‘London, London, how I’ve missed you, you filthy, rotten city...’
I looked carefully at him; for a moment I wondered whether a lost traveller had stumbled in from the moors.
My fears of rain had not been justified, for it had turned into one of those bright autumn afternoons that seem to pierce the soul with their particular beauty, a golden light on the land and the shadows sharp-edged, and the soft light was kind to the house.
I originally intended to use third person narration in The Vanishing. It was the natural choice in my earlier books, especially because you’re dealing with plots that twist and turn – it allows you to hide a lot from your reader! But when I started writing, I felt a strong identification with Annaleigh and it was natural to write in first person.
The famous ‘pillar portrait’ of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Its name derives from the overpainted space between Charlotte and Emily, which originally held the likeness of the painter, their 17-year old brother Branwell. So, who is this missing sibling, the only one of this intense, wondrous family who is not acknowledged as a literary legend, and who had a central place in their group portrait, only to erase himself?
In the second room of the exhibition Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity, the teenage Emma Hart – she who would become Lady Hamilton – looks down at the visitor from every wall.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is one of the most well-known heroines in English literature, but the reasons why I love her story are entirely personal.