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March/April Issue: The Victorian Age in Literature

March/April Issue: The Victorian Age in Literature

Sample Content from Our Latest Issue Table of Contents Sample Article Novel Illustration: An Educational Approach to Jane Eyre “Where...
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Detective Work in a Monastery Archives

Our monastery in western Pennsylvania dates to 1846, founded by Benedictine monks from Bavaria. We run a liberal arts college...
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The Good, Bad and Beautiful with Father Longenecker

What does Father Dwight Longenecker think of Joseph Pearce's latest book? What's good? What's bad? What's beautiful? All is revealed... Father...
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Love and Mercy versus Lust and Hatred

A chance to watch the episode of Joseph Pearce's series for EWTN on the Great Books in which he explains the...
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The St. Austin Review

The St. Austin Review (StAR) is an international journal of Catholic culture, literature, and ideas. In its pages, printed every two months, some of the brightest and most vigorous minds around meet to explore the people, ideas, movements, and events that shape and misshape our world.

The Victorian Age in Literature

Sample Article Novel Illustration: An Educational Approach to Jane Eyre

“Where did you get your copies?”

“Out of my head.”

“That head I see now on your shoulders?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Has it other furniture of the same kind within?”

“I should think it may have: I should hope—better.”

He spread the pictures before him, and again surveyed them alternately.

Jane Eyre

In this memorable early scene, Mr. Edward Rochester examines the artistic portfolio of his governess, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel, Jane Eyre. Rochester categorizes the content of the portfolio as “for a school-girl, peculiar”—an evaluation with which readers concur. The paintings are so peculiar, in fact, that many readers, including my students, consider the ekphrastic lapse a cue to skim rather than read deeply for a few paragraphs.

This would be a mistake. In fact, this is a critical passage for close-reading, providing insights into the character of the heroine and the central tensions of the novel. It also provides an opportunity for readers to consider the place and pedagogical virtue of visual art in depicting a fictional world.

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