Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

July 29, 2006

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Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 12:05 am

In Which the Brontesque Returns with a Vengence


In the course of keeping this blog I have come across a huge number of films, books and and ‘other’ which are branded ‘Bronte’ or rather ‘Bronte-like.’ Things have been quiet for some time, but now Brontesque has broken out again. I am a little confused about this pair of Bronte references in a book review for Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners by Y. Euny Hong. The book is described thus:

The trouble with the aristocracy these days is that they just don’t sell as well as celebrities. With only middling beauty and brains, staggering debt, and a marked disdain for reputable employment, Judith “Jude” Lee—a descendent of Korean royalty with an utterly bourgeois fixation on class—is finally forced to turn herself over to a madam so upscale she makes Heidi Fleiss look untouchable.

And now, the Bronte references:

The secret, it turns out, to surviving in a city full of beauties and brains but few graces is a surfeit of sitcom-ready charm. This, for Jude, comes second nature, if not from her royal ancestors then from the ones she name-drops with far greater frequency—Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, and Jane Eyre, and all the rest of those proto-capitalist players. With a flawless ear for hyperliterate one-liners (“Jung’s unchecked early years had made her untamed and feral, like a female Heathcliff”) and a sharp eye for a good deal (the adorable Kasporov double she chooses), Jude overcomes at least two dozen plot-breakers, easy as starving a peasant.

I am just trying to imagine someone who is at once like Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre and Heathcliff… The Amazon.com summary is far more comprehensible.

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5 Comments »

  1. “Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre and Heathcliff

    haha! It is amusing thinking of a combination like Jane Eyre and Heathcliff 😛

    Comment by mysticgypsy — July 29, 2006 @ 10:58 am |Reply

  2. There is a play about Charlotte Bronte in which the Duke of Zamorna climbs into a trunk or a closet, I can’t remember which, and emerges as Jane Eyre. I thought THAT was bizarre enough!

    …I can’t get my mind about a Heathcliffy Jane. Although Virginia Bruce’s Jane Eyre was fearsome sometimes. She really clobbers John Reed (she is also taller than he is, I think, and just pounds him with over-hand punches).

    Would that make St.John Rivers Isabella Linton?

    Comment by Brontëana — July 29, 2006 @ 3:56 pm |Reply

  3. Hmmm….would that character creature be known as Janecliff, of Heatheyre?

    Comment by mandyjoy — July 29, 2006 @ 8:43 pm |Reply

  4. to mandyjoy:

    I rather like the sound of ‘janecliff’ if we make it three syllables: Jane-e-cliff. Reminds me of manticore. The dreaded Janecliff! Terrifying!

    While we’re on thse silly abbreviations, would we call Jane and Edward’s relationship ‘Janeward?’

    Comment by Brontëana — July 29, 2006 @ 10:19 pm |Reply

  5. hmmm…that would make Lucy and M.Paul ‘Pucy’!…and Graham and Polly would be ‘Golly’! he he.

    Comment by mandyjoy — July 30, 2006 @ 8:43 pm |Reply


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