Today you find us in happy mood, gentle reader! One of the presenters at our upcoming Textualities ’23 conference took the time to sit down and give us an interview, so let’s crack on without further intro, to Charlotte Troy.
Q: Thanks for talking to us today! Please, introduce yourself, and tell us where you’ve studied.
My name is Charlotte Troy, I’m at UCC this year doing an MA in Modernities, and I studied for my BA here as well! My BA was a joint degree in English and History.
Q: And where do your literary interests primarily lie?
Predominantly in women’s literature and gender studies, mainly from the mid-19th century onwards and right up to the present. The many ways in which they represent themselves as well as how they’re represented by others.
Q: Could I put you on the spot for some favourite authors?
Charlotte Brontë for Jane Eyre, definitely. Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison as well. And in criticism, Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique is really fascinating and important to me.
Q: Will you be presenting on something related to that for Textualities ’23?
In a sense, yes. I’m going to be presenting a comparative analysis of two characters from Jane Eyre and The Turn of the Screw. More specifically, Bertha Mason and Miss Jessel. Both are women who have been othered and made sinister, both are largely absent in their respective stories, but both have a serious impact of the characters who are present.
Q: How do you mean?
Well, both characters don’t make many physical appearances, but their presence is felt vicariously, through their influence on other characters. They’re skeletons in the closet, providing an illicit glimpse of the women Victorian society would prefer to shut away.
Q: Speaking of shutting away, shall we cut it there? Don’t want to spoil too much, do we? Thanks again, and I look forward to seeing your presentation!
And if you’d like to hear the rest of Charlotte’s discourse on this fascinating topic, you know which attic we’ll be shut up in and when…