It has taken two weeks but I FINALLY finished The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and this quote about sums up my feelings for it πŸ™ƒ Don’t get me wrong, it’s well written and generally interesting but it could have been about 100 pages shorter and the story would still be intact  (maybe even  better).

Anne Bronte either had a great gift for human observation and depicting emotions and situations not her own, OR she actually lived through some of the stuff she wrote about because this story is incredibly descriptive and a true representation of the good and bad in people. I recommend this book for people who don’t mind having the same person/situation described in twenty different ways, and/or who like strong, kicka** heroines who don’t let dumb men push them around 😏

‘I will lead him by the hand, Mr. Markham, till he has strength to go alone; and I will clear as many stones from his path as I can, and teach him to avoid the rest – or walk firmly over them, as you say; – for when I have done my utmost, in the way of clearance, there will still be plenty left to exercise all the agility, steadiness, and circumspection he will ever have. 

-Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

​Happy Mother’s Day! This is a wonderful quote from my current read, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Moms show us the way until we’re ready to take the world on for ourselves 😊

Finally finished Jane Eyre and now on to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Charlotte’s sister, Anne Bronte! I loveeeddd Jane Eyre and I hope I like the other Bronte books just as well! I had only ever seen the Jane Eyre movie and I can now say that the book is one million times better than the movie. So many details are left out of the movie and you definitely don’t get all the feels between Jane and Mr. Rochester ❀

This beautiful Penguin Clothbound Classic needs no accessories 😊

“​Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off…”

-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
That Burns is certainly one smart cookie! A fictional child is teaching me good lessons about life and letting go πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been able to reach much this week so I’m still in the beginning chapters of Jane Eyre but I am enjoying it! Reading about a 19th century girls’ school certainly makes me grateful to live in this time period!
The gothic vibes are strong in this one and I think this Folio Society illustration by Santiago Caruso perfectly captures the mood and theme.

“Jo’s ambition was to do something very splendid; what it was she had no idea, but left it for time to tell her; and meanwhile, found her greatest affliction in the fact that she couldn’t read, run, and ride as much as she liked” (Little Women, 58).

When we read books, most of us tend to associate ourselves with one of the main characters. It’s just human nature to look for similar qualities in characters we like. When I was younger, I always related most to Jo in Little Women. I hadn’t read Little Women in a long time so I was curious if she would still be my main girl. Well, based off this quote, I’m gonna say yes. I think it’s safe to say a lot of young women want to do something splendid in their lifetime and it’s heartening when there are fictional characters to relate to in regards to that.  It’s also heartening to know that Louisa May Alcott based Jo on herself and Ms. Alcott ended up as one of America’s most beloved authors ❀

*Artwork by Norman Rockwell!

My classic literature journey will continue with the Bronte sisters but I’m taking a quick break to read my favorite, Little Women! This story has everything: family, love, friendship, and valuable life lessons. But best of all, it’s set in New England with all the comfy, New England-y feels 🍎🌳😊🍁. Seriously though, this is a great book for young readers! It’s long enough to be a challenge but it’s entertaining, realistic, and as mentioned above, teaches valuable lessons πŸ™‚

I finished Sense and Sensibility and am very content with the ending. As I mentioned in my previous post,  I wasn’t sure how Austen was going to pull off a happy ending with less than 100 pages to go but, per usual, she managed! I started the book favoring Marianne, but Elinor deserves so much respect. I think I relate more with Marianne which is why I liked her more at first, but Elinor is so calm and reasonable when Marianne is freaking out and you can only admire her good sense. The sisters are a wonderful duo and even when they’re down and hurting, they treat each other well. I think Marianne had the most growing to do and she certainly accomplished it in the end. And Elinor so deserved a happy ending, which she got πŸ™‚
I’m not a fan of some secondary characters, mainly Fanny and John Dashwood who are incredibly rude to the Mrs. Dashwood and the Dashwood sisters. John is their brother yet he is so easily influenced by his wife, Fanny, to ignore their father’s dying wish to leave the Dashwood women some money to live on. John improved a little as the story progressed but he’s still a bit of a prat by the end. Other secondary characters I really liked and felt them to be more genuine than other Austen characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sense and Sensibility. It’s more satirical than Mansfield Park, which I currently feel to be the most sedate of Austen’s works, but also takes a more thoughtful stance on certain aspects of love and human nature.

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” 

-Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility 

I have less than 100 pages left in Sense and Sensibility and, even though I know it has a happy ending, I’m kind of worried about how Austen is going to pull it off…It seems like Marianne and Elinor have so far to go to find happiness but they both deserve it so much! I love the above quote from Marianne because it’s such a progressive thought during that period, even if she meant it in a sillier way. Women’s desires and requirements weren’t taken much into account back then, so much love to Austen for creating girls like Marianne and Elinor who aren’t afraid to stand up and think for themselves πŸ’• Even in today’s more “progressive” world, women still sometimes need the reminder that it’s OK to put yourself first! 
*Illustration by C.E. Brock