Monthly Archives: December 2019

The Forgotten Sister: Anne Brontë

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose.”—Anne Brontë

The other Brontë. The forgotten Brontë. The quiet, religious, boring younger Brontë sister. Such are the descriptions used regarding Anne Brontë, the baby sister of Charlotte and Emily, the queens of Gothic romance. For decades, Anne was a footnote in her sister’s lives, rarely mentioned and never appreciated for her genius until recently. Despite early attempts by Charlotte to stifle its popularity, we now hail her second novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as one of the first feminist novels. However, Anne published an earlier novel called Agnes Grey. It is the tale of a poor, plain governess who finds love and fulfills her dreams. She wrote it before her sister wrote Jane Eyre. It closely paralleled Anne’s experiences, except it has a happy ending.

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Sherlock Holmes: The Shadow in the Window

As thin shadows swayed across my window blind, my fingers clutched the book to my chest. My throat muscles convulsed, and the blood trapped in my veins by the shock suddenly thundered on, rushing heat through my body.

It was him… the creeping man.

This was my first identifiable memory as a Sherlock Holmes fan.

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The House that Wharton Built

An individual’s preferences in entertainment, be it films, television, books, or music, are obviously deeply personal and varied. Everyone brings unique experiences to bear on how they receive a particular story. There are also times when a book or film can come along and capture you even though one or more elements of it are not what typically pleases you the most. Such was my experience with The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Despite a lead character who differs greatly from me and its tragic ending, The House of Mirth still impressed me as an excellent, impactful narrative.

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Persistence and Patience: Jane Austen’s Persuasion

When I was seventeen, my parents gave me a set of four Jane Austen paperbacks in a little slipcover case for my birthday or Christmas, I forget which. Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion. I’d seen movie versions of the first three by then, but not of Persuasion. I read the other three first I think—it’s a hard to remember, twenty years later. Persuasion was the only one of Austen’s books my mom hadn’t read before, so she couldn’t tell me much about it either. I had to go into it not knowing anything but the blurb on the back cover.

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The Motifs of Pan’s Labyrinth

Previously, I’ve written articles about another of del Toro’s films, The Shape of Water, and touched on his adaptations of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy series. But I’ve never written about my favorite Guillermo del Toro story, Pan’s Labyrinth. I believe it’s the perfect combination of del Toro’s stylistic and literary motifs. Massively inspired by fairy tales and myths, Pan’s Labyrinth follows the story of Ofelia, a girl who moves to a remote military outpost with her pregnant mother to join her new army captain stepfather. Soon after her arrival, Ofelia discovers a secret about herself and so begins her adventure.

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