Unsullied attitude

Unsullied attitude

Shirley is among the less known works of Charlotte Bronte.  At a time when women had considerably fewer options in deploying their energies and talents, Shirley is a strong character with attitude and resources.   I loved the ‘Pah to all that’ feeling in...
Resilience on legs

Resilience on legs

During their month long trip to the Soviet Union after the Second World War (and during the Cold one), John Steinbeck and Robert Capa spent a few days in the bombed out siege-opolis of Stalingrad, where they found human scenes, some startling in their extremity and...
Life-giving elixir

Life-giving elixir

As often happens in 19th century literature and no doubt in reality, freedom could come to women with access to some kind of economic independence, however modest. In a world where jobs were limited (and often galling or exhausting in their nature), this could be in...

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