Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So I'm re-reading Jane Eyre

And there is always something new to discover in good books isn't there? It hasn't been that long ago since I read Bryson's At Home,  and there he writes about how dark life was before electricity. Literally. Whole big rooms lit only by a fire,  a passage from someone's letter or journal describing a dining room dazzlingly illuminated by four candles. For some reason, now, I'm seeing this all through Jane Eyre. So many winter evenings spent in the dark indoors with only firelight. Getting dressed with only the last rays of moonlight to see the buttons by. It's so very specifically described: the school rooms at Lowood with long tables crammed full of girls of all ages, lit by a pair of candles per table. That scene where she meets Mr Rochester at the stile - it's almost dark then; my memory has been fooled by films I think into remembering it as daylight. When Jane returns to Thornfield she goes into Mrs Fairfax's room and sees Pilot by the light of only the fire. Everything so shadowy, always. She needs a candle, and rings for the servant. A candle. To walk upstairs with and change by.

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