Bronte or Austen ?

(65 Posts)
herethereeverywhere Tue 04-Dec-12 12:37:15

Just that really. Just had a debate with my sister regarding them both (all Brontes vs Jane Austen ). I said that although I do love P&P and Persuasion for me it's the Brontes every time. DSis thinks you can't beat Austen for escapism though. Apologies if this has been done on here before but DSis and I have decided to bow down to the mumsnet vote grin

ImperialSantaKnickers Tue 04-Dec-12 12:40:19

Brontes are for when you're feeling grown up and serious.

Austens are for when you're not.

I've only managed each Bronte once, but the Austens are all on at least their third trip round the bedtime book. <ashamed of her shallowness> grin

Poledra Tue 04-Dec-12 12:42:08

Austen - your sis is right wink

LadyPeterWimsey Tue 04-Dec-12 12:42:51

Obviously Austen.

I have a theory that you see the world either in Austen or Bronte terms and you therefore can't equally love both.

I can't be doing with all that Bronte melodrama; her heroines make me want to shake them and tell them to stop over-reacting like hormonal teenagers.

LadyPeterWimsey Tue 04-Dec-12 12:44:06

Austen not shallow!! shock

ImperialSantaKnickers Tue 04-Dec-12 12:48:33

Hi LadyPeter I'm a tremendous fan of your husband BTW...

Jane Austen isn't shallow of course, its me... grin

Her work is more accessible though, and I find I can believe in her characters emotionally more than the various Bronte girls.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Dec-12 12:52:43

>Brontes are for when you're feeling grown up and serious.
>Austens are for when you're not.

I don't know about that - I didn't get Austen at all when I was an early teen, too subtle maybe, whereas Bronte (Jane Eyre anyway) was exactly right.

Lumping all the Brontes together doesn't really work - even just Charlotte's books are disparate.

LadyPeterWimsey Tue 04-Dec-12 12:52:51

He's brilliant, isn't he? And I'm pretty sure, as famously level-headed as he is, that he's an Austen fan... grin

HoratiaLovesBabyJesus Tue 04-Dec-12 13:06:03

Austen is more rose-tinted. Even those in desperate straits come out ok in the end.

The Brontes are more realistic perhaps, and certainly more gritty.

MrsBovary Tue 04-Dec-12 13:09:52

I liked Bronte best when I was a teenager. I love both still, but prefer Austen nowadays. Favourites being, Northanger Abbey (nostalgic, being the first Austen book I read, and introduced me to Radcliffe), and Sense and Sensibility.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 04-Dec-12 16:24:19

Well I think I'd rather have a Darcy or a Wentworth than a Rochester for a husband smile. I'd be forever worrying in case I upset him and he started clearing a space in the attic grin

StiffyByng Tue 04-Dec-12 16:29:49

Austen, Austen, Austen. I like to laugh at books. Bronte is also too teenage angst for me. Even as a teenager myself it irritated me. I had to do Wuthering Heights for A level and loathed every minute of it.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Dec-12 16:41:48

I hated the ending of Villette. Give me a happy ending for preference, or a sad one if you must but that was just a let-down. (trying to avoid spoiler)

Bronte's for me. I think Austen is too chick-lity for me.

mummytime Tue 04-Dec-12 16:58:40

Austin as she has a dry wit, and if you think she is chick lit you really haven't got the irony.

I like Charlotte on the whole, really like Anne, but Emily is so dreadful she drags the Brontes as a whole down to real chick-lit/mills and boon for me.

SuperScribbler Tue 04-Dec-12 17:36:21

I think it's like trying to compare liquorice to lemon sherberts. Both are delicious but in very different ways

I like both, depending on my mood, but not together.

hackmum Tue 04-Dec-12 17:40:54

Grimma: "I don't know about that - I didn't get Austen at all when I was an early teen, too subtle maybe, whereas Bronte (Jane Eyre anyway) was exactly right."

Yes, me too. Loved Jane Eyre at 14. Read P&P at 15, thought it was OK, but didn't get the jokes. Now it's probably my all-time favourite book.

I do enjoy the Brontes - Jane Eyre, of course, also Villette, and Tenant of Wildfell Hall is much better than you might expect. Wuthering Heights is a bit bonkers. But Austen is someone I love - the books are so subtle and so clever and funny but they also resonate and stay with you, I find, in a way that the Brontes don't. At the most basic level, I actually believe in the characters in a way that I don't with the Brontes.

mummytime Tue 04-Dec-12 18:02:04

When I first read Emma at 19, I really didn't get it. The scene discussing if Jane (?) should have gone to the post office, when I re-read in my mid twenties I was amazed at what I had missed.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Dec-12 18:11:16

Having now passed 50, I think I'm nearly old enough to have another crack at George Eliot...I've just started 'Shirley' for the first time though, think I ought to get on and read that first.

JenaiMathis Tue 04-Dec-12 18:13:09

Saw this in Most Active and thought it was a Baby Name thread grin

MooncupGoddess Tue 04-Dec-12 18:15:32

I was the other way round, loved Austen in my teens but didn't get the Brontes at all. All that agonising!

Now I am marginally less emotionally repressed I love Jane Eyre (often underrated by people who think its main point is the love story), Shirley, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and even Villette if I'm in the right mood.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:04

If I was talking in a cerebral sense; the Brontes (I should say the Bronte, as I've only read Jane Eyre; I didn't get into Wuthering Heights at all). If I'm talking about what I actually prefer reading; Austen.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:06

I would love someone to name their kids Bronte and Austen! grin

Are we allowed to say neither?

I quite like both (not read all the Brontes though), but I don't find them easy to compare and don't think the Brontes were all that similar. And I used to hate Northanger Abbey but now I find it funnier.

AnneElliott Tue 04-Dec-12 18:26:22

It has to be Austen. I read P&P at 12 and didn't get it, but once I was older the humour became clear. Bronte is great, particularly The Tenant of Wildfell Hall but Austen is the winner for me.

highlandcoo Tue 04-Dec-12 18:29:31

hackmum : "Austen is someone I love - the books are so subtle and so clever and funny but they also resonate and stay with you, I find, in a way that the Brontes don't. At the most basic level, I actually believe in the characters in a way that I don't with the Brontes."

Totally agree smile

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