Saturday, 16 March 2013
I don't remember these stamps from a few years ago, which probably only goes to show how little real mail I receive - because how could I forget Paula Rego's Jane Eyre pictures?
I tracked them down in a Google search this afternoon after spending an hour with tea and a hot cross bun and a new ITV documentary The Brilliant Bronte Sisters (on later this month). Rego - whose Jane is downright ugly, not the prettyish-scrubbed-faced heroine of costume dramas - has no time for Mr Rochester who she thinks is a pompous twit.
The programme won't tell you anything you didn't know already about the famous sisters - there can't be anything left to say - but Sheila Hancock is an inspired choice as presenter. (Can she really be 80?) Without intruding details of her own life, it's clear that her response to the novels is heartfelt ... all that passion and loneliness and grief and, in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, alcoholism and the effect it has on a family. Love her voice, too, when she's reading.