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Prefigurements and afterlives: Bertha Mason's literary histories

Plasa, Carl 2014. Prefigurements and afterlives: Bertha Mason's literary histories. Bronte Studies 39 (1) , pp. 6-13. 10.1179/1474893213Z.00000000091

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While the Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre is perhaps Charlotte Brontë’s most compelling creation, she does not appear ex nihilo, having her imaginative roots in Charlotte’s earlier writings, where she is adumbrated alike in the racially and ideologically opposed figures of Quashia Quamina and The Professor’s Juanna Trista — the only other white Creole to appear in the whole of Charlotte Brontë’s œuvre. Yet as well as looking back to these figures and providing us with an insight into the author’s procedures as a revisionist of her own work, Bertha also looks forward to her fin de siècle transatlantic rebirth in At Fault, haunting the sexual and racial melodramas of Kate Chopin’s critically neglected first novel just as surely as she haunts the upper chambers of Rochester’s Gothic mansion.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: At Fault, Bertha Mason, intertextuality, Jane Eyre, Kate Chopin, literary revision, slavery, transatlanticism
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 1474-8932
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 12:29

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