SOME have won a wild delight,
By daring wilder sorrow;
Could I gain thy love to-night,
I'd hazard death to-morrow.
If, hot from war, I seek thy love,
Darest thou turn aside?
Darest thou, then, my fire reprove,
By scorn, and maddening pride?
I'd die when all the foam is up,
The bright wine sparkling high;
Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
Life's dull dregs only lie.
Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
Hope blest with fulness large,
I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword,
And perish in the charge!
– from the poem “Passion” by Charlotte Brontë, published under the pen name Currer Bell in 1846
In the uptight era of Victorian prudishness, women were supposed to be sexless. Contemporary biographers, like Elizabeth Gaskell, afraid of scandal if if the public saw her true self, painted Charlotte Brontë as a staid, fragile, colorless maid. But if we read Jane Eyre with a discerning eye, or Charlotte’s letters to her teacher Heger, there is no doubt she is a woman filled with wild passions.
PHOTO: When I first photographed Jolyne five years ago she was still trying to figure out where she fit in this world. Now she is a passionate, driven artist with a mission to help younger women build great lives.