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Brontë Pictures and listening to Jane Eyre

The people we bought the house off had left behind an empty photo frame. Possibly because it was a bit wonky. I finally found a use for it, the other day! 🙂 When the Squeeze and I went to London in mid-March, we popped in to the National Portrait Gallery (I insisted, because I really wanted to see the Brontë portraits in real life). You weren’t allowed to take pictures there (boo!), so I had to settle for getting some postcards instead, and the frame came in really useful now – so, from the top: Charlotte Brontë (by George Richmond), Emily Brontë (by Branwell Brontë), the Brontë sisters (also by Branwell), and a self-portrait of Jane Austen. All except the Richmond one were on display at the museum. Maybe that one was as well but we didn’t see it. So there you have it, my collection of inspirational female authors! 🙂

Now I just have to figure out where to put it… haha.

While trying to find out who had painted the picture of Charlotte Brontë, I came across this picture on Wikipedia:

It’s a photo! Of Charlotte Brontë! Not just a drawing or a painting, an actual photo! This is what she looked like!

She looks plain… yet at the same time, quite pretty. She’s larger than I thought she’d be – that’s a properly thick neck! Robust, that’s a good way of putting it. Dreamy, that’s another. – And with dreamy I mean it as in she looks like she’s thoughtful and daydreaming.

Just a bit awe-struck at finding an actual photo of her. So rare, and so unexpected. 🙂

Earlier in the week, while listening to one of those Jane Eyre radio adaptations, I had the idea to rip the audio from some DVDs and listen to them as MP3s. Took a while to find a program to do it – and the one I found is on a 30-day trial, so I have to try and get as many in during that time as I can! So far, I’ve done, umm, Jane Eyre? 2006, 1997 and 1973 and as yet, half of 1983. It’s a good listen! I’ve been listening to things all day, second half of ’06, all of ’97, first half of ’73 and the last half of the radio adaptation from ’91. There’s so many more nuances when you listen to it without the pictures. ’06 is very visual, so it doesn’t work as well with just the audio, but the soundtrack is amazing! ’97 – Rochester’s way too angry and yes, Jane sounds rather wooden a lot of the time. The best one must be ’73. It’s very “talky” anyway, so that really works, and without the pictures, you won’t have to see the prolonged close-ups with voiceovers that don’t work when you watch it.

The only downside of spending all day with two very passionate people declaring their intense love for one another in your ears is that you get slightly uncommunicative. At least on any other topic than Jane Eyre… and your work colleagues and husband aren’t as interested in discussing Rochester’s despair and desperation (when losing Jane after the interrupted marriage) as you are. :/

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) where she lives with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted on the way.

9 thoughts on “Brontë Pictures and listening to Jane Eyre

  1. Do you know if there are any modern adaptations of Jane Eyre? I guess it’s unlikely, not too many governesses hanging around mansions lately, eh?
    Great photo btw!

  2. Very cool photo!

    Your mp3 project reminded me of what I used to do as a kid – I’d set my old tape recorder next to the TV and “rip” audio from my favorite movies to cassette to listen to before going to sleep or on road trips. So much easier to do nowadays, LOL!

  3. phylly3: All the ones I’ve seen are spin-offs, like sequels and “from another perspective”. There are some “inspired by” ones, like de Maurier’s “Rebecca” but an actual modern-day re-telling? Aside from the one in my head I’m almost falling over myself for wanting to write down… not as far as I know.

    I’ve actually been pondering today if I’d prefer to write a modern JE that’s either JE “if it was set today” (i.e. take names, places, events and everything and lift it into a modern day setting) or a derivative of the book with different characters, different places, slightly different events and that sort of thing (although I’m currently struggling with trying to come up with a reason for them not to be able to marry, i.e. an alternative to the whole bigamy because of a mad wife thing… but that’s where I fail right now. My hubby had some ideas, but he’s not really familiar with the original so his ideas were perhaps not quite fit for purpose, as such. :/ I started writing a scene as part of a course assignment in Creative Writing, and we’re writing a new part every couple of weeks or so and the final bit is to put the pieces together, but I can post it once that’s done and see what you think (and anyone else who reads it). 🙂 Nice to get some feedback!

    Ruth: I totally did that too! 😀 Small world! I agree, it’s much easier today. A lot better sound quality too. 🙂

  4. Maybe you could modernize it without making it current day. What do you think about, oh…I don’t know…the Jazz Age? Sometime in the 1920’s or maybe even during WWII? I’ve actually been thinking about it myself, but I’m not confident enough in my skills as a writer to really get serious about it.

    I know exactly what you mean about being ‘slightly uncommunicative’! My Fiancé is definitely NOT into Bronte or Austen as I am, so I’m glad I at least have you guys in the blogosphere to chat with!

    And I think your frame is lovely!

  5. Bee: Not familiar with the 1920s at all, so I don’t think it would work. WW2 would be interesting, but I think modern day would be more fun for now. Less research to be done, if nowt else. *cough* The scene I wrote for class is the one where they first meet, in Hay Lane. Mesrour is a black motorcycle. :B

    I think there’s a derivative set in the 1950s, and a book about Grace Poole and Céline and stuff goes into the 1900s (specifically Adèle’s old age).

  6. It is not exactly a proper comment,this does not mean I didn’t enjoy your post… but since I got no answer … did you get any message from me in your mail box?
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Interesting! I forgot about Rebecca! I haven’t read the book, but I saw the movie many moons ago. I’ll have to revisit that.
    You should definitely write an adaptation, once you’ve figured out the plot kinks! I think nobody must know this novel better than you!
    Thanks for your reply!

  8. The only one I can see is a message through Podbean from a few hours ago… is that the one? I couldn’t remember my Podbean password so couldn’t log in to approve the comment. Also couldn’t remember which email I had used, although I just realised which one and have finally managed to get in. 🙂 As your email address is there, I’ll respond by email.

  9. I found a “Rebecca” DVD in a charity shop a couple of months ago or so, but I’ve yet to see it. 🙂

    I’m sure there are a bunch of people who are way more nerdy when it comes to JE than I am, but thanks! 🙂 (It was a compliment, right? 😉 Haha!)

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