Unless you have a degree in English Literature or possibly Women’s Studies then I’m going to assume that you’ve never heard of the 1979 landmark work in feminist literary criticism, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, written by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. The title is a reference to Charlote Brontë’s Jane Eyre, in which Mr. Rochester’s wife, Bertha Antoinetta Mason, remains secretly locked away in the attic of Thornfield for most of the novel due to uncontrollable fits of violence brought on by her insanity. In the text, Gilbert and Gubar examine the works of the most prominent female writers and poets of the nineteenth century (including Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, and Mary Shelley) and the ways in which they both reinforced and challenged the male-dominated literary tradition that tended to cast female characters either as angelic, pure women or rebellious, crazy lunatics.
It's not at all related to the novel, but I thought of this song constantly while reading this book. Enjoy.