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IMG_0380So, in order to take part in the Cornflower Book Group for April 2015 I committed myself to reading Jane Eyre, an undoubted classic by Charlotte Bronte which I had never read before. I had about 10 weeks to read it, and I dragged my feet dreadfully, partly for good reasons and partly because, as I admitted to myself earlier this weekend, I just didn’t want to.

So, it is officially abandoned after only 4 chapters.

I was very happy to make that decision but I started to wonder why this was, and I have come up with what appears to be a slightly uncomfortable truth – women’s writing from the 19th century *whispers* just doesn’t appeal.

Now I don’t mean all women – I’ve read and enjoyed the two other Bronte sisters, and I’ve read Charlotte Perkins Gilman and if we throw in children’s books then Louisa May Alcott and Susan Coolidge spring to mind as great favourites. And I don’t think it’s an aversion to pre-20th century works – I’ve read Dickens & Collins, Tolstoy & Trollope, amongst others. It’s just….

Well I’m not sure what it just is, but I have a confession to make; more than one actually:

  • I just wanted to slap Jane Eyre, and I have tried and failed to get very far with Villette or Shirley (sorry Charlotte, but you’re a bit of a prig)
  • I have tried really hard with Jane Austen, but the only one of her novels I came close to liking was Northanger Abbey, and I’ve only ever managed to finish Emma and Mansfield Park, and both were a bit of a struggle. I just don’t like Austen and I get puzzled by the adoration she receives
  • I abandoned both Ruth and Cranford very early on so that’s it for Mrs Gaskell
  • I have tried to read Middlemarch twice and failed both times, ditto The Mill on the Floss (sorry George Eliot); Middlemarch is the one I’m most disappointed with myself for not finishing

I’m not sure it evens things out, but I have never got on with Thomas Hardy either.

So, I’m going to admit that when it comes to the classics I have a bit of a blind spot, and I’ll just have to learn to live with the shame 🙂

823763Sigh. I have had two attempts at reading this book, once last year in hardback as part of the Long Awaited Reads Challenge and then again last year (running into this one) when my friend MargaRita give me a copy of the paperback as a gift. But for some reason I just cannot get into it at all, and as reported in last week’s Sunday Salon post I have finally thrown in the towel (and as a fan of H2G2, I am a hoopy frood who always knows where my towel is, even if only for the purpose of throwing it in) and just stopped.

I don’t normally have a problem setting aside books I’m not enjoying; life is too short and there are far too many books in the world to persevere with those that you aren’t enjoying, but for some reason I feel quite bad about this one. On the surface I really should enjoy it – historical fiction with integrated logical magic – but although I was quite happy while I was actually reading it, when I put it down I had no desire to pick it up again. So sadly, having got to page 148 with no appearance from Jonathan Strange, I have retired from the field.

I am still quite keen to see the TV series when the BBC broadcasts it in the spring, and who knows I may make another attempt at some point, but for now enough is enough *sad face*

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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