[Chock full of spoilers.] So another of Alice’s readalongs and hoping we’ll have as much fun as the previous ones. We’ve read the first two books and I can’t tell yet. I like some of it. Can’t follow some of it. It’s too early to tell, I guess. Aurora Leigh is half-Italian, half-English. Her mother dies when she is four and her father a few years later. She is sent to live with an aunt in England who isn’t cruel, but cold and conventional with very set ideas on how young ladies should behave and Aurora grows up a fiercely passionate poet and a beauty. Her cousin Romney falls in love and proposes, but she rejects him after he scorns women writing poetry. I don’t blame her. His speech makes me want to slap him and every man who ever superciliously said anything like
The chances are that…
You write as well… and ill… upon the whole,
As other women. If as well, what then?
If even a little better… still, what then?
We want the Best in art now, or no art.
Only men can write poetry. Infuriating. Then he relents and is like okay, I still want to marry you, you can write your little poems or whatever. And she is proud and passionately tells him where he gets off. She’s not sorry because she knows she didn’t love him and doesn’t really think he loved her. He may have to the extent he was capable, but who knows?
Women of a softer mood,
Surprised by men when scarcely awake to life,
Will sometimes only hear the first word, love,
And catch up with it any kind of work,
Indifferent, so that dear love go with it.
I do not blame such women, though, for love,
They pick much oakum
So, there’s definitely moments I like. Is that enough to get me through it? I hope so.