Today is the first day in what seems like a rather long time that I've put up a post. With my entire extended family coming to visit and taking up all the available space in my house on friday and the 4th of July being celebrated monday, I found my hands full. The blog and literature itself was far from my thoughts as I chased my little cousins around and tried to keep them the least bit subdued.
Now with my company gone and the house once again under the peaceful dominion of my father, mother, and I, the computer is back under my control and I am now overflowing with the need to write once again. Today's post is not lit related, however. It's rather an interest that's overtaken me particularly in the past two months.
I've been working on a book for the the past year now. The first draft has been finished and with second now underway, I have to devote a lot more time to research than I did before. The book is an in-depth analysis of Jane Eyre from quite a different perspective, but I find myself running into trouble when entering the fictional world. The worst of those troubles is geography. The book is, of course, set in a fictional home near a nonexistent town, but we know that it must have been based on SOMETHING.
Charlotte Bronte was born in the county Yorkshire. She was then sent to a school in Lancashire, and settled in to a parsonage on the moors of Yorkshire. The problem with this is that from what I've gathered in my research, each place has a distinctively different accent. In fact, Lancashire is a different county altogether from what I see on the maps of England. As an American, I would hate to fall into the common trap that so many of those unfamiliar with Yorkshire fall into and assume that all the accents are the same. I did extensive research on Yorkshire inflection and am told that because Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK, it in turn has the largest variations in accent. Which then was Charlotte Bronte envisioning when she wrote Jane Eyre?
There also seems to be some discrepancy between the place that Charlotte lived and the place she described in the novel. For years, filmmakers have chosen to use Derbyshire as the setting for numerous Jane Eyre adaptions in order to evoke the setting that Charlotte painted in the book. Was it perhaps possible that Charlotte envisioned the novel to be set in the county below hers? But then that would discredit the idea that Lowood was based on the Charlotte's school in Lancashire, would it not?
After studying the actual sound of the accents of each place, I found that the Yorkshire accent that I had imagined when reading the novel was one commonly used in Sheffield (particularly for the character of Rochester). I imagined Jane having a sweeter more "country" accent influenced by Lancashire. For Rochester I had imagined a more severe and rough inflection perhaps a bit muddled by travel. My particular emphasis goes on Rochester's accent in this analysis.
When I say I want a "roughness" in Rochester's inflection, I mean that I love the bluntness of the vowels. For example, in the latest adaption of the novel, the actors put greater emphasis on the northern English accent. There seems to be a great emphasis on the "o" and "u" sound. For example "you mOOst accept me as your hOOsband" and instead of "good luck" I hear more stress on the "u" so it sounds like "good look." There also seems to be a higher inflection at the end of sentences than in southern England. Does any of this make sense to you?
What is a girl to do? I know that many of you tuning into this Blog are from the UK. Can I get a bit of help??