Austen v. Bronte

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Recently, I’ve been reading some good classic literature, and I’ve noticed something about Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I really enjoy reading Jane Austen; she writes in a light-hearted, satirical style that makes me laugh, even as I enjoy the love story and fun customs of Victorian England. But, when I read the Bronte sisters, while I am sucked in and fascinated by their morbid world of pain and spectres, I don’t even like the book. I am compelled to finish it, as quickly as possible, but I’m left feeling black and blue, and hoping that things don’t really happen as awefully in real life as they do in their books. What was the difference between these women? Their lives overlapped, with Austen being older. The Brontes were daughters of a minister, Jane’s father was a rector. The sisters and Austen both experienced loss and death in the family. So why are Austen’s books fun and sweet and pretty, and the Bronte’s are dark and morbid and full of pain?

Just for clarification: I like Jane Austen’s books WAY more than the Bronte’s. I want the things I read to be enjoyable, not depressing.

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About Rachel

Most importantly, I am saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is more than enough to satisfy my heart. In His abundant goodness, I am also delighted to be a wife and mama. I work at home and enjoy spending most of my time caring for my husband, 2 sons and new daughter. I also try to squeeze in some creativity, coffee, chocolate, and good books.

3 responses »

  1. Whew… as far as I go, if I’m going to devote the time to reading fiction… it’s definitely got to be sweet and fun and pretty 🙂 I love that description of Austen! And so witty too…

  2. i empathize! i loved reading austen for a long time, until i picked up jane eyre again after 10 years (first time i read it was in high school…it was the only book i finished before schedule). i was immediately sucked into ms eyre’s world and remained there for days after finishing the book. then i tried to go back to austen (in particular, emma) and had a hard time finishing it. i found it so boring! i’m sure it’s quite a good book, but one should definitely not read it after the brontes. beware!

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