Michèle Roberts: The Mistress Class

(2533 words)

The Mistressclass again demonstrates Roberts’s interest in complex and multilayered narratives, with an epistolary thread combined with a third-person narrative using multiple points of view. The letters are imaginative reconstructions of those sent by Charlotte Brontë to her teacher and mentor, M. Heger, in Brussels, linking this text to the rewriting of literary figures already seen in Fair Exchange (1999) and The Looking Glass (2000). As in several of her other works, Roberts does not insist upon a historically accurate rendering of events, but creates a fictional narrative saturated with grief and longing. Further intertextuality is also apparent in the novel, with references to fairytales, to

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Falcus, Sarah. "The Mistress Class". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10501, accessed 01 October 2016.]