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"Jane Eyre is the first fictional heroine to give women permission, as it were, to have an intense inner life." -- Joanna Trollope
"My all-time favourite classic is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë." -- Jacqueline Wilson
"One of the most perfectly structured novels of all time." -- Sarah Waters
"So we open Jane Eyre... The writer has us by the hand, forces us along her road, makes us see what she sees, never leaves us for a moment or allows us to forget her. At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë... It is the red and fitful glow of the heart's fire which illuminates her page." -- Virginia Woolf
"Why does Jane Eyre retain its appeal after so many decades, and so many intervening novels of virginal young heroines, Byronic moody mysterious elder men, and melodramatic disclosures? One answer is, simply, the quality of Jane's and Rochester's characters. They are believable. They are intelligent, yet emotional, superior beings who are human, even flawed; as the nineteenth-century reader would have discerned, they are models for us all." -- Joyce Carol Oates --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Part of the Vintage Classics Brontë Series: three sisters, three major novels, beautifully designed. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Jane Eyre, a nine year old orphan, is being raised by her maternal aunt, Mrs. Reed, depicted as a cold and uncaring maternal figure Jane Eyre finds herself at Lowood Boarding School where life is just as tough before Jane Eyre helped by her role model Helen Burns becomes an intelligent, educated young woman eventually tutoring at the school before she leaves to work for the wealthy Mr. Rochester. Rochester and Eyre have tumultuous relationship throughout the novel and Rochester has dark secrets he is trying to keep hidden in the attic of his home.
It is a good story well told, if it has any weaknesses it might be the overuse of French with no translations and the concluding chapter is very brief and just wraps up everything a little too neatly. But it is a classic of English Literature and rightly so.
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 Margaret Oliphant to be the beginning of the 'Sensation Novel', and it is quite clear why. 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 strictly 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 publicly, 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.
The novel starts with Jane Eyre looking back on her childhood as a poor relation growing up with her Aunt and cousins. They don't treat her well and soon pack her off to Lowood boarding school. This is Jane's saving grace, she loves to learn and gets on well at the school despite it's hardships. She quickly becomes friends with Helen Burns, who has some great lines. She stays on as a teacher for several years before searching for a governess post. The first one she finds is at Thornfield Hall some 100 miles from the school that's been her home for nearly a decade. This is where she meets Mr Rochester, and I won't spoil the story from there on.
Jane Eyre was Charlotte's first novel to be published and was immediately popular, it's easy to see why. Jane's character is so forceful, it leaps off the page at you. She expresses great dismay at the limited choices open to women in the mid-19th century and makes the best of every opportunity open to her.
Jane is so passionate and highly principled. Her reaction to Mr Rochester's secret tells you everything you need to know about her, she won't compromise her values even for the man she loves. Her sacrifice speaks to me and I hope to all women, to not settle for second best, to make the most of everything and to make yourself heard.
I enjoyed immensely the TV film To Walk Invisible which was shown in the UK over Christmas, it showed how the sisters were first published and the troubled relationship they had with their brother, Branwell. If you didn't see it and can get your hands on it, please watch it.
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Charlotte Brontë brilliantly portrays the human feelings.Read more