2015 - The Year of Brontë

This could be fun, or I could totally fail. There is a YouTuber named Baz Pierce, who decided he would make 2014 the Year of Dickens, and attempt to read all of Charles Dickens’ novels. I thought it was an interesting idea, but I only own two Dickens novels. And I’ve owned Jane Eyre forever without reading it. I’ve read Wuthering Heights when I was like 17 (?). I wasn’t entirely comfortable with classics, and I didn’t enjoy it very much. I will give it the benefit of the doubt though.

I will make 2015 the year of Brontë. I’ll try to read all completed Brontë novels. Charlotte wrote four, Anne wrote two and Emily wrote one. So that’s seven books. I’m not doing any of the novellas or poems I think. Unless I finish them all by June and feel serious Brontë withdrawal.

The real reason I decided to do this is basically that sometimes I get lost in Amazon’s Kindle store. Some of Amazon’s Kindle books are completely free because they’ve been around for so long, and the author’s been dead for a long time, so they’re in the public domain. And when I slide into this weird Amazon vortex I just get a whole bunch of classics. I have weird habits. Anyway. I have all except two. I might have Wuthering Heights. I might have given it away because I’m grumpy and cynical. If I have given it away I think it’s about a dollar on Amazon.

So these are the books I shall attempt reading in 2015

Jane Eyre (1847) – It is about a young woman named Jane Eyre. She’s an orphan and has to live with her aunt and her cousins. Then she’s sent away to a school where people think she’s a devil child. Eventually she becomes a teacher and she takes up a post as a governess at Thornfield. There she meets Mr Rochester, and falls in love with him. And there’s a wife in an attic, I think? I also have the movie with Michael Fassbender, so I should watch that. Because I had a dream about him, so I think we’re meant to be. There’s a good reason for watching a movie.

Shirley (1849) – It’s about two ladies, Caroline Helstone and Shirley Keeldar. I’m hoping for a lesbian romcom, but it seems unlikely. Caroline is sort of trapped in an oppressive atmosphere in Yorkshire. Shirley has inherited an estate and is now freed from convention. I’ve heard it’s not great, but I’ll give it a go.

Villette (1853) – It’s about a young lady named Lucy who flees from England to become a teacher at a French school. She befriends an English doctor and falls for the schoolmaster. I don’t know anything else about it. I’ll find out I guess.

The Professor (1857) – The Professor is about a man, yes, audacious, named William Crimsworth. He’s an orphan, who moves to Brussels. He’s in love with the dominating headmistress of the girl’s school where he teaches, sexy. He’s also having a thing with one of his students, so that sounds… weird. It’ll be interesting for sure.

Agnes Grey (1847) – This is based on Anne’s own life when she was a governess. And that’s basically what it’s about. Agnes is a minister’s daughter, has to reign in impossible children, deal with financial difficulty, and you know wealth and corruption.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) – This is the second of Anne’s novels. It is about Gilbert Markham and Helen Graham. Helen is a beautiful and secretive widow who moved to Wildfell Hall with her child. Markham becomes her friend, but is worried when she turns out to be a bit weird and she becomes the subject of many speculations. It sounds great.

Wuthering Heights (1847) – Emily only wrote one book, and it’s this one. It’s about Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, who was adopted by Catherine’s dad. I remember it as being awful, but I’m going to try again. From what I remember it’s about horrible, awful, unlikeable, arrogant assholes, which I might like more now than I did then.

So this is my plan for 2015, reading of the Brontë ladies, it’ll be great. I’m a nerd.