Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Charlotte Brontë Story Will be Published Online

A long-forgotten short story by Charlotte Brontë has resurfaced and will be published online tomorrow.

“L’Ingratitude” was written in “erratic French” as a homework assignment for a man who tutored the sisters while they were in Brussels. From The Guardian:
The fable-like story is dated 16 March 1842 and is about a thoughtless young rat who escapes his father's protective care in search of adventure in the countryside and comes to a sorry end. The tale contrasts the solemn paternal devotion of the father with the reckless abandon of his "ingrate" offspring.
It is thought that the young woman who would one day write Jane Eyre was so enamored of her married tutor that this Brussels interlude would later become the source material for her novel Villette and the tutor, Constantin Heger, was the inspiration for the character of M. Paul Emanuel, who causes such a flutter in the heart of 14-year-old Lucy Snowe.

The London Review of Books will publish the complete short story on its web site on Wednesday and in its paper edition the following day.


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