Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

March 23, 2006


BBC Jane Eyre 2006

Now has it's own page on the Internet Movie Database. There is nothing there at all- just the title, date, and that it will be produced by the BBC. Nothing new, therefore, but news might break there in the near future. Also, somewhat new, I have a report from Yorkshire than filming began two weeks ago outside of the reporter's village. Correction, there is one bit of news- if the page is to be trusted, Jane Eyre 2006 will be a mini-series.

On a lighter note, I've been thinking how odd it is that we have no interviews with Ruth Wilson yet, but we have two descriptions of Toby Stephens' sideburns, grown especially for Jane Eyre. I wonder if he will merit a write up in Chops Quarterly.

CQ is an internet blog with no posts whatsoever, but a fabulous mandate to celebrate sideburns of all shapes and sizes. Although they haven't been updated much, especially when they were founded in 1854 and there still aren't any posts (well, to be fair, there wasn't an internet then either), I have already learned so much about sideburns! For instance, I always assumed that any long, wooly sideburn was a 'mutton chop' but this is not so! Mutton chop refers to having two long sideburns joined via a moustache.

Charlotte's husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls also had fine chops:



  1. Mutton chops indeed!

    Speaking of Arthur Bell Nichols, I was wondering what other Bronte fans thought of him. Is he generally liked? Is he considered with suspicion?

    I did not like how he insisted (extracting a promise from Ellen Nussey to burn Charlotte’s letters) that women’s epistles must be burnt. I wonder about his desire to become a missionary amidst his feverish obsession of wanting to marry Charlotte..:

    Comment by mysticgypsy — March 25, 2006 @ 9:24 pm |Reply

  2. I remember that when I first read about him in Preface to the Brontes which was required reading for the Bronte seminar, I grew to despise him. I was never suspicious of him, but I felt that he curtailed Charlotte’s freedom to express herself. But it was more of an emotional reaction, I think. His way of destroying things also appalled me.

    Then I read Juliet Barker’s The Brontes. I must say that my feelings have changed. I pity him, perhaps more than I pity Charlotte… I pity him as much, in any case. How he was treated by the media and Mrs.Gaskell after Charlotte’s death seems to justify his earlier behaviour. I believe that he ardently and truely loved Charlotte and for this reason I cannot hate him, as I once did. I still become depressed when I watch their courtship in ‘The Brontes of Haworth’, though. As soon as he arrives, I get a sick feeling.

    I think the missionary desire would make sense as a way of subduing his passion, since he believed it could never be returned. Indeed, I wonder if it ever was. She did come to love him in the end, but I don’t think it was of the kind and degree which he held for her.

    Comment by Brontëana — March 26, 2006 @ 10:31 am |Reply

  3. Hi Bronteana!
    Wasn’t Bell Nichols rather too peevish in “The Brontes of Haworth”? As much I would think it right to sympathize with him….I find it very hard to do so. What do you think of Charlotte’s passion for him? Could she really have entertained such mellow affections for a man and later married him? Perhaps she driven to do so out of sheer loneliness..

    Also, was Anne Bronte the tallest of the Bronte sisters?

    Comment by mysticgypsy — March 27, 2006 @ 8:18 pm |Reply

  4. Peevish? I never noticed his peevishness…

    I don’t believe she ever had a passion for him. He admired him, and I think sympathised with him, but she did make comments before the marriage which make it seem as though she did not love him. I think you are probably right about loneliness playing a part in her decision. She seemed to have felt that she could do worse, and I don’t really think she ever had the prospect of someone being that in love with her. I think that could be a powerful thing, even though it doesn’t make good sense.

    I’m not sure… I think Anne was the tallest and Emily was the most physically attractive, although opinions seem divided on that between Anne and Emily.

    On a somewhat related note, I remember reading about Mr. Nicholls’ passion somewhere. They said that he acted like one of Charlotte’s heroines. I really take exception to that. Her men and women are both capable of such overwhelming emotions- her heroines are not reduced to sobbing and trembling (although Mr Rochester does a little of both- certainly the sobbing if not the trembling).

    Comment by Brontëana — March 27, 2006 @ 11:22 pm |Reply

  5. What do you mean it could be powerful? On whose part? I thought it showed more lack of power…

    You are SO right about Nicholls being like her heroine (and I must admit Rochester can be perceived as whiny)

    Comment by mysticgypsy — March 27, 2006 @ 11:55 pm |Reply

  6. Oops sorry. I misread your post in relation to Nicholls and CB’s heroines >_

    Comment by mysticgypsy — March 28, 2006 @ 12:01 am |Reply

  7. I meant that the thought that someone loved her so deeply would have affected Charlotte in such a way that she might have acted against her better judgement. It seems that she was concerned about whether or not it was right to marry a man one didn’t love, and yet she did so anyway. She at least pitied him at first.

    I think Rochester’s sensitivity is a credit- I really dislike how some adaptations try to toughen him up. To me, a sensitive male character should be free to sob in the same way that female characters should be free to be assertive. As one of my friends put it, it is wrong to make him ‘macho’ and unable to show his emotions. It bothers me to hear people saying that the heroine is the only one who can be so distressed.

    Comment by Brontëana — March 28, 2006 @ 12:06 am |Reply

  8. Now, Jane does sob and cry- but Rochester does as well. I think it is very perceptive that her characters are truly not confined to what was considered typical feminine or masculine behaviour. St.John would be the more ‘typical’ male in the sense that he is unmoved by anyone else’s distress, and even represses his own strong feelings. I re-read a passage the other day where he is quite cruel in ignoring Jane’s sobbing. I don’t think I would call this behaviour peevish- it seems more of a mark of maturity to me, than the opposite. It seems like a way of owning one’s emotions…

    I added your journal at pillars of fire, by the way. I didn’t recieve the comment somehow!

    Comment by Brontëana — March 28, 2006 @ 12:13 am |Reply

  9. Thanks for adding me 🙂

    If one were to moralize CB’s case: ambition leads to loneliness, which leads to fear and fear leads to (imprudent) marriage. (?!) : :

    I scarcely remembered (until you mentioned it) that Jane indeed sobs and cries. Somehow I always remember her as strong and level-headed. Very unlike melodramatic whiny heroines in romances.

    And yes, I do like CB’s challenging stereotypical notions of gender and behavior.

    Comment by mysticgypsy — March 28, 2006 @ 12:31 am |Reply

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