A Deeper Brontë

booksYears ago I rented a video entitled The Wide Sargasso Sea. Frankly it didn’t make sense, like I’d actually started the movie in the middle rather than the beginning. The story in a nutshell…a man gets tricked into marrying a woman on the edge of madness. The madness came from her mother, and both father and brother were well aware of the signs, yet foisted her off on this poor starry-eyed young man of means. The poor sucker was Edward Rochester and the mad wife was named Bertha. The whole time I’m watching this perplexing movie, an unformed thought is tugging away at my brain. It was one of those  wake-you-in-the-middle-of-the-night thoughts. Some days later, it did just that. The Wide Sargasso Sea was the back-story to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I knew that story well. It was the first romance I’d ever read at at age 13.

1Author Jean Rhys wrote that prequel-style novel The Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966. (The book was much better than the movie). I remember reading a quote by the author saying something about the mad Bertha Rochester being Charlotte Brontë’s symbolic reference for the hidden rage of women. No kidding. The second-class citizen world of Charlotte Brontë was little better for women than Jane Austen’s world twenty-five years before. Very few rights. It would have enraged me too, though being a redhead I might have been more vocal rather than simply tucking it inside an allegory. My husband would tell you that’s a true statement. I plead the fifth.  😉

For the next several days, I’ll look into symbolism in literature. Tomorrow, I’ll start with allegory, or the representation of abstract ideas or principles where characters and events  symbolize the deeper moral or spiritual meanings of human life. Good stuff! 😀


Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 84 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Amarulence (noun that appeared 1731-1755)

bitterness; spite

4 Us iconToday is guest author Adele Downs

All through January the RB4U authors are doing interviews. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!

Right now the COLD SNOW, HOT ROMANCE CONTEST is on! Three winners will each receive a $25 gift card for Amazon/Barnes & Noble, and split the other prizes randomly picked from prize list. Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/


b1e43-eqpicToday on The Genesis of a Book: Kate Deveaux is sharing the spark behind Sail Away with Me.

Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.

EQ-RR.banner Today’s guest author: Paloma Beck
A new place for your old stars to shine 😀


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Sample my love stories for free!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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10 Responses to A Deeper Brontë

  1. melissakeir says:

    Yea! More interesting tidbits. 🙂

  2. Good post, Rose. I read A wide Sargasso Sea quite recently and find it thought provoking and hugely sad.
    I haven’t seen the film.
    I have red hair.
    Anne Stenhouse

    • A fellow redhead! You must know the outrage of which I speak! I agree, the story was sad. Even if Jean Rhys’ was a fraction of where Emily Bronte’s mind was when she wrote it, it’s easy to see why Edward Rochester was such a misanthrope.

  3. rosgemmell says:

    Jane Eyre is still one my all time favourite books. I’ve never watched that prequel, although I know all about the book. I studied literature and am particularly interested in women’s history – have even written an essay about women through history. We’ve always had a bad deal!

    • Isn’t that the truth! I think going over Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and the Bronte sister’s work with a fine-toothed comb would show many examples of symbolic outrage at the boundaries those clever minds had forced upon them by occasion of their sex.

  4. I loved Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, and it made a deep impression on me as a teenager. I thought it was original and moving. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  5. It’s good to know I’m not the only outspoken redhead~perhaps it goes with the hair color?

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