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129 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary triumph
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...
Published on 23 Aug 2005

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but abridged?
Good version, but not the full version - I don't remember this being stated when I bought it? Good if you jst want the 'gist' though.
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by Joy's mother


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129 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary triumph, 23 Aug 2005
By A Customer
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. Bronte takes pains to impress upon the reader that Jane is no beauty (and nor is Mr. Rochester) and while Jane eventually forgives Mrs. Reed and those who did her wrong, she is often wilful and passionate in her search for independence. While reading the book you really get to know Jane and start to care about her. The whole way through this book all I wanted was for Jane and Mr. Rochester to finally get together. You can fully understand Jane's dismay when she comes up against obstacles that hinder this.
The book is divided into three volumes. The first two volumes are absoultely exquisite, and so it the end of the third volume, however the beginning of volume three does drag on a bit.
I would recommend this book to anybody who loves classics, and to the rest who are scared (such as I was) to start reading them. Jane Eyre was my gateway into the world of old English literature.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her First Published Novel, 19 Mar 2013
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Jane Eyre (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. If you think about it you would have picked the book up seeing the title and expecting the character to be a male.

Told in the first person Jane Eyre talks to us and brings her story to life with a certain amount of pathos, thus making us as readers really feel for her and ache to help her. Although nowadays perhaps seen more as a teen girl's book this is for all of us, of whatever sex, or even sexual orientation. How many of us have fallen in love with someone who is unavailable? I would think most of us at one time or another. Having a strong narrative that really draws you in and captivates this is truly a timeless classic.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre, 26 Oct 2008
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) (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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful book, 24 Sep 2004
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful novel, beautiful illustrations, 17 Oct 2007
By 
K. Turner (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I saw the only other review, I had to chime in! I loved this book. The novel is, of course, wonderful, and I found the illustrations to be an absolute delight. Dame Darcy's gothic, naive style works perfectly with Charlotte Bronte's text, echoing both the serious yet childlike narrative voice and the whimsical, imaginative art that Jane herself creates.

The quality of this volume is fantastic - the covers and spine are beautifully designed to look aged and well-loved, the fonts are elegant, easy on the eye and authentic-looking and the illustrations themselves (a mix of black and white embellishments and full colour plates) are generously scattered throughout. It works wonderfully, and would make a perfect gift.

As for the fact that the cover shows Jane and the burning house, I can honestly say that this didn't bother me. I find that most book covers tend to be, like movie posters or trailers, a composite of dramatic images from the story intended to give a flavour of what follows rather than a literal promise. I didn't give this artistic license a second thought!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless romance, 23 Jan 2003
Young Jane has a tough childhood growing up with her cousins and aunt after her parents passed away. Treated like a servant, and not like a member of the family, Jane felt she was all alone in the world, and it doesn't make it better when she's sent away to school. First as a student, and then as a teacher/guverness, but neither is like a dance on roses. Then her skills bring her to a mysterious and quite arrogant Mr.Rochesters house where she becomes the guverness...
This book illustrates very well the passionate love from a woman's point of view. No longer is the female character a background character, but becomes independant with feelings, passion, integrety and a strong mind.
The book is very realistic, and you can easily identify yourself with the feelings that the main character has. Her devotion for what she loves, and her effort to make the best out of her life.
Charlotte Brontė, who first published this book under a pseudonym, is probably the most well-known of the Brontė sisters who all died very young. Jane Eyre is a brilliant book of a woman who can be a role model for young girls of today. Her determination to make life the best for herself as no one else seems to bother, and her passion for what she loves. One of the first romance novels written. A true classic that I very much enjoyed to read, and I'm certain I will read it many more times. Even my friend, who doesn't like reading very much, totally loved this book. I warmly recommend this to anyone who loves a good novel, and most certainly to young girls. I think the language might be a little advanced for anyone younger than 16.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collector's library, 28 July 2007
Very nice edition! it is smaller than a "normal" book, as is clear from the dimensions given in the product information section, but is not more difficult to read. I have many of these books and i absolutely love them, I am just disappointed that some authors are not published (like Mrs Gaskell).
I found it a bit misleading to give 1 star to a book like Jane Eyre just because somebody didn't like the dimension of it, so i decided to write this review to give my impression of these editions which are absolutely elegant and special.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediate Success, 8 Feb 2003
By 
Peter Kenney (Birmingham, Alabama, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
JANE EYRE is a wonderful story about a woman's struggle to survive and go on to realize her full potential. It is also a stirring tale of romance in which love conquers evil and despair.
The plot is interesting while the main characters are multi-dimensional and very intriguing. The book has almost too many characters but some are memorable simply because they seem so real.
The story begins with Jane Eyre as an unwanted orphan in the care of a cruel aunt who has two spoiled children of her own. Jane is sent to an austere boarding school where she develops into a remarkable young woman able to overcome tremendous obstacles and discouragements. She gets a job as governess for a young girl at Thornfield which is owned by Edward Rochester. The evolving love relationship between Jane and Edward becomes the focus of the novel whose broad message is uplifting in spite of the sombre mood and tragic events which often intervene.
I like Charlotte Bronte's writing style. It is easy to see why she became an immediate success with the publication of JANE EYRE in 1847.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only four stars because it's not as good as Villette, 22 Nov 2007
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book, bristling with anarchy, anger and rebellion. It is so unusual for a Victorian novel that even now, reading it all this time on, it still has the power to shock. Jane spends the entire book upsetting decorum, railing against her fate and succumbing to her desires. It's absolutely fascinating to see so many Victorian taboos being broken.
Someone mentioned that the book is long. The Victorian convention was for the triple decker novel, which is basically three modern sized novels in one. This is why there are almost no short Victorian novels, so if you're looking for snappy reads, try a different era.
I for one, think that this book is just about perfect. It is tautly written, suspenseful despite the length, and pacy. It is full of cliff hangers and drama, and you always want to know what happens next. The ghostly, supernatural element is done brilliantly, both with the episode at the beginning with Jane in the Red Room, and the episodes with Bertha Mason once Jane arrives at Thornfield Hall.
The basic plot is that Jane, an orphan child, is dumped on unwilling and unloving relatives who make her life a misery. She in turn makes their lives a misery, and is peremptorily packed off to boarding school where amidst great trials and tragedy she becomes a governess. Her first job takes her to Thornfield Hall where she meets the wonderfully brooding anti-hero, Rochester. They fall in love, and things go horribly wrong from thereon in.
I must have read this book at least half a dozen times, and it never ceases to be a pleasure. There is always something new to find. For students, I recommend reading it alongside Gilbert and Gubar's seminal critical work, The Mad Woman in the Attic. It is a revelation. I also recommend reading it alongside Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, which was published in the 1950's and deals with the back story for Bertha Mason. It adds such depth to the work I guarantee you will need to read it again afterwards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but abridged?, 27 Oct 2011
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Audio CD)
Good version, but not the full version - I don't remember this being stated when I bought it? Good if you jst want the 'gist' though.
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