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Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Charlotte Brontė
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (626 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Jun 2006 Penguin Classics

A gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions and dark secrets, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is edited with an introduction and notes by Stevie Davis in Penguin Classics.

Charlotte Brontë tells the story of orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Byronic, brooding Mr Rochester. As her feelings for Rochester develop, Jane gradually uncovers Thornfield Hall's terrible secret, forcing her to make a choice. Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions - even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.

In her introduction, Stevie Davis discusses the novel's language and politics, its treatment of women's lives and its literary influences. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading, an appendix and notes.

Charlotte Bronte (1816–55), eldest of the Brontë sisters, was born in Thornton, West Yorkshire. Jane Eyre was first published in 1847 under the pen-name Currer Bell, and was followed by Shirley (1848) and Vilette (1853). In 1854 Charlotte Bronte married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died during her pregnancy on March 31, 1855. The Professor was posthumously published in 1857.

If you liked Jane Eyre, you might enjoy Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, also available in Penguin Classics.

'At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë'
  Virginia Woolf

'Charlotte Brontë's heroine towers over those around her, morally, intellectually and aesthetically ... she takes a scalpel to the skin of the everyday'
  China Miéville

'The masterwork of a great genius'
  William Makepeace Thackeray


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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (29 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441146
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (626 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Charlotte Brontë was born at Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816, the third child of Patrick and Maria Brontë. Her father was perpetual curate of Haworth, Yorkshire from 1820 until his death in 1861. Her mother died in 1821, leaving five daughters and a son. Charlotte was employed as a teacher from 1835 to 1838, was subsequently a governess, and in 1842 went with her sister Emily to study languages in Brussels, where during 1843 she again worked as a teacher. Charlotte's first novel, The Professor, was rejected by several publishers and was not published until 1857. Jane Eyre was published in 1847 and achieved immediate success. In 1848 Branwell Brontë died, as did Emily before the end of the same year, and Anne in the following summer, so that Charlotte alone survived of the six children. Charlotte married in 1854 the Revd A. B Nicholls, her father's curate, but died in March 1855.

Product Description

Review

I go back to ["Jane Eyre"] so often and it was one of the first books that made me think, 'This is me, in some deep way.' (Suzanne Vega)

Book Description

Jane Eyre is the inspiring heroine of one of the best-loved British novels of all time --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary triumph 23 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was slightly reluctant to read Jane Eyre. In the past I have had bad expieriences with what people would deem 'intellectual' books and wrongly dub as 'contemporary classics', but I can honestly say that Jane Eyre deserves to be referred to as a classic.
It is written in an autobiographical style and tells the story of Jane Eyre (obviously), who was orphaned at an early age and taken in by her uncle, Mr. Reed, who shortly also died, leaving her in the care of her cruel Aunt, Mrs. Reed, and at the mercy of her malicious cousin, John Reed. However, at the age of ten Jane Eyre leaves the Reed household to attent a charity boarding school known as Lowood where she befriends the mild mannered Helen Burns and gains the education that allows her, at the age of eighteen, to take a position as a Governess at Thornfield Hall. Here she meets the 'dark and sardonic' Mr. Rochester and falls in love with him. But alas, their union is not to be when Jane discovers a dark secret of Mr. Rochester's that forces her to leave Thornfield Hall and her chance of happiness as a married woman.
I will not go into the plot any longer, in case of spoiling the ending, but there are many aspects of the book that I was shocked to see in a novel written back in the 1800's. One that was not so surprising however, was the religious and moral references that frequently crop up, but don't be deceived into thinking that Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester and all other lead chracters are pious and preachy with the shared desire to 'do the right thing'. Jane does try to do what's right, but Mr. Rochester is often sly and occasionally seems cruel. He is far from a typical 'hero'.
And Jane is far from the typical heroine. This is what I believe makes the book so refreshing despite the fact it was written such a long time ago.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre 26 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful story - the best romance ever written. But don't let that put you off - Jane Eyre is as passionate and wilful a character as you could ever wish for. Written in the first-person, Jane Eyre is both compelling and exciting. You haven't truly read anything if you haven't read this!
This is a fast-paced story (not as wordy as people are inclined to believe), which is impossible to put down after you have begun to read it! This edition of the book is a comfortable book to read, with reasonably big type, although it makes the book fatter. The cover is in a very romantic style, which may not suit everybody, but I would definately reccomend the layout inside. There isn't a 'dictionary' at the back with difficult to understand words or phrases that are no longer in use, which might be a good idea for younger readers, but I'm definately a younger reader, and yet I'm finding it perfectly easy to understand!
If you haven't read this, then buy it NOW and read it. Oh, and buy it for everyone else you know.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful book 24 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback
I should probably start by pointing out that I used to hate reading classics. Old novels? Feh. The flowery language alone was enough to bore me to tears.
But Jane Eyre was different. Jane Eyre was a the kind of a book a girl could grow up with. When I was a child Jane's fierceness and her stubborn desire to stand up to those who belittled her inspired me. As I grew older, I began to appreciate the other messages woven into the text. Every time I read it, something new opened up to me. Books that grow better with every read are rare and precious. Jane Eyre is one such book.
Basically, the book is an account of the life of the fictional character Jane Eyre. From childhood onwards, the girl suffers from bad treatment and hardship because she is not pretty enough, not witty enough, not cheerful enough to make herself loveable. But through it all, Jane is portrayed as a girl with great resilience and courage, with a belief in her own self worth that woill not let her give up.
What makes this book so great is perhaps the unique and vivid voice with which the whole story was told. Jane's first person view of all that occurs is well portrayed, and her soul really shines through. Charlotte's Bronte's use of language is superb.
I will try not to give any more of the book away, because frankly, the only way to enjoy it is to read it yourself. Jane Eyre is a wonderful piece of fiction. Both powerful and alive in a way that many books, both classic and modern, are not.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her First Published Novel 19 Mar 2013
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
The last of the Bronte sisters to have a novel published, although they did all appear in the same year, Charlotte originally put forward The Professor to be her first novel, which was turned down (quite rightly), thus only being published after her death. As with her two other major novels, 'Villette' and 'Shirley' you can quite clearly see how Charlotte played with her readers and their expectations.

We read about Jane Eyre growing up and how she falls in love with Mr Rochester, only to find out a secret after he has proposed to her. With gothic settings and an end that would have been a surprise for most readers of the time this was first published, this novel was ultimately said by Miss Oliphant to be the starting of the 'Sensation Novel'. Readers since its first publication have fallen in love with this story and it was well received by most critics at the time, with the exception of those of a more strict religious persuasion - after all it is a romance, but of an illicit type.

Nowadays apart from still being a very engrossing read this also gives some idea of how people were treated and what normal expectations their lives had. Of course Charlotte, by creating what was an illicit romance between two people would have still been a bit of a shocker at the time, as such things were greatly frowned upon, and this shows Charlotte's sophistication and willingness to appeal to her readers. She followed up such things with 'Villette' where she goes out of her way to play with her readers, and with 'Shirley', because at the time the name was only just becoming to be associated as a female name instead of a male.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't love this book?
I love Jane Eyre; my favourite book of all time!

Modest, humble Jane who has an inner strength ahead of her time. So brave, to the point of recklessness. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Susan Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 16 hours ago by Country Music Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Jane Eyre is a beautiful book, the honesty and depth of experiences envelops the reader completely. It's a must have for anyone
Published 6 days ago by becky duke
4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre read at last!
I can't imagine why it has taken me so long to get round to reading this classic. It has been an excellent read.
Published 8 days ago by Patricia Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I've read the story when I was younger but think you appreciate things more when your older! Its good to read books like this now
Published 9 days ago by GILLIAN GUILD
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding in the Classics
A fabulous tale of a young, abused girl surviving the terrors of a draconian school and finding the deepest of love in the most unlikely place. Read more
Published 14 days ago by GinniKipper
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
I love this book, it's one of my favourite books, excellent story line and a fantastic read. I would recommend this to anyone.
Published 15 days ago by lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ageless
A Classic that I would always want access to whatever its format.Never tire of reading. Mr Rochester is still mesmerizing
Published 16 days ago by Barry Kneller
4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre puts you in safe hands
I have a fond spot for classics, and Jane Eyre is no exception. I love the story, and its insight, and basically everything about it. Read more
Published 17 days ago by MaryMorstan
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good story
Be warned that this review contains some plot spoilers!

When I retired in 2006 I vowed to devote some of my spare time to reading, or in a few cases re-reading, the... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Roger
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