so Charlotte Bronte read Emma by Jane Austen and was really interested in this minor character named Jane Fairfax who was poor and would have been a governess had she not married well and then Bronte wrote her own novel exploring the plight of the poor governess who married this guy named Edward Fairfax Rochester in a novel called Jane Eyre and my point is don’t let anyone tell you shit about fanfiction.
What’s even better is that Jean Rhys was so intrigued by the story of the mad woman in the attic from Jane Eyre—Bertha—that she wrote Wide Sargasso Sea, which gives Bertha’s backstory, how she grew up in Jamaica, the mental illness that plagued her family, the shitty postcolonial patriarchy of the time, and her arranged marriage to Rochester, who had her shipped off to England. And that fanfiction is considered one of the best modern novels of all time.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
King Richard II. Act ii. Sc. 1.