Bookish Discussions

Shock, Horror: I’m Talking about the Brontës Again…


I just finished watching To Walk Invisible for probably the thousandth time and I’ve come away that That Feeling again. You know, that overwhelming feeling of love for the Brontë family. They have meant so much for me, for literally the longest time, and that biopic somehow always makes that connection stronger. To Walk Invisible is a biographical film of the family, specifically looking at Branwell’s downfall and the sister’s emergence into the literary world. Sally Wainwright, the director and writer, managed to do such a brilliant job at capturing this moment in time.

Branwell and his undoing is reproduced so beautifully. The biopic tends to divide people: they either come away feeling an immense amount of sympathy for him, or they come away loathing him. I’m one of the former. I think Wainwright does such a good job at humanising Branwell, and capturing all the demons that tormented him. He was such a skilled artist, but there was so much pressure on him to succeed, that he inevitably failed to live up to those expectations. He was young. He made mistakes, was mislead, got with the wrong crowd type-of-thing, but he was also human. Humans make mistakes.

Continue reading “Shock, Horror: I’m Talking about the Brontës Again…”

Bookish Discussions

Favourite Victorian Poems:


Instead of recommending you more Victorian novels (see here), I thought I’d pay tribute to a form of literature that I tend to neglect: poetry. It’s not that I don’t like poetry, it’s just not my favourite thing to read. I’d rather read a thousand page realist novel than a few stanzas of poetry – that’s just the way it is. But, amongst the few Victorian poems that I have read, I’ve managed to find a couple that really resonate with me, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Before I get into that, though, I want to pay homage to the Dover Thrift Edition of English Victorian Poetry: An Anthology edited by Paul Negri. This is a brilliant collection of the most celebrated poems and poets of the century. Inside, you’ll find the likes of Emily Brontë, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde and Christina Rosetti, to name but a few. It’s what introduced me to Victorian poetry, and so I want to recommend it to you.

Anyway, let’s get into it… Continue reading “Favourite Victorian Poems:”

Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Charlotte Brontë’s Stancliffe Hotel:


Rating: 2 stars | Read: 28 August – 29 August, 2018

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were prolific writers in their childhood, constantly writing plays, poetry and novelettes set in their imaginary worlds of Angria, Glass Town and Gondal. Charlotte was twenty-two when she wrote ‘Stancliffe Hotel’, meaning this is one of her later pieces. With lively irony, she depicts the exploits and intrigues of the decadent inhabitants of Angria, at the centre of which is the power struggle between the Duke of Northangerland and his Byronic son-in-law Zamorna.

I must admit, I didn’t enjoy this that much. The Angrian stories don’t tend to interest me in all fairness. I’m not a fan of narratives of war and politics, which is what their juvenilia is primarily made up of. I do, however, appreciate how different this is to Charlotte’s later work. There’s such a jump between Jane Eyre and Shirley to her juvenilia. It’s kind of crazy to think she wrote both of them. I definitely think her age played into this; she had free reign to explore these things in her youth, whereas her later work had to tailor to a specific standard. It’s nice to see that she covers a range of topics.

Continue reading “Charlotte Brontë’s Stancliffe Hotel:”