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Rochester and Rochester

I've just finished Alexander Larman's new biography of John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester. Far too much to write about, as well as a bit exotic, but in what increasingly feels like another life I made a close study of Charlotte Bronte and was stunned to see, in the book, a suggestion that she MAY have named Rochester, for Rochester. Larman only makes it tentatively, but although it had never crossed my mind (or any of my supervisors' as far as I can tell) I tend to think it's possible. The evidence m'lud........
CB had definitely read Samuel Johnson's biography of Rochester and probably had access to penny dreadful stories of his life
As a daughter of the parsonage she would have been further acquainted with his highly unlikely deathbed repentance
Both men cross dress in pursuit of their amatory designs and play with disguises
It's long been suggested that Bertha Antoinette represents sexual excess of some sort (pace Jean Rhys) possibly then CB passes the burden of Wilmot's syphilis to her
Both men took their illegitimate daughters (well Adele must have been his surely) to be raised in their own households (Wilmot actually abducted his, one of many virtually unforgivable acts)
Speaking personally I can easily imagine that CB, who was just as inclined to passionate emotions as EB, could be very taken with stories of the Earl. Surely she didn't get to read his poetry though ~~ maybe Branwell had a copy...
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