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Why you should read Jane Eyre


  1. Jane is a spunky, brooding, complex heroine – although popular when published, she was ahead of her time and resonates from generation to generation.

  2. A surprising and engaging read from the opening image of the dreaded Red Room to the disturbing resolution!

  3. Bronte is such a master of characterization that numerous spin-off novels have been written -- on the minor characters!

  4. Scholars have grappled with and interpreted this novel for years – unlocking its secrets and investing it with great symbolic meaning.

Why you may struggle with Jane Eyre


  1. Her syntax and formal diction may take some getting used to – consider reading an annotated edition to help with any unfamiliar vocabulary.

  2. Bronte embraces many qualities of Gothic literature and, therefore, the novel can be gloomy in places and, in the words of Queen Victoria, “very peculiar” at times.



Still interested?

Download the novel for free at one of the following sites:


http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1260
http://www.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/Bronte-Jane.html
http://www.literature.org/authors/bronte-charlotte/jane-eyre/
http://www.online-literature.com/brontec/janeeyre/


Jane Eyre – Fast Facts

Pages – 483 (Cambridge Literature edition)
Author – Charlotte Bronte
Date Published – 1847

Setting – England




Point of view – First person (narrator: Jane Eyre)




Genre – Bildungsroman (coming of age) / Gothic elements



Issues/Conflicts – Love / Family / Human Nature / Social Class

Beyond the Basics…




Overview of context, conflicts, point of view:

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/bronte.html



Comprehensive site on Victorian literature and Jane Eyre:

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/eyreov.html
Comparison between Jane Eyre and other famous novels:

http://www2.sbbs.se/hp/cfalk/novels.htm#janeeyre
Bronte Parsonage Museum and Bronte Society web site:

http://www.bronte.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=112&Itemid=122
Post-Colonial” perspectives on the novel:

http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/colonial3c.html
Information on Wide Sargasso Sea, Rhys’s prequel which tells Bertha’s story:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/carib/colonising-marriage.htm
http://readers.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141185422,00.html


A list of works inspired by Jane Eyre:


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Mrs. Rochester: A Sequel to Jane Eyre by Hilary Bailey

Adele: Jane Eyre’s Hidden Story by Emma Tennant

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn

Jane Rochester by Kimberly A. Bennett

The French Dancer’s Bastard: The Story of Adele From Jane Eyre by Emma Tennant

Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre’s Hidden Story by Emma Tennant


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