I'm sorry, I realize she's a great and classic author and all and it's great that so many people are reading quality literature blah blah blah, that's fine. I'm just sick of all the endless jane Austen movies, Jane Austen miniseries, magazine articles about the movies and miniseries, books about women reading Jane Austen, Jane Austen book clubs....it's been going on for quite a while now. Besides....
ANY OF THE BRONTES COULD KICK JANE'S BONY LITTLE ASS.
Yes, this is what I'm saying. I love the Brontes so much; even Anne, who trails way behind Charlotte and Emily in popularity. I like my Victorian literature like I like my coffee: black, crazy, and fucked up. (Actually, I don't drink coffee much anymore, I drink tea, but that's neither here nor there.) I'm wishing I could see Jane Eyre stride right into Mansfield Park and fuck that place UP! Mr. Darcy desperately needs a cock-knocking and Mr. Rochester is the perfect man for the job. Heathcliff could teach all those wusses at Northanger Abbey a thing or two, and Catherine is always available for any of your bitchslapping needs- and with two locations to serve you.
Seriously, I love those damned Brontes. I love reading their books, and I love reading about them, which is pretty close to reading the books. Those people just did not fucking give up under any circumstances! Half the family dies at the get-go, they have no money, Dad's kinda nuts, they can't really hold a job down for any length of time, Emily over there is too shy to leave the house for the most part, and they're gonna die young, but they were fucking brilliant and they kicked everyone's ass in the end. That rumor that Branwell Bronte, the personification of manque, died standing up just to prove he could do it is such a stubborn rumor because it's so appropriate for that whole family. "Yeah, yeah, everybody thought I was gonna be a brilliant and famous artist, but that didn't happen. I got drunk and fucked the boss's wife instead, but hey, look what I can do!" I'm just sorry the rumor isn't true. Well, it probably isn't, anyway. Oh, but that thing about the boss's wife is true and guess what her name was? Mrs. Robinson! Hah!
But speaking of arresting rumors, there is a story about Emily Bronte that has the quality of a rumor, but is actually true. Seems one day she got bitten by a dog that was possibly rabid, so she went into the house and seared the wound with a smoking hot iron to cauterize it. She didn't mention this to anyone until way after the fact.
That's one tough-as-nails bitch. Suck on that, Jane.
And by the way, you're probably wondering what in blazes is going on in that painting I put up there at the top. This is a portrait that Branwell painted of his sisters (Left to right: Anne, Emily, Charlotte) and he originally included himself right there in the middle where that pillar shape is, hence the painting's common name "The Pillar Portrait". But he changed his mind and painted himself out at the last minute. However, the paint he used to erase himself wasn't mixed properly and is slowly turning translucent, so Branwell's ghostly image is becoming clearer and clearer over time. This painting was considered to be lost for a long time- Charlotte's husband folded it up and stuck it on a shelf in a wardrobe where it stayed until it was finally discovered in 1906.
I've talked to you before about those old recipe pamphlets I love to find in thrifts and junk shops, but I thought I'd show you one of my favorites. It also happens to be one of the first ones I ever found! It's from 1936 and it's called Old Gloucester Sea Food Recipes; straight from the desk of Mr. Frank E. Davis, "The Gloucester Fisherman". The first few pages of this little gem are full of desk-pounding prose as old Mr. Davis gets himself all riled up about the early days of his fish canning business. As you can see from the first page I've scanned (above), he was laughed at and dubbed "a crank". By whom? Imaginary elves, I guess. But here's the last page of Mr. Davis's fish business manifesto:
The man is obviously very fierce about his beliefs when it comes to his business practices. I like to imagine this man as a venerable old gentleman with a large white moustache, a bad case of gout, and a blanket over his knees, sitting in a huge well-appointed office with one of those old fashioned glass domed tickertape machines clacking in the corner. I imagine some unfortunate person sitting before him who has unwittingly gotten him going on the story of how he got started and when Mr. Davis first started talking he was fine. A little loud, but fine. Then he started shouting about "those Goddamned corn-fed bastards in Washington" and his face turned purple and he hammered his fist on the table to punctuate his arguments. Then he slowly but deliberately stands and raises a trembling, clenched fist in the air and bellows, "I'm proud to be called a crank!!!"
Anyway, here's the cover, too. It's quite lovely.