May Books 9) The Pensionnat Revisited, by Eric Ruijssenaars

This is a follow-up volume to Ruijssenaars’ earlier Charlotte Brontë’s Promised Land, about the Pensionnat Heger where Charlotte and Emily Bronte lived briefly in the 1940s. Most of it is Ruijssenaars’ investigation of the demolition of the Pensionnat and the whole Rue Isabelle district of Brussels in 1910, with a couple of codas on the cultural life of Brussels when the Brontës were there (including the identification of the paintings mentioned in Villette) and on the best surviving photograph of the Pensionnat, suggesting that it is much older than had been thought. I hadn’t previously made the connection, but I have actually walked on the upper end of the Rue Isabelle which is now preserved in the Coudenberg museum. I hope this gets bound with Charlotte Brontë’s Promised Land for future editions; it’s not quite coherent enough to work as a standalone volume, but interesting for Brontë completists.

One thought on “May Books 9) The Pensionnat Revisited, by Eric Ruijssenaars

  1. They missed out one factor of Japanese which makes it a lot easier – they have as many loan words from English as English has from other languages!

    While I’m not exactly proficient, German comes reasonably easily to me – but only if I am immersed in it. It’s best for me if I try to pick up the grammar the way I first learned English. The formal methods just emphasise how complex it is. Expect a dramatic improvement in a couple of weeks 😉

    I figure that that’s why Spanish is easy to an English-speaking American – they can easily go to a part of town where they’re immersed and get practice.

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