20 November 2010



I often thought it-
now I know

you are what you read.

The refreshing meal, the brilliant fire, the presence and kindness of her beloved instructress, or, perhaps, more than all these, something in her own unique mind, had roused her powers within her...

I am moody. 
Brooding even.

"Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt? May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips; for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love"

I am reading an enthralling book Jude Morgan's
the Taste of Sorrow

while reading, again-  

"My bride is here... because my equal is here, and my likeness"

Jane Eyre

What crime was this that lived incarnate in this sequestered mansion, and could neither be expelled nor subdued by the owner?—what mystery, that broke out now in fire and now in blood, at the deadest hours of night? What creature was it, that, masked in an ordinary woman’s face and shape, uttered the voice, now of a mocking demon, and anon of a carrion-seeking bird of prey?

Now you know.
I am shades of Grey.


& all muffled sighs.

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; 
I am a free human being with an independent will."

Jude Morgan's book is the story of the Brontes. Oldest living sister Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre-her own experience at  a charitable boarding school at Cowan's Bridge- mirrored the harsh Lowood School of Jane Eyre. While boarding with three of her sisters, her moorings away from home- sisters Maria and Elizabeth- died. Her emotionally remote  father found the charity of Cowan's Bridge too costly with the loss of his two oldest children and took Charlotte and a younger Emily home. So began the secretive, the foreign world ,the haunting language of all the Bronte children. From it came the novels.

Hilary Mantel writes 'as soon as I saw a Jude Morgan book I tossed aside the twenty other books I should have got to, and sat down to read it... completely involving, absorbing. Jude Morgan-  on writing the Taste of Sorrow. It was precisely that question of the familiarity of the Brontes’ lives that posed the challenge in writing a novel about them. Part of the answer was perhaps to go back to sources, try to forget what I knew (or thought I knew) about them and study their lives as if it was an entirely new experience – above all, trying to clear away the legend and myth that has grown up about them. My own conviction about the Brontes was that they were not these fey ‘children of the moors’ who somehow happened to write great novels. They were very driven, very conscious as artists. In terms of narrative style I wanted above all not to try and reproduce a nineteenth-century style – you can’t compete with the Brontes! – but to give a contemporary feel without any anachronism. And above all to strive for empathy, to subsume yourself as a writer in the consciousness of these living characters.

 Don't hesitate to read the Taste of Sorrow, 

prepare for a mood swing.

"I resisted all the way: a new thing for me."

It may be the winter of our discontent.

"A Christmas frost had come at midsummer; a white December storm had whirled over June; ice glazed the ripe apples, drifts crushed the blowing roses; on hayfield and cornfield lay a frozen shroud: lanes which last night blushed full of flowers, to-day were pathless with untrodden snow; and the woods, which twelve hours since waved leafy and flagrant as groves between the tropics, now spread, waste, wild, and white as pine-forests in wintry Norway."

"I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly."

 I am planning to read them all-

the novels of the Bronte Sisters, Charlotte, Emily & Anne
originally published under the names Currer, Acton, & Ellis Bell


 "There was a reviving pleasure in this intercourse, of a kind now tasted by me for the first time—the pleasure arising from perfect congeniality of tastes, sentiments, and principles."



all photographs are by PAOLO ROVERSI

all quotes from Jane Eyre



  1. My book buying budget is fast whittling down. The problem is, I want way too many books. I will have to wait for Christmas for The Taste of Sorrow, but thank you so much for the review. I'm looking forward to it. P.G.T., you have indeed created the perfect Bronte mood with these gorgeous Paolo Roversi images! Especially the first photo, oh my.


  2. Fantastic pictures- nice and gloomy and autumnal.- and I will try to get the Jude Morgan book- thanks for pointing it out!! You will love the Bronte books, I have read and re-read all of them, it's spooky, haunting, compelling and out of this world.They are one heck of a family!!!Maybe had miserable lives but wrote fantastic books !!!
    Have a great weekend !

  3. I read many of these in college. Sounds like it is time for a marathon family reunion. Thanks for the heads up on the Jude Morgan book. There is something so positively optimistic about purchasing a new bookcase. Can't wait to start anew!

  4. that was absolutely lovely. How ever did you get all those quotes together and all the ones I loved.. especially the string from his ribs etc I don't know many times I have just picked up that book and read at random.thanks .Dorothy

  5. Delicious, m'dear.

  6. The thought of a long winter ahead suddenly seems very appealing.

  7. When I saw that A Taste of Sorrow was a book about the Bronte's, I gasped! I have been immersing myself in the Bronte family these last two months and have felt the same glorious gloom and sadness settle in and all around me, especially while reading "The Bronte's" by Rebecca Fraser...I felt part of the family during that read and couldn't wait until it was time to 'hang out with them' each evening, even though I knew what was to come. I'm reading Shirley at the moment...I absolutely love it. So much of Charlotte's personal and painful experiences are written into that story, it's quite sad sometimes reading it because you know the characters are going through what she and her family went through.

    I'm thrilled to have another book to read that will allow me more time with them...thank you so much for this amazing and timely post. I was very close to doing a similar one not that long ago but was in such a sad mood I chose not to, now I'm so extremely happy that you did.
    xo Jessica~

    btw- If you haven't already seen these sites...haworth-village.org gives you a wonderful peek into the Bronte home, Haworth Parsonage, as does bbc.co.uk in the bradford/yorkshire section (360* views).

  8. Ah yes, one does adore the Brontes -- so moody and emotional. Jane Eyre is surely the best of the lot. And these photos are delightful. They remind me of ones of the ladies of Hamilton House in Berwick Maine. Reggie

  9. Lovely photos - and I think I'll have to read it!



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