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127 of 134 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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127 of 134 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre, 26 Oct 2008
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
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 (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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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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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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jane eyre hardback unabridged collector's edition, 21 April 2009
By 
this is my 3rd Collector's Edition book i have and i want MORE! from the dustcover which hides the lovely red velvety feel of the book to the gold edged pages with permanent ribboned marker. What a treat! I agree not so good for eyes that can't see properly as the book is rather small but i'd recommend a big magnifying glass to go with it! the book reminds me (as obviously do their stories) of times gone by when books WERE books. Just love everything about this. originally had the penguin version (paperback) but just wanted something a big smarter! Every year i have to read Pride & Prejudice (collector's library, naturally) just in case Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth DON'T end up together. The books are just the right size to hold and i lurve 'em! as for Jane Eyre, probably one of my least favourite stories EVER - that was until the BBC did the version in 2006 and suddenly made Mr. Rochester "sexy"????!!!!!! had then to buy the book to see what HADN'T been put in the tv series, ended up reading it in 2 days and it made me cry at the end! what a lovely story. i've even bought of amazon the 1986 tv series with Timothy Dalton AMAZING!!! what an overly underrated actor he is, a bit too good looking for Mr. Rochester but a superb bit of acting (shame about james bond!) Can't praise this book highly enough!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is Jane Eyre, sir, 16 Jan 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It's hard to imagine a better gothic romance than "Jane Eyre" -- gloomy vast houses, mysterious secrets, and a brooding haunted man with a dark past.

In fact, Charlotte Bronte's classic novel has pretty much everything going for it -- beautiful settings, a passionate romance tempered by iron-clad morals, and a heroine whose poverty and lack of beauty only let her brains and courage shine brighter. And it's all wrapped in the misty, haunting atmosphere of a true gothic story -- madwoman in the attic and all.

Jane Eyre was an orphan, abused and neglected first by relatives, then by a boarding school run by a tyrannical, hypocritical minister. But Jane refuses to let anyone shove her down -- even when her saintly best friend dies from the wretched conditions.

But many years later, Jane moves on by applying to Thornfield Hall for a governess position, and gets the job. She soon becomes the teacher and friend to the sprightly French girl Adele, but is struck by the dark, almost haunted feeling of her new home.

Then she runs into a rather surly horseman -- who turns out to be her employer, Mr. Rochester, a cynical, embittered man who spends little time at Thornfield. They are slowly drawn together into a powerful love, despite their different social stations -- and Rochester's apparent attentions to a shallow, snotty aristocrat who wants his wealth and status.

But strange things are happening at Thornfield -- stabbings, fires, and mysterious laughter. Jane and Rochester finally confess their feelings to each other, but their wedding is interrupted when Rochester's dark past comes to light. Jane flees into the arms of long-lost family members, and is offered a new life -- but her love for Rochester is not so easily forgotten...

"Jane Eyre" is one of those books that transcends the labels of genre. Charlotte Bronte spun a haunting gothic romance around her semi-autobiographical heroine and Byronic anti-hero, filling it with brilliant writing and solid plot. It has everything all the other gothic romances of the time had... but Bronte gave it depth and intensity without resorting to melodrama.

Bronte wrote in the usual stately prose of the time, but it has a sensual, lush quality, even in the dank early chapters at Lowood. At Thornfield, the book acquires an overhanging atmosphere of foreboding, until the clouds clear near the end. And she wove some tough questions into Jane's perspective -- that of a woman's independence and strength in a man's world, of extreme religion, and of the clash between morals and passion.

And Bronte also avoided any tinges of drippy sentimentality (Mrs. Reed dies still spewing venom) while injecting some hauntingly nightmarish moments ("She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart"). She even manages to include some funny stuff, such as Rochester disguising himself as an old gypsy woman.

The story does slow down after the abortive wedding, when Jane flees Thornfield and briefly considers marrying a repressed clergyman who wants to go die preaching in India. It's rather boring to hear the self-consciously saintly St. John prattling about himself, instead of Rochester's barbed wit. But when Jane departs again, the plot speeds up into a nice, mellow little finale.

Bronte did a brilliant job of bringing her heroine to life -- as a defiant little girl who is condemned for being "passionate," as an independent young lady, and as a woman torn between love and principle. Jane's strong personality and wits overwhelm the basic fact that she's not unusually pretty. And Rochester is a brilliantly sexy Byronic anti-hero with a prickly, mercurial wit.

Of Charlotte Bronte's few novels, "Jane Eyre" is undoubtedly the most brilliant -- passionate, dark and hauntingly eerie. Definitely a must-read.
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Jane Eyre (Wordsworth Classics)
Jane Eyre (Wordsworth Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (Paperback - 1 May 1992)
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