I was feeling a bit grumpy after work this morning (what else is new?) so I stopped by my local bookstore on the way home. A trip to the bookstore is always good therapy, despite the fact that it was extraordinarily busy this afternoon with teenagers (no offense against teenagers, but I’m looking forward to the school year when my mid-day perusal of the stacks is not interrupted by “Shut up! He said that?! Oh my God!” every five minutes). After a few minutes walking around I was feeling quite refreshed. However, I’ve been plagued with a debilitating case of amnesia every time I step through a bookstore’s doors. Mere steps from the register, however, my brain began to work again, I remembered what I was interested in and went to retrieve it.
I recently finished Lucasta Miller’s The Brontë Myth, a study of the various scholarly examinations and biographies that have been written about the Brontës, beginning with Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë. I’m fascinated by autobiographies and biographies in general, as they often tell us more about the person writing the biography than they do about the subject in question. I came away from Miller’s book with the increasingly persistent need to read Gaskell’s apparently gossipy, mistaken, and (I suspect) thoroughly fun attempt to write about Charlotte Brontë. So you see, I had to get it, because I need to go straight to the source in order to make up my own mind. It’s all about being a good scholar. Have I mentioned that I’m terribly good at rationalizing things? In addition, having read Gaskell’s North and South a few months ago, I decided to pick up Wives and Daughters (I was already there, so I might as well, right?).
Unfortunately, the only available edition of Wives and Daughters was a Barnes & Noble Classic, which normally isn’t a problem, but this time….well, for whatever reason, B&N decided that it had to have an atrociously pink cover (we’re not talking muted shades here–neon is more like it). It bears a disastrous likeness to the costume I wore when I was a youthful ballet dancer performing the “Waltz of the Flowers” in our annual staging of the Nutcracker. An unpleasant combination of neon pink and green, the costume made me look nothing like a flower (particularly as it clashed with my red hair, egads!) but it did traumatize me for years. Pink and I have never truly come to terms with one another since. So–long digression aside–I can truly say that this is one book that did not entice me because of its cover, shallow book-buying person that I am.
In knitting news, I was rather late to the gate when it came to signing up for the Mystery Stole 3 knit-along, so I was ecstatic when I finished clue #1 yesterday. Number 3 came out today, so if I’m a good little knitter I should be able to catch up. However, my yarn’s evil plans for taking over all of my time (and space in the living room) might be foiled by the beautiful weather, the need to go to a farmer’s market and see wonderful fruits and vegetables, and the mountain of books that are also threatening to do bodily damage to the person unwary enough to walk past the bookcases and teetering piles. Oh yeah, and there is that pesky little problem of needing to pack for the move.
But for now, it’s time to spend a little time with my newly-acquired friend Elizabeth Gaskell, even if she is dressed in a shockingly pink frock….