Welcome back to Novel Ideas for a classically oriented episode. This week we’re featuring Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a Romantic romantic proto-feminist semi-gothic coming of age story about finding one’s place in the world. I believe that even to this day, this book remains the best known work in that genre. In this episode, we discuss the elements of that genre, as well as mental illness, feminism, religion vs. morality, sexual mores, and the search for love. We also discuss several types of Janes, St. John the vampire hunter, and why people live in environments guaranteed to kill them.
The music bump is “Jane” by Ben Folds, after the title character of this book, who is also arguably the protagonist.
This week, we dispel the myth that Pride and Prejudice is chick lit and explain the humor behind it. Characters are judged based on their manners and on their actions. We pridefully assign labels to the cast, including, but not limited to: troll, twerp, idiot, buffoon, and shitbird. As far as you know, all of those words are taken directly from the text of the book. Could it be that you are being deceived on that last point? Listen to the podcast and find out.
This week’s music bump is Mozart’s Sonata No. 17 in B-flat, mvt III. It was chosen for period appropriateness (even if slightly less contemporary than Beethoven) and because every accomplished young lady is able to play the pianoforte.