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on 25 December 2016
Jane Eyre is set in rural 19th century England, Bronte has created a fictional account of the early life of Jane Eyre examining the conflicts between love and independence, conscience and passion, and the struggle of a young girl and woman. These hardly seem revolutionary now but were all pioneering themes in the patriarchal society of Victorian England in the 1800s.

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.
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on 27 June 2016
The books themselves are nice and i would recommend them. However i've brought from a couple of sellers including amazon and the covers a lot of times have been dirty. The covers being plastic means they can be wiped with a damp cloth to try clean the covers which does help but i shouldn't have to do this.
The pages themselves are very good quality but the covers are very hit and miss, Maybe the producer/manufacture or publisher (whoever deals with packaging) should issue a cellophane cover for them to be sold in as they seem to attract allot or dirt or maybe its how they are being stored in the warehouse. I've brought 7 of these books for myself and only 4 have been in perfect condition.The last 3 books i brought were dirty and parts of the plastic cover were slightly damaged on 2 book. I've put this down to the fact that they were packaged in an over sized box with other things i had ordered so everything was moving around within. I've brought 2 for my niece and one was again slightly dirty and the other had a bit of the plastic cover damaged though both were packaged very well that time.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 11 January 2016
Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre', first published in 1847 and with its famous sentence "Reader, I married him", is a novel that hardly needs an introduction and one that has enthralled readers from its original publication (Charlotte Bronte's publisher, George Smith, spent the entire day reading her manuscript and wouldn't retire to his bed until he had finished reading it) right up until the present time. With many of the essential ingredients for the successful romantic novel and many of the salient tropes for gothic fiction, 'Jane Eyre' also includes themes of religion, morality, social class, feminism, gender relationships and more - and, as such, can be read, enjoyed and discussed again and again. However, one of the main purposes of this review is talk about the new Vintage Classics Edition of this novel which has been produced in time for the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth. This latest paperback edition has an eye-striking jacket design with inner flaps to the cover to make the book feel more substantial and is attractively illustrated on the inside of the covers; there is also a brief introduction to the novel by the writer Maggie O'Farrell. If you are looking for a new paperback copy of this wonderful novel, and do not require a comprehensive introduction and notes, then I can certainly recommend this very attractively presented new edition.

5 Stars.
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on 11 June 2017
I ordered this book as an extra gift for my daughter on her 30th birthday. I hadn't realised how small the book was so was surprised when I received my parcel. However upon opening the parcel I found one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. The hardback embossed cover is beautiful and the guided pages are the perfect accompaniment. In one word this book is stunning.
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on 27 December 2016
The cover is linen and it has an elastic that keeps the pages. It's a lovely design that I'd happily replace all my classics with. The book contains the book and additional content.
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on 16 June 2013
This my favourite book for oh so many reasons.

It's a bit long and rambling in places for modern readers, but you have to remember a Victorian writer wouldn't have had an editor in the way modern writers do, to trim and tighten things up, so we are reading what might be closer to an earlier draft by modern standards. I love the lyrical nature of Charlotte Bronte's language, but even I skim some of the wordier parts, long rambling descriptions in places, and there are many religious references that go over the head of modern readers (refer to the notes in a printed copy if you really want to understand it all). Having said this, even with this skimming in places, it's a really good book with wonderful prose that tackles a number of social issues of the time.

Many people concentrate on the romance between Jane and Rochester, but there's so much more.

We see the kind of life an orphan (especially a girl) might have expected in pre social security Victorian Britain, even one born into a relatively comfortable family. There is a strong critical commentary on the conditions in some charity boarding schools (including Charlotte Bronte's own school at Cowan Bridge, a clergymen's daughters school). But Jane will not be broken, she's a feisty little girl and grows into a strong self assured young woman.

There's quite a feminist feel to many parts of the book, Charlotte Bronte was well educated herself, but she obviously felt the injustice of the unequal status, treatment and expectations of women at the time.

Jane wants to be respected and loved fer her intelligence and mind more than looks (she is no beauty) and she wants to be regarded as an equal in these respects by her prospective partner in life and this is one of the reasons she falls in love with Rochester because that is how he treats her.

Rochester seems like a monster in some respects by modern standards, but the book needs to be read with the historical context in mind. Divorce was very difficult to obtain at the time and living together (In sin) in much more religious times was socially unacceptable. Therefore many people found themselves trapped in marriages so bigamy was much more common than now (it's not really necessary now). It was a very bad crime, but none the less understandable in some circumstances. Also, understanding of mental health was almost non existent at the time and anyone who strayed from the social norms of behaviour would be written off as mad and be likely to end up in one of the horrendous asylums so prevalent at the time. It was actually considered the kinder option to employ a full time carer and keep the relative at home in a remote wing of a large house. Rochester had 3 other options than the one he took. He could have left Bertha behind in the West Indies, or sent her to an asylum and forgotten about her, knowing she'd probably die from infection fairly quickly in the squalor and filth, or he could have sent her to a damp house in the forest with Grace Poole and again let the conditions kill her with infection. All of these would have kept her at a greater distance and reduced the risk of anyone finding out about Bertha. However, he takes the arguably more moral option of keeping her close, in drier warmer conditions with a constant companion. A recently discovered case (2013) in India of a relative locked up in a house due to mental health issues and reaction to it shows that cultural norms vary widely, so although I don't condone Rochester's behaviour, I do believe the situation needs to be viewed through Victorian eyes as much as is possible today.

There is also a section that deals with the cold Christian religious fanaticism of St John Rivers with his heart as cold as stone, despite his Grecian good looks, which poses the question, should Jane marry for high morals (and possibly a very good looking husband), or would she be better off with a flawed, damaged and less than handsome husband with passion and a basically good heart full of repentance. The latter also being someone ready to accept Jane's intelligence and treat her as an equal partner in their relationship.

It needs to be remembered that some of the negative reaction to the book on publication (It was considered quite shocking) probably wasn't for the same reasons we find parts of it shocking. It was Jane standing up for herself as a female that caused concern among men. God forbid that women would want an equal voice alongside men.

All in all my absolute most favourite book of all time.

Oh and by the way, the romance is also moving as Jane gradually becomes unable to prevent herself from falling for Rochester, so enjoy that part also. "-and, alas! never had I loved him so well".
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on 26 May 2013
Writing a review of Jane Eyre is rather like giving one's opinion on the Rockefeller Centre - it's there, it's an established classic, and acknowledged a such. However, this wonderful novel moved me to such a degree that I thought I would give a few thoughts about it, in the hope that anyone who has not yet immersed themselves in this beautiful experience will consider doing so.

What is so wonderful about this book is that, as a story per se, it's fantastically straightforward and readable. I think Bronte herself described it as a "plain tale", and indeed in some respects it is a simple, moving story, told without pretension or artifice. However, into that tale the author packs such a rich web of symbolism and metaphor, descriptive brilliance and wild imagination, that you would have to say this is possibly the most gorgeously decorated "plain tale" ever told. For the 1840s it's absolutely off the map, and today's reader will still be constantly amazed at the joy of reading this novel. I raced through it greedily, and know that in time I will come back to it again. I'm so pleased no well-meaning English teacher ever forced me to read this at 14 and analyse it to death - this is a book for pleasure, and a book to enjoy when the time it right for you. Whenever that it, you'll have one of the best literary experiences available.
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on 29 March 2013
I can remember at school some 15 years ago being asked by my English teacher to try giving the classics a go. Of course, my 12-year-old self was horrified at the idea of being handed some of my Nan's copies of classics (proper literature not being a choice bit of reading at that age). Jane Eyre was one of the books my Nan handed over. I must admit I did try Jane Eyre back then and was getting into it before circumstances meant I didn't do so much reading and could not get back into the story. I have tried a few times since, again circumstances in life intervening. So when I got my Kindle and realised the classics were free, Jane Eyre was one of the first books I downloaded, though it is only now that I have read it.

It took me a while to read this in full (over a week), because it's one of those you have to read it slowly and read every word to appreciate it. Yes, it is a bit confusing in some parts, but as this is my first classic (I have not seen any TV adaptations or such either), it might just be me getting used to the terminology used back in the day. It is a wonderful story about life back then and the title character comes to life off the pages. This is where modern romance stories have evolved from and it is a recommended read for anyone who wants to read one of the classics. I think even my 12-year-old self would have approved had I finished the story when I first started it.
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on 15 October 2012
I've always resisted reading the "classics" of literature, perhaps due to my worry that I would find the plot uninspiring and the language too difficult to absorb.

But I decided to take the plunge, and downloaded Jane Eyre as my first foray (outside of an educational establishment) into classical fiction.

And I am so glad that I did.

The plot gripped me from the first page - Jane is an absorbing, dimensional character whose life story veers from sad to uplifting to tragic. The other individuals that Jane encounters through her twenty years, from Helen to Rochester to St John, are all incredibly real.

The prose is frequently humourous with insightful philosophies on human nature and morals, and evocative descriptions of nature along with the love that grows between Jane and Rochester.

The vocabulary is, at times, challening (which certainly had me grateful for my Kindle dictionary) but this only enriches the experience of the novel by imparting understanding of the terminology and phrases from the era.

It touches on many modern topics - feminism, politics and religion also lie underneath the story of Jane Eyre which is, in part, what makes this novel so enduring.

I absolutely loved this novel and could hardly put it down. An absolute must read, even if you think (like I used to) that it might not be something I would enjoy. Put aside your prejudice and pick up a copy of Jane Eyre - you will not be disappointed.
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on 28 January 2013
I read "Jane Eyre" in my native language many years ago. In the meantime I watched almost all movies and series made based on it, so fairly familiar with the story. The book took me by surprise. As soon as I started reading, it grabbed my attention and would not let go until I came to the last page. The writing is wonderful, intricate and full of small details that most of us in 21st century would not notice. The story is better and more complex than the screen adaptations, which did not manage to capture all of Jane's inner battles and internalizations of experiences she was going through.

Although I gave it 5 stars, I would like to give you a word of warning:
- this is one of those books where sentences can be as long as a whole page, so I would recommend peace and quiet to focus and take it all in;
- there are quite a few paragraphs and expressions in French. You can either ignore it and kind of figure out what is happening or enlist help from a fluent French speaker (my mum-in-law was great :-))
- I cannot imagine reading this book without Kindle and having help from the built-in dictionary. Many words used in this book have been long extinct and unless you are an avid reader of the old English literature, this might be a problem. I personally found it rewarding, as it helped me build vocabulary and truly send me back to the nineteenth century.

All in all, an excellent book which I will keep and read again some time in the future.
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