Saturday, 3 November 2012

My Life in Books


I was very flattered to be asked by Simon at Stuck in a Book to take part in My Life in Books, it's such a lovely idea and I've so enjoyed reading the responses in the first two series. I had great fun doing it and trying to guess what sort of reader my fellow participant, Laura, is. Our answers are here.

I was struck by how often Jane Eyre comes up in the answers to Simon's question about first "grown-up" books - I'd wondered whether to include it myself. I then went off into a long mental ramble about whether we divide into two groups: those who'd chose JE and those who'd pick Wuthering Heights. It seems to be one of those genuine either/or questions, and I've met relatively few people who adored both, with the Eyre-ites loathing WH and the Heightists heaping scorn on the Jane lovers. I thought about it again as I irritably turned off a radio dramatisation on WH at 4-ish this morning, so I thought I'd mention in here...

11 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for taking part! You're one of the blogs I've been reading for almost all the time I've been blogging, so it was lovely to have you in this series.

    And I am afraid I'm secret option three - Agnes Grey! I do like Jane Eyre, but not as much - and (to make things more complicated) I think Wuthering Heights is the best Bronte novel, but I hate it. It's so filled with evil in the characters that I cannot cope with it - but it's brilliantly done.

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    1. Aha! I hadn't considered Option 3. I liked Agnes Gray very much but I haven't read it since I was in my teens - must try it again. I remember preferring it to JE then though. I've only got through WH with my teeth gritted, so I couldn't judge it on literary merit :-)

      Thank you for asking me, it was great fun. Shall look forward to reading the next series.

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  2. How lovely to be asked to do this. I thoroughly enjoyed your answers, particularly the football book!

    It would be Jane Eyre for me, though I didn't hate Wuthering Heights either. I would happily reread JE now but probably not WH.

    I think it's time I tried Angela Thirkell. Suspect I'm missing something special.

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    1. If you do try Thirkell start with one of the early ones like Wild Strawberries or High Rising, both of which will be republished by Virago Modern Classics on 22 November (which makes me very happy). Ot try her lovely memoir, Three Houses, which Allison and Busby have just published (in Kindle too). It will be serialised on Radio 4 the week before Christmas, I understand.

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  3. I chose Jane Eyre as my first 'grown up' book, but it could just as easily been Wuthering Heights. I've re-read WH several times, but have not gone back to Jane Eyre - I'm thinking of doing so soon, but I'm a bit bothered that I wouldn't like it as much now.

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    1. I'd love to know what you think of Jane Eyre if you do go back, Margaret.

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  4. I enjoyed reading your choices.

    On the Jane Eyre debate, I can't add to what I wrote here. Gulp, I see that was nearly four years ago. Where does the time go?

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    1. I'd forgotten that Simon had already raised the question - where, indeed? Your argument is really quite compelling, perhaps I'd better do a re-read myself. Of Jane, that it, I'm not going near the other, not for anyone.

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  5. Hmmm, I'm simple and predictable -- love Jane Eyre, can't stand WH despite its clever construction & writing. Hate the story!!

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    1. The funny thing is, Melwyk, that I wanted to like it. It was recommended to me with "you should like it, there's a ghost in it" and that bit did absolutely chill me (I was much too young) but I hate all the characters.

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  6. I liked both - however it's a case of loving Jane Eyre and appreciating the writing of Wuthering Heights (don't like the story, or rather, don't like the characters).

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