The Summer Break Where Charlotte Brontë Started ‘Jane Eyre’

Love anything to do with the Bronte sisters.


Black Cardigan is a great newsletter by writer-editor Carrie Frye, who shares dispatches from her reading life. We’re thrilled to share some of them on Longreads. Go here to sign up for her latest updates.

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In the summer of 1843, Charlotte Brontë was staying at the school in Brussels where she was both a student and a teacher—at this time, more the latter. Over her time at the Pensionnat, she had developed an unrequited passion for the directrice’s husband, Constantin Héger, and she’d been present as he departed for the seaside with his handsome wife and their young children. The other teachers and the school’s boarders had already left for their own holidays, and Brontë was the only person left remaining except for the cook. Her friends outside the school had left the city too. Summer in the city: everyone who can, leaves. Her relationship with the cook, one suspects…

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How Much is Too Much to Save a Dying Cat?

Just went through something similar to this. I identify with the author when saying he’s the practical one, bringing in the water everyone pounces on. Then what the psychiatrist says about a slow death being easier on the grieving process. So much more that I took out of this story. When I have more time, I will read it again, taking my time, savoring what is really being said. Wish I could shake this author’s hand.


s.e. smith | Longreads | November 2017 | 17 minutes (4,363 words)

The veterinarian looks anxious as she enters the room, clearly dreading the conversation she must have many times a night on the late shift at the emergency clinic.

Yes, your pet is dying. No, I’m afraid there’s not much we can do, she is bracing herself to say.

Her scrubs are a rich maroon, coordinating with the jewel-toned surroundings of the hushed exam room in the swanky clinic. Thick doors block the sound from outside, the interstitial space where they’ve left me alone in an echoing silence with a grim steel table and a box of tissues after the technician rushed my cat to the back, somewhere in the bowels of the hospital. The last time I saw her she was gasping for air, eyes huge, expression: betrayed.

I wonder if I will see her again.


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How to Replace a Ghost

This story has a taste of eeriness and nostalgia and is lyrical.


Alana Massey | Longreads | October 2017 | 10 minutes (2,448 words)

It is fitting that I was on my way to a museum filled with ghastly medical objects and oddities when I realized most of us are more haunted by the living than the dead. The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia is a medical history museum that houses such prized specimens as Einstein’s brain, conjoined fetuses in a jar, President Grover Cleveland”s jaw tumor, and an expansive wall case displaying Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection. I was on my way to the wedding of my friends Helena and Thomas, the kind of tender, brilliant oddballs so in love that I’d believe them both if they told me the other had hung the North Star or can understand the language of animals. The kind of people who get married in the Mütter Museum not because they necessarily want to, but…

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First blog post

Hi.  I’m Lori Tomaselli, author of the 5-star rated fiction, suspense book, The Naked Block, and I’m sitting here wondering who in the world is even going to read this post.  That won’t stop me, though.  Like my protagonist, the only thing that can shut me up is cheesecake and wine.  Anyways, I want to see more of us support Indie authors by buying their books and telling others about them.  Everyone on my Christmas list is getting at least one book by an Indie author.  Being a published author has introduced me to a whole new world of people around the world.  I’m enjoying getting to know a lot of creative people.  Nice to know I’m not the only one out there with such a crazy, vivid imagination.  I enjoy writing about eclectic people with real issues that tend to open the readers’ eyes, but wit and humor (comic relief) is a must in my writing.  I’ve donated 85% my proceeds to non-profits, Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center and Cystic Fibrosis Org.  The highlight of my days since my book went live in August is the day someone from the UK wrote a glowing review on Amazon.  That’s across the pond!  So if you actually took the time to read this whole blog, as you fall asleep tonight I want you to feed yourself subliminal messages saying, “Buy The Naked Block, buy The Naked Block, buy The Naked Block.”