Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Links

I've been a little schizophrenic about historical eras recently. It's bound to happen when you're two-thirds of the way through writing two different books, each set in a different historical era. Middle Ages vs. British Regency, pieces of plate armor vs. high-waisted ball gowns, Crusader castles vs. country manors.

The articles I found interesting this week draw from both eras. E. M. Powell answered some questions about her work in progress--a sequel to her book The Fifth Knight about my college crush, Thomas Becket. Currently, The Fifth Knight is being released in serial format--I'm waiting till the whole things comes out in one volume before I get it.

Another article that caught my attention was a comparison between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester. I'm always been a big Austen fan, and although I enjoy the story of Jane Eyre, I confess Charlotte Bronte's hero has never held much appeal for me. This post helped me to understand why I felt that way.

Mr. Darcy smolders with repressed feelings; Mr. Rochester, by contrast, never seems to hold anything back. Early conversations with Jane Eyre are full of disclosures that seem highly inappropriate, like the history of his mistresses. This would definitely set off alarm bells in a Jane Austen novel; Jane Eyre takes the sordid revelations with an odd calm. 
It’s really hard (though well worth the effort) to imagine Mr. Darcy dressing up as female gypsy to deceive his own houseguests — definitely the craziest moment in a novel bursting with them. 
But Mr. Rochester crosses a line, does something that Mr. Darcy would never do, when he seeks to marry Jane Eyre deceptively. Whatever his justifications, this is clearly not acceptable, something Jane Eyre realizes too. Mr. Darcy, on the other hand, at the moment when the chips are down (when Mr. Wickham, whom he hates, elopes with Lydia Bennet) acts with remarkable decision and unselfishness, putting himself to a great deal of trouble on the remote chance that this might eventually cause Elizabeth to change her mind and marry him. He uses his wealth and power for good, something Mr. Rochester cannot really claim.

I already shared the previous link on my author page on Facebook, and a reader directed me to a fabulous comic "Dude Watchin' with the Brontes." (Warning: some coarse language) If you've ever read the Bronte sisters' books, you will die laughing....

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