AN#7: Lucy’s political background

Charlotte Bronte was a high Tory, and yet not an unsympathetic one. I believe I mentioned I did not make Lucy the Malaysian equivalent of Toryism, because that would mean supporting racism and elitism.

Lucy’s views on racial equality may seem too liberal for Charlotte Bronte, and yet I think not. In the Life of Charlotte Bronte, it is mentioned that Charlotte berated a bunch of curates for condemning Dissenters too severely and wanting to deprive them of their rights. Charlotte felt sorry for the Dissenters, and so I think to be faithful to her sympathetic nature Lucy would have some liberal views. It was Belgium that undid Charlotte’s goodwill – after that, she hated Catholics, because she was unhappy in a Catholic country, and encountered some harsh Catholics, and disagreed with their dogma.

Instead of hating Catholicism, a modern equivalent would possibly be political correctness gone mad, or Stephanie Meyer’s sect (you know what it is), because Catholicism nowadays does not inspire the same fear it once did.

I realise there’ far more politics here than in the original Villette, but to adapt it to a modern audience I felt this was necessary. Besides, I had intended to write a political novel (a la George Eliot) until I got sidetracked by Villette, and decided to combine both elements, as Villette was the superior work.


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