Myrrh is Mine
Author: Lisa Coleman-Brown
Publisher: PGC
Format: ebook
Available From:

Madness, masturbation, menstruation… murder? Inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Myrrh Is Mine imagines the insular nature of intimacy and its effect on the relationship between the “mad woman in the attic” and her caregiver Grace Poole.

Themes of sanity, secrecy, servitude, and subjugation are explored as Rochester’s “mad” Creole wife Bertha is kept hidden and held against her will in the attic before, during, and after Jane Eyre’s tenure as governess. Featuring the characters of Bertha, her caregiver, her brother, and Rochester, the play examines the perils of intimacy between: husband and wife, employer and servant, prisoner and jailor, the ill and the caregiver, madness and sanity; and bonding within the tomb like confines of the attic as represented by a bloody umbilical cord.

The title echoes a verse from the Christmas Carol “We Three Kings”:
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Keywords: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, attic, female bonding, subjugation, madness, umbilical cord, intimacy

Genre: Drama, Adaptation
Picture of the Author Lisa Coleman-Brown
Author Details:

A member of the SWG since 2012, Lisa is also a member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada. She was born in Vancouver (vintage ’57) and raised in Montreal and Toronto. Following a successful blind date with beloved husband Joe Brown she has lived in Garson since 1989.

As a child Lisa was impressed by her late father’s ability to tell stories that he made up in the moment without a book in his hands. This inspired her and she began writing stories in Hilroy Notebooks to impress the boys (“The Clue in the Alley: A Rob Beanlands Mystery”) during her Grade 2 reign as the Kissing Queen behind the portables at Dallington Drive Public School in Don Mills, Ontario. When she was a teenager she helped senior citizens with their autobiographies. At U of T, and the Toronto Film Society she wrote film reviews, and she was the co-editor of Ryerson’s literary journal the White Wall Review in 1980.

During the ‘80s in Toronto, Lisa’s imagination, fueled by dreams and manic-depression hallucinations, found creative release in Super8mm, 16mm, and video, independent filmmaking. Her production company was called Trance Forms Productions, and her experimental film subject matter included: children performing fairy tales, an artist creating an aquatint, persons with disabilities, and gay erotica.

These days, standing six feet tall with snow on the roof and a twinkle in her eye, Lisa writes short stories, plays, screenplays, and limericks. Her works (and co-written stories) have been published in Laurentian University’s literary journal SULPHUR IV, VIII, IX, and the following anthologies: Creepy Capreol, Creepy Capreol Jr., Sudbury Ink, Creepy Capreol Jr. 2:Too Many Zombies, and the Zombie Digest.

She has collaborated, most often on horror stories, with fellow guild member Matthew Del Papa. Together they were commissioned by the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre, and Northern Screams to write the novella “Nightmare at the North Pole” published as a companion piece for the Terror Train 6077 2015 October haunt, and the radio play “Inferno 6077: Born Out of Fire” featured in the multimedia “Covid-safe” drive-in style 2020 October haunt.