Like Charlotte Bronte? Like underwear? Then see my piece in honour of Miss Bronte's upcoming 200th birthday in this weekend's Globe and Mail. I look at three new books: a biography by Claire Harman, a biography of things by Deborah Lutz, and a Jane Eyre-inspired story collection edited by Tracy Chevalier. They're all proof that the past spits out new things all the time.
I had a good time with this article and the associated reading. Like so many others, I've always wanted to understand Bronte's life and work better. I've made the pilgrimage to the parsonage in Haworth; it was a rainy autumn day, and I had the place almost to myself. It made me think about the way we conjure up the dead and try to feel their presence, as I had to do with Dan in All True, without the benefit of seeing anywhere he once lived.
Lucasta Miller, another great Bronte scholar, once noted that nobody has yet written the great Charlotte novel. She's got me thinking, probably hubristically. I remain on the eighteenth-century American frontier for now, though.
I'm the author of My Name is a Knife, All True Not a Lie In It, and The Old Familiar.