Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

March 3, 2006

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Filed under: Books,Fan Fiction,Jane Eyre,Wuthering Heights — by bronteana @ 12:56 am

Brontës make Happiest and Most Depressing List

In a previous post we discussed Jane Eyre making the list for books adults should read before they die. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have also made another sort of World Book Day list- most happiest and most depressing ending lists!

Pride and Prejudice was voted the happiest ending in literature, followed by To Kill a Mockingbird and Jane Eyre.

Only one in fifty readers, it seems, likes to be left tearful at the last page, so the survey also asked which unhappy endings readers would most like to change: Tess of the D’Urbervilles was a clear winner, with readers demanding clemency more than a century after Thomas Hardy sent his tragic heroine to her death. It was also felt that the endings of Wuthering Heights, 1984 and Gone with the Wind were all too depressing, and should be perked up.

The snarky columnist decides to try their hand at refashioning the ending to Jane Eyre, to see how it might be made a little darker:

And since we are making unhappy endings cheerier, for the gloomy 2 per cent there are ways of rendering happy endings a little darker, starting with Jane Eyre: The original “My Edward and I, then, are happy” needs another clause “. . . or we would be, if that bloody Bertha hadn’t found the fire escape.”

The columnist also goes on to note the boom in fan fiction.

The Fanfic.net website has more than 200,000 Harry Potter stories that J. K. Rowling never wrote.

It also contains half a dozen Brontë 'fics'. They don't deserve a category, which is accorded to Jane Austen, and Mindsweeper… yes, the computer game where you click those little boxes and sometimes kill a smiley face. Several of the best stories on the Brontë novels had been 'boojumed' to use a term from Jasper Fforde, because they violated regulations on the use of colons and other punctuation. These were mostly hilarious works, such as a parody in which we find that Mr Rochester has Brittney Spears living in his attic. Another asks the question, what if Jane had gone to India?

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