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Miss Havisham

What kind of flower are you? Six literary heroines and their floral alter egos

in Potpourri by

A red rose means love. A daisy, innocence. A violet signifies faithfulness. Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s bestselling novel The Language of Flowers (Ballantine, 2011) sparked renewed interest in Victorian “floriography,” or flower symbolism. Recipients used floral dictionaries to decode the meanings of complicated “talking bouquets” and made floral arrangements to communicate feelings society would not permit them to say aloud. To celebrate spring, BookTrib offers a bouquet of seasonal blooms and their fictional counterparts. These female characters (and one real-life heroine) are no shrinking violets. Daffodil: Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind)  The daffodil, also called the narcissus, has several meanings in floriography. Sharing a name with a Greek character who falls in love with his own reflection, it’s no surprise that…

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I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Or was it Miss Havisham’s house?

in Fiction by

The time is ripe for backstories and sequels. We can’t get enough of extending a beloved story as far as possible. No, not the latest Hobbit movie, or the long-heralded return of the Star Wars saga in 2015; I’m talking about the perennial draw of literary updates. There are many fraught questions to consider when modernizing a classic: how true will this be to the original when it comes to chronology, voice, incident, and character? Will it be history, future story (sequel), or deeper, contemporaneous story? How much is invented, and are any additions warranted? Is the new interpretation relevant, contemporary, and believable? In sum, is this new version necessary? In my view, it must either add something to the…

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