Classic Rock and Jane Eyre?

What do classic rocker, Neil Young and Charlotte Bronte’s brooding character, Mr. Rochester, have in common? Young’s 1971 hit “Heart of Gold” could very well be this hero’s theme song.

This wood cut illustration of Jane as a child is found in the Fritz Eichenberg edition of Jane Eyre that I read as a 15-year-old.

Post Format: Quotations

Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in 1847.  This love story about a young governess and Mr. Rochester, her hardened, mysterious employer, took the world by storm.  It’s been made into numerous films and television shows and discussed in the highest of literary circlesThere isn’t much I can add to the conversation.  I can say that Jane was a revelation to me as an awkward 15-year-old reading the book for the first time.

She’s a plain-looking, abused orphan when the story opens.  But she grows up to help the very people who mistreated her, she endures loneliness and poverty upholding her beliefs, and she forsakes riches for family.  Oh yes, and she wins the unflinching, passionate love of Mr. Rochester, Master of Thornfield Hall.  It seemed an encouraging but unbelievable plot twist to me at the time.

Mr. Rochester, woodcut print by Fritz Eichenberg

However, in rereading this classic as an adult, I too treasured Jane.  Rochester, though wealthy and respected, has endured years of betrayal and heartache. He’s traveled the world looking for happiness.  When he meets the young Jane with her beautiful heart, he sees her as the rarest of creatures. (Indeed, the older I get the more I treasure such people.)  And so I leave you with a quote from Mr. Rochester and Mr. Young’s lyrics, words written more than 100 years apart but embodying the same spirit.

For ten long years I roved about, living first in one capital, then another…I sought my ideal of a woman amongst English ladies, French countesses, Italian signoras, and German grafinnen. I could not find her.

A verse from Neil Young’s 1971 hit, “Heart of Gold.

Young’s 1972 album, Heart of Gold, that features the song. This photo of Young is reminiscent of the brooding Mr. Rochester don’t you think?

I’ve been to Hollywood

I’ve been to Redwood

I crossed the ocean

for a heart of gold

I’ve been in my mind,

it’s such a fine line

That keeps me searching

for a heart of gold

And I’m getting old

BONUS BIT: Please enjoy this recording of Young’s song.

It’s Been One Year!

I launched Library Luggage in January 2016.  I’ve learned a lot in a year’s time and connected with some great books and even greater people.  I’ve appreciated every e-mail follower, every comment, and all the Likes that have come my way.  Admittedly, my readers are a small group, so if you know of others who enjoy reading, please share.  Now come along as I look back.  You may even find a mention if you are a regular follower.

Post format:  Year in Review

Here I am with Brenda Davis.
Jessica Black

SOME PEOPLE I’VE MET:

Here are Brenda Davis and Jessica Black, the two librarians who helped me get a copy of a rare book for one of my posts. See post here

I met Jane, a blogger from England.  She enjoyed my thoughts on a book set along the Cornish coast, where she lives.  Even my children were excited that I connected with someone “across the pond.” See post here

The author of a book I featured reached out to me.  Jan Siebold is a lovely lady, and I couldn’t be more honored that she now follows me. See post here

SOME THINGS I’VE MADE:

This started out as a book blog.  But I did some cooking and crafting along the way thanks to reading.  Here are a few projects and the books that inspired them. To visit these how-to posts, simply click on the book titles here:  Snowflake Bentley, Hello Cupcake!Australia to Zimbabwe: A Rhyming Romp Around the World, A Tangle of Knots

SOME GREAT READER RESPONSE:

Passing along a passalong plant to Stephen 

In my post on the book, Passalong Plants, I offered readers some of the Rose Campion I had growing in my garden.  Stephen contacted me and came by to get some of this lovely passalong plant for his yard. See post here

Photo of Traci dressed as Holly Hobbie, circa 1970s.

Grace, Kim, and Traci all enjoyed the trip down memory lane provided by the Library Trips and Picks #3 post.  One of the featured books was an autobiography by James Garner, star of the 1970s’ show, The Rockford Files.  The other was a picture book memoir by Holly Hobbie whose artwork graced everything from calendars, books and lunch boxes of the same era.  Traci sent me this childhood photo of her dressed as Holly Hobbie. See post here

Farmers market honey is on my grocery list thanks to Pegi

Pegi has me planning a trip to the farmers market where she says the best honey is found.  After reading my post on a honey bee book,  she told me her daughter is training to become a bee keeper. See post here

SOME GREAT BOOK SUGGESTIONS:

Book suggestion by Mark

Mark raved about the book, The Golem and the Jinni.  I bought a copy and loved it so much I blogged about it. I passed my copy along to Grace who also loved this unique tale. See post here

Book suggestion by Kim

Kim recommended The Hiding Place.  I took forever to post about this book, but it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm.  I had so much to say about this deeply spiritual, true adventure that I didn’t know where to start. See post here

Scott is a passionate writer who is keeping alive the works of lesser known British writers with his blog, Furrowed Middlebrow. One of his posts on books that play with the notion of time mentioned an obscure title by Rumer Godden.  I found the book and was enthralled. See post here

SOME FOLKS TO THANK:

Margaret texted me this image of a Dove Inspirations chocolate wrapper that reads “Actually Go to a Bookstore.” Sounds like a plan to me.

Thanks to Kim for all her insightful comments, to Theresa for being my first Facebook follower and liking every post since, and to Erin, Courtney, Wendy, Genevieve, Johanna, Ruth, Eleanor and Susan for their post reactions.  Finally, a big hug to my sisters, Grace, Mary Dickson, and Margaret and to my husband and children who support and share my passion for books.