat Your Rosebuds While Ye May

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

Flower Girls

Alice in Wonderland, on the fateful day she followed the White Rabbit, was too lazy to make a daisy chain. However, as a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, she enjoys watching films with flowery names in the heat of a New York summer. Below are some of her favorites: Inside Daisy Clover: Natalie Wood is a 1930’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks girl turned overnight movie star. She loathes Hollywood but loves an aspiring actor, played by the Brad Pitt of his day, Robert Redford. Violet and Daisy: offbeat indie with Saoirse Ronan and Alixis Bledel (pre-Handmaid’s Tale) as highly improbable yet oddly sympathetic teenage hitwomen. … Continue reading Flower Girls

Catch the Cotton Candy Bouquet

Madame Emma Bovary is now a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. She started life as the beautiful but doomed creation of Gustave Flaubert. In a poignant scene early in Flaubert’s novel, Emma enters her new home as a bride, only to find the withered wedding bouquet of her predecessor, the first and now-deceased Madame Bovary, lying around on the bedroom mantelpiece. She makes her/their husband, Charles, get rid of it. Emma, a very disappointed wife, will ultimately throw her own dried-up floral bouquet into the fire. Perhaps she might have fared better if she’d forgotten orange blossoms, … Continue reading Catch the Cotton Candy Bouquet

What the Bee Sees

  As Alice in Wonderland and several other characters in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real can attest, the Victorians knew their flowers. They had a whole secret language which devolved around them: the pink carnation stood for gratitude, the yellow rose for friendship, violets for youth. If you wanted to express the first flushes of love you might send a bouquet of purple lilacs, while nothing signified consolation better than a red poppy. As you might expect daisies symbolized innocence and sunflowers happiness. But did you know that the iris was code for a message, the jasmine for amiability … Continue reading What the Bee Sees

Wild Irish Roses With Mr. Darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy, a character created by Jane Austen, also appears in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy.  Though known for his English rectitude, Mr. Darcy has a surprising soft spot for the wild hedge roses of Ireland, also known as briars, dog roses and hip fruit. A hardy bloom that thrives in heavy clay soil, the “dog rose” may be considered common by some. But Mr. Darcy is discerning enough to see the worth behind this vigorous five-petaled blossom, whose foliage gives off a pretty scent when crushed and which attracts many bees and butterflies–and perhaps boys–to the yard. Mr. … Continue reading Wild Irish Roses With Mr. Darcy

Frozen Roses

Jane Eyre, separated from Mr. Rochester on Valentine’s Day, may not be having any champagne over ice this Feb. 14th. But she can have roses over ice! Thanks to tips she learned from her gardener at Thornfield Hall, Jane knows how to keep roses alive over the winter: Know which variations to grow–old garden roses, such as China, Moss and Damask, rather than hybrid tea roses, are much hardier and stand a greater chance of making it through. Put your roses in a coma: roses that are completely frozen all the way through will probably live; but if they freeze, … Continue reading Frozen Roses