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Topic: Which is least heavy to start reading Bronte(any) or Austen?

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Subject: Which is least heavy to start reading Bronte(any) or Austen?
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 503
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My kids 10 and 13 want to read one of their works together. The Bronte sisters works are more heavy and grown up themed right? What Austen would be good?

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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My mom read Jane Eyre to me when I was 10 and I loved it.  I think since it starts when Jane was a child, that gives a good segway for younger readers to get into the story. 

Austen is a lot of fun as long as you understand the customs and mores of the time period.  My best friend and I saw the movies of Emma and Sense & Sensibility and the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, which helped us to get into the books.  Mansfield Park and Persuasion have some more adult themes, so if they want to start with Austen Pride & Prejudice or Emma would be one of the ones I'd start with.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
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I didn't get around to reading either one until recently.  I love them both!

Jane Eyre had a darker side than the Austen books.  Austen's Pride & Prejudice has a playful quality that the kids might enjoy.  (My daughter recommends Emma as a good first book.)

I just quizzed my 14-year-old daughter (who has read Jane Eyre and all things Austen), and her opinion was that Jane Eyre covered some stuff that might be "too grown up," and cited Mr. Rochester's experience with his first wife as an example.

We came across a really neat little Charlotte Bronte book recently at a library book sale the kids might want to know about, though.  Someone published a manuscript that Charlotte wrote when she was only 13, with only minimal edits.  It's a cute story called "The Search After Hapiness."   (The misspelling is Charlotte's, not mine.) ;)  It was published in 1969--sorry, I just can't post mine!

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 503
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Thanks for the great advice!

Date Posted: 3/5/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I read Jane Eyre when I was 10 as well. and then I read Pride and Prejudice the next year.  I loved them both! Jane Eyre might be a little more accessable because, as Vanessa stated earlier, the book begins while Jane is a child. However, Austen's work is usually shorter in length.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I read Jane Eyre when I was 12 (we were assigned it).  I loved it at the time, and then didn't re-read it until I was an adult, when i enjoyed it even more.  My best frind and I read Wuthering Heights together when we were in 8th grade and LOVED it - but would probably not be the best choice for your 10 year old.

I didn't read Austen until I was an adult, some (obviously misguided) grownup told me I would find her dull.  I agree with the commenters above who suggested starting with Emma - as an added bonus you can watch Clueless together.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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Language wise, I would go with Austen. Jane Eyre can be a bit Victorian and flowery, whereas Austen (I think) is easier to read. It's still a different style of speaking, but it is clearer and less heavy handed than Charlotte Bronte.

I say go for gold... P&P to start!

 

 

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
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Kids will like Jane Austen more because she's funny. P&P and Emma are both funny. The Brontes wouldn't know funny if it swindled them out of their estates and they had to walk in the rain to some hilltop to perish.

She's also a better writer than all the Brontes put together.

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Kids will like Jane Austen more because she's funny. P&P and Emma are both funny.

I think it depends on the kid.  When I was that age I had no interest in funny, I wanted drama. 

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
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The Brontes wouldn't know funny if it swindled them out of their estates and they had to walk in the rain to some hilltop to perish.

Well, this made me laugh like a drain! Thanks, Rick!!!

 

 

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 15
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i read jane eyre when i was younger...have to reread it because i don't remember much of it.  i can't think of anything in jane eyre that wouldn't be appropriate for kids today.  however, jane austen's emma is a great first read for austen (especially if the kids can see the movie...to place names to faces).

glad you want your kids to actually read something of substance instead of gossip girl 101 (sorry if that offended anyone...)