charlotte bronte

Rest in Peace, Charlotte

157 years ago today, Charlotte Brontë died in an agony of nausea thought to be caused by hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.

During the course of her short life (she died at 39), she was a teacher, governess, and author. She was a not-so-patient daughter, a discontented lover, and a rebellious sister. Though surrounded by Gothic myths and legends since the publication of Jane Eyre, she was surprisingly fun-loving, wry, and witty.

A moment of silence for Charlotte, who has saved, changed, challenged so many of our lives. This year, for the first time, her date of death

A New Day

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

It’s that time of the year.  The time when your impossibly put-together friends announce that they are going to accomplish a Huge Goal in 2011 and then proceed to do so with a minimum of stress, pain, or evident strife.  I usually fall on the other side of the spectrum, looking toward goals but nervous about announcing them, doing what I can and lamenting what I can’t and somehow accomplishing a bunch

The Littlest Heroines

Little Laura Jernegan, a girl who traveled the world on a whale ship during the 1860s, made quite the splash on the Internet yesterday (thanks, Wendy McClure, for passing on the link).  Her journal, written when she was six years old, records her thoughts on various animals, the smells of whaling, her fearsome penmanship, and not knowing what’s for supper.  The overall impression is one of a feisty, feckless girl, a real-life heroine living out an adventure right out of a novel.

To wit:

I am in Honolulu. it is a real pretty place. Mama is making a