Read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Marcelle Clements Erica Jong Online


Fiery love, shocking twists of fate, and tragic mysteries put a lonely governess in jeopardy in JANE EYRE Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troublFiery love, shocking twists of fate, and tragic mysteries put a lonely governess in jeopardy in JANE EYRE Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?...

Title : Jane Eyre
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451530912
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 470 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Jane Eyre Reviews

  • Nataliya
    2019-05-21 16:41

    Yes, I suppose you can view this book mostly as a love story. That's what I did at age 13 - but that's why I was left disappointed back then¹.Or you can view this as an story of formation of a strong and independent female protagonist, a nineteenth-century feminist, light-years ahead of its time. And that's what left my now-closer-to-thirty-than-twenty self very satisfied and, quite frankly, rather impressed.²¹(view spoiler)[The guy kept his wife in the attic. Seriously - no. Just no. You don't get all the way to your SECOND wedding forgetting to mention that your FIRST wife is hidden in the attic. Seriosly, Rochester, what the hell is wrong with you? How can you even attempt to build a marriage on such a lie??? (hide spoiler)]² "I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience."Sing it, Jane. You tell him, you strong and awesome woman, you!When I read it for the first time as a young and opinionated teen, I thought Jane Eyre was a boring and meek protagonist, too clingy to her 'outdated' morals, too afraid to do what I thought was a brave thing to do - say 'yes' to the apparent happiness that poor tragic Mr. Rochester was offering. (Oh naive young me, putting way too much stock in Rochester's woes after his (view spoiler)[first marriage (hide spoiler)], sleeping with everyone in Europe and rejecting them probably because they were not English enough for him!) Wow, was there ever a way to misunderstand a book more than I did this one? Sometimes life experience does matter indeed.Jane Eyre has a good idea of her self-worth. And she has a good idea about her own morals. And, unlike many in her situation, she sticks to her morals and her idea of what is wrong or right regardless of what outcome is in it for her. Here is the prime example:"Gentlemen in his station are not accustomed to marry their governesses."The emphasis in this well-intentioned advice by Mrs. Fairfax is on the word MARRY. Ah, silly old lady, one may think, cautioning the young woman in such a prudish way. Ah, silly young woman, taking the advice of the old lady and acting prudishly. Ah, silly young woman, eventually rejecting the sincere love and offer of happiness for a seemingly prudish reason - not wanting to be a mistress. So old-fashioned and weak and caged-up, screamed my thirteen-year-old self.But here's the thing. It's not just for the moral lesson for the readers that Bronte has Jane firmly say 'no'. It's not for the sake of mere societal appearance. It's for the sake of Jane, and Jane alone. MARRYING governesses was uncommon. Having them as mistresses - probably not as rare. In her society, protecting her virtue and reputation was not only the matter of religious views or stigma - it was the question of her future, as she had nobody to stand up for her if her reputation was ruined. And it was a question of her integrity - the quality that she maintains through thick and thin, refusing to fall head over heels for love, refusing to let love justify all the mistakes and wrong choices, refusing to let love blind her to everything else that was important for her sense of self-worth.By refusing Rochester, Jane stays so true to herself without ever betraying herself. Jane refuses to take the steps that would destroy her integrity in her own eyes, and for that she has my strongest and most sincere respect and admiration. What Rochester did is unthinkable to her - not because of how others view it but because of her morals and convictions - and she shows unbelievable courage in sticking up for what she believes in, even if it is to her own material and soul-wrecking detriment. She will not give herself fully to something - or someone - that would destroy her integrity, tarnish her own self. And I love her for this unwavering determination to stay true to herself! "Reader, I married him" may be one of the most famous phrases from this book (actually, the most famous, come to think of it) - but it is her refusal to marry him in the first place that allows her to keep her integrity and remain true to self, and continue developing into the amazing person she becomes. Jane has too much self-worth to have Rochester until he redeems himself in her eyes, until he repents. That's the point, not the marriage part.Despite self-proclaimed meekness, Jane Eyre is far from weak or scared. She has been forced to make her own way in life without the luxury of relying on a rich male relative - father, brother, husband. And she did this in the world where being attached to a man was the best choice for a woman (just remember Jane Austen's heroines a few decades earlier reaching happiness only after finding a suitable gentleman!). She is a rebel - setting out to have her own career in a male-dominated world, refusing to let a man rule her life (that applies to both Rochester and St. John here), and making statements that may have not had the most sympathetic audience back in her day:"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."And here's what else I enjoyed about this book - its attempts to subvert the tropes, the same tropes that we still heavily rely on in literature. Bronte gets rid of the 'faultless' heroine - instead of being perfect (or having an imaginary flaw, like many literary heroines are prone to nowadays) Jane has a real one (for her time, at least) - her occasional temper. And she is not beautiful - not fake flaws, either but a consensus by many impartial observers that she is not a beauty. And to take it a step further - Mr. Rochester, our romantic lead, is quite frankly, rather ugly. This is not a beautiful couple (and Hollywood managed to "fix" that in all the movie adaptations, by the way - a slap in Bronte's face, I guess?). Jane is not in love with a pretty façade of Rochester - since he has none (a thing that contemporary writers should learn, by the way - writing love that stems from something else that simple attraction to physical beauty). And finally, the atmosphere of this story. Oh, the wonderfully gothic atmosphere written so well, with intense moods palpable in every paragraph. So colorful, so vivid, so immersing - every room, every moor, every tree. Every description of landscape or interior actually serves a purpose to establish the mood of the scene, and it is very well-done..................................All that said, I'm giving a condescending pat on the shoulder to my teenage self from the 'wisdom' of another fifteen years. Sorry, teen Nataliya, you little annoying know-it-all - you just needed to grow up to appreciate this story. 4.5 stars and high recommendation.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Vinaya
    2019-05-05 16:39

    FIVE REASONS WHY JANE EYRE WOULD NEVER BE A BESTSELLER IN OUR TIMES:5. Four hundred-odd pages of purely descriptive writing4. Overt religious themes and moral preaching3. A plain-Jane heroine who stays plain. No makeovers to reveal a hitherto hidden prettiness that only needed an application of hydrogen peroxide and some eyebrow plucking to emerge full-blown.2. The world is not well-lost for love. In the war between self-respect and grand passion, principles win hands down. Rousing, yet tender speeches do not make our heroine forsake her creed to fall swooning and submissive into her alpha's arms. 1. NO SEX!!!When I was a little girl, I had a doll named Saloni. Now Saloni wasn't a particularly attractive specimen as dolls go, especially since, over the years, I had drilled a hole in her little rosebud mouth in order to 'feed' her, I had 'brushed' her hair till all the poor synthetic threads had fallen out and I had dragged her around with me so much, one of her big blue eyes had fallen off. But in my eyes, Saloni was the best doll ever created. She was my comfort, my mainstay in a world filled with confusing new things like school and daycare and other little people. Jane Eyre is my grown-up version of Saloni. Comfort food for my brain. There are two authors I will read over and over and over again, until the day I die. One of them is Charlotte Bronte, the other one is Georgette Heyer. I have read Jane Eyre a million times, but I never tire of the story. Every time I reach the scene where she professes her love to Mr. Rochester, I come out in goosebumps. Every single time. Age and experience have taught me to spot the flaws in the story and the characters. The ineffable belief in English superiority. The condescending attitude towards servants and people of the lower class. The ill-treatment of mentally disabled people. The almost Quaker-ish sentiments of Jane Eyre. But all of this detracts not a whit from one of the greatest love stories ever told. And there are a lot of things to admire in this book as well. Edward Rochester, ugly as sin, but powerful and dominant and unbelievably attractive in spite of his looks. A love that grows and strengthens on the basis of mutual sympathy, respect and a meeting of the minds, that a lot of our authors would do well to learn from. Jane Eyre, who does not think that her great love excuses acts of selfishness and immorality. Despite being drawn as a somewhat submissive personality, Jane manages to hold her own with quiet fortitude, never loudly asserting her intelligence or talent, but nonetheless displaying a strength of character that would put the Bellas and Noras of out time to shame. Jane Eyre would never, as I have said above, be a bestseller if it had been written in our times. And that is a loss we must take upon ourselves. That we have put such prime value on lust and looks and power that we have forgotten to be real in our writing. There is a reason why millions of people the world over remember and revere a book written a hundred and fifty-odd years ago while the bestsellers of our times slip quickly and quietly from our memories. Jane Eyre is more than just a beautiful book about a love story that transcends all boundaries; it is a testament to the power of pure emotion, that can be felt through the ages and across all barriers of time and culture.

  • Cristin
    2019-04-28 12:47

    I could bang Mr. Rochester like a screen door 'till next Tuesday. That's not all I got from this book, honestly...

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-04-23 17:29

    Reader, I gave it five stars. Please let me tell you why. Jane Eyre is the quintessential Victorian novel. It literally has everything that was typical of the period, but, unlike other novels, it has all the elements in one story. At the centre is the romance between Jane and Rochester, which is enhanced by gothic elements such as the uncanniness of the doppleganger and the spectre like qualities of Bertha. In addition, it is also a governess novel; these were an incredibly popular type of storytelling in the age and for it to be combined with gothic elements, which are interposed with a dualistic relationship between realism and romance, is really quite unique. The correct term for this is a hybrid, in which no genre voice is dominant; they exist alongside each other creating one rather special book. And this is so, so, special; it’s an excellent piece of literature. Jane’s journey is gut wrenching and emotional. Through her life she experiences real sorrow, the kind that would make a lesser person give up. She also experiences real friendship, the type that comes across perhaps once in a lifetime. But, most significantly, she experiences true love and the development of independence to form he own ending. I really do love this book. Bronte utilises the first person narrative, which creates a high degree of intimacy with her character; it makes me feel like I know Jane as well as she comes to know her own self. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”Jane’s a strong willed individual. From a very young age she had the clarity of intelligence to recognise the injustice that was her life; yes, she is narrating her story retrospectively, though she still had the perceptiveness to realise how mistreated she was. I love the pathetic fallacy Bronte uses at the beginning. The child Jane looks out the window, shielded by the curtain, and witnesses the horrible weather. It is cold and bleak; it is windy and morose; thus, we can immediately see the internal workings of Jane’s mind. The weather reflects her feelings throughout the novel, and at the very beginning the situation was at its worse. This can also be seen with the fire imagery that represents her rage when she is shoved in the red room; it later mirrors that of Bertha’s fury. Everybody needs love, children especially so. These early experiences help to define her later character, and, ultimately influence how she sees the world; she still hides behind a curtain in Rochester’s house when he flirts with Miss Ingrum. These experiences set her on an almost perpetual quest for love, for belonging and for the independence to make her own decisions. She finds friendship in the form of Helen Burns; she gives her some sound advice, but Jane cannot fully accept such religious fatalism. However, it does inspire her, a little, to continue with life; she realises, no matter what happens, she will always have the love of her greatest friend. Jane clings to this idea, but, ultimately, has to seek a more permanent solution to her loneliness. She needs a vocation, one that will fulfil her and give her life meaning; thus, she becomes a governess and crosses paths with the downtrodden, miserable wretch that is Mr Rochester. Sometimes I feel like Rochester didn’t know quite what he wanted. When he sees Jane he sees a woman with strength, blunt honesty and integrity: he sees an emotional equal. This attracts her to him, which develops into love. However, when he tries to express his love he does it through trying to claim her as his own. Through doing so, not only does he show the nature of Victorian marriage, he shows his own deep vulnerability. He loves her mind, her intelligence, and he too wants to be loved. He longs for it with a frightening passion. So, instead of doing things the way Jane would have wanted him to do, he overwhelms her with expensive affection. By doing so he almost loses her. All Jane wanted was his heart, nothing more nothing less. By showering her with such flattery and expensive items, he insults her independence. He risks destroying the thing that attracted him to her in the first place, their equality; their mutual respect and love. He takes away her dignity. I really don’t think the original marriage would have worked. Ignore the existence of the mad woman in the attic; I just think Rochester would have spoilt it. It would have become too awkward. They needed to be on the same societal level as well as one of intellect and character. The ending is touching and a little sad, but it is the only one that could ever have worked for these two characters. Without the tragedy there could never have be rejuvenation and the chance for them to be together on equal terms, no matter what it cost to get there. If that wasn’t enough reason for me to love this book, there are also elements of fantasy and desire. This is a realism novel, it pertains to credible events, but the suggestions of fantasy only add to the strong romantic notions. Rochester is enamoured by Jane; he cannot believe that a woman like her actually exists. All his misguided notions are brushed away in an instant. Whilst he views Jane as special, it is clear that he realises that other women may also have a similar rebellious voice, only hidden. He considers her an elf, a witch, an improbable woman that has captured his desire, his heart, his soul, his life. He knows he will never be the same again. From Jane’s point of view, her first encounter with him is otherworldly. She had grown bored with her governess role, and when she sees the approach of Rochester and his dog Pilot, she sees the gytrash myth; she wants to see something fantastical instead she finds her heart, which is something much rarer. Then there are also the feminist elements. Jane transgresses the boundary associated with her gender in the Victorian age. For a woman to be recognised as having equal intellect to that of a man was sadly a rare thing. Women could actually attend university, but the downside was they could never get the full degree. They could spend months studying, though never be recognised as actually having gained the qualification. It was just another attempt to keep women under the thumb, so for Bronte to portray the truth of Jane’s equal intellect is a great step for the recognition of women, and women writers. This book received a whole host of negative reviews at the time of its publication for this element alone. Stupid really, but that’s misogyny for you. Reader, I love this book. I really could go on, but this is getting kind of long. I hope I’ve made it clear why I love this story so much. I shall be reading this again later this year to correspond with my exams, which I’m already looking forward to- the reading that is, not the exams. I don’t think will ever have read this story enough though.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-14 17:44

    There is something deeply attractive about gothic romance. Part of its appeal is the sense of intractable eroticism squirming to escape from just beneath the surface. The tension in the genre is often generated by a virginal girl's attraction to a dangerous man. The more pitiful and helpless the heroine --the better, but she must also be proud and virtuous, brave and idealistic. Her attraction to the ominous hero must be based on pity, not fear. He must deserve her idealism. Charlotte's Bronte's “Jane Eyre”, in my opinion, is among the greatest of gothic novels, a page turner of such startling power, it leaves its pale latter-day imitators like “Twilight” flopping for air like a stranded fish. To be sure, the dark hero of the story, Edward Rochester, is not a vampire, but that's only a technicality. “Jane Eyre” is about how a poor, unloved, and unattractive orphan uses her awesome personality to win over a wealthy sort-of-aristocrat, and live happily ever after. But the novel is far from your typical Harlequin romance. Way far! By "awesome personality", I mean she is blunt and somewhat annoyingly obsessed with duty. It’s also important to mention that the sort-of-aristocrat is: mean, ugly, and comes with more baggage than a first class international flight would allow. And the happily ever after? That comes in the last few pages of a very long, and very messed-up (think psychopathic mind games and imprisoned people in the attic) courtship. But fear not! It's still a pretty compelling read for a book that was published in the bygone days of 1847. In fact, I got kind of obsessed with all the gory details after a while. Either you know the plot or not, its secret is a red herring with all the significance of a scuba gear in the desert. It functions only to provide Rochester with an honorable reason to propose a dishonorable thing, and thus preserve the moral standards of the time. The novel is actually about forbidden sexual attraction on both sides, and its interest is in the tension of Jane and Rochester as they desire sex but deny themselves. Much of the power comes from repressed emotions, and perhaps Charlotte Bronte was writing in code about the feelings nice women of her time were not supposed to feel. This just triggers my thirst-for-voyeurism and, I would like to think, so does everyone else’s! Add in the madness, disability, missionaries, and a tasty sprinkle of the gothic into the mix, and I was hooked! No wonder Hollywood loves recycling it over the years. Of course, apart from all this, the book also offers something else: a tale about “The Man” getting you down. Over and over, Jane’s put into situations where she’s too young, too poor, or too powerless to win, but she has to try anyway. And we all know about that. We’ve all been the kid who was picked on by some random adult like Mrs. Reed or Mr. Brocklehurst, or your fourth-grade math teacher just because that person has a stick up their you-know-what. We’ve all had to accept that everyone would believe the adults just because they are adults, so they get away with it. Maybe some of us have also been the young employee who gets pressured to do something immoral or just to work late again by our boss. Or the girlfriend who finds out that her boyfriend’s taking someone else out on Friday night. That "someone else" might not be an insane vampiric arsonist, but hey, parallels only go so far. Even if you've never spent time as a governess in a moldering mansion, you've likely felt puny and insignificant at some point in your life. And there is nothing more relatable than watching the underdog get kicked around... and nothing more satisfying than watching her triumph.Overall, I consider “Jane Eyre” one of my favorite books of all time, just a smidge higher than “Wuthering Heights”. I like reading the works of the Bronte sisters. They always bring out the crazy in me!

  • Cecily
    2019-05-13 15:27

    Child neglect, near death, a dash of magical realism, the power of love, the powerlessness of the poor, sexual rivalry, mystery, madness and more. It is as powerful as ever - but is it really a love story, given Rochester's Svengali-tendencies, or is it a life story? His downfall and her inheritance make them more equal, but is it really love on his part? I'm not sure, which is what makes it such a good book (just not necessarily a love story). I also like the tension between it being very Victorian in some obvious ways, and yet controversially modern in others: an immoral hero, a fiercely independent and assertive heroine, and some very unpleasant Christians (it's not that I think Christians are bad or like seeing them portrayed in a nasty way - it's Bronte's courage in writing such characters I admire). CHILDHOODAbout the first quarter of the book concerns the tremendous hardship and abuse that Jane suffers growing up. It's often heavily cut from film, TV and stage adaptations, but despite the fluff about this being a great love story, I think there is merit in paying attention to her formative years as an essential element of explaining what makes Jane the person she becomes.The Red Room, where young Jane is banished shortly before being sent to Lowood, is a very short episode in the book, but its significance is probably greater than its brevity implies. The trauma of the Red Room is not just because Mr Reed died there, but because of the associations of red = blood = death, compounded by cold, silence, blinds that are always closed and a bed like a sacrificial altar. Is it also some sort of reference to Bertha's attic?Jane endures dreadful hardships: she is orphaned; her aunt says she is "less than a servant, for you do nothing for your keep" and invokes the wrath of God who "might strike her dead in the midst of one of her tantrums"; she endures injustice as she strives to be good, but is always condemned, while the faults of her cousins are indulged or ignored. So, she is sent to Lowood, where she sees the hypocritical tyranny of Brocklehurst, survives cold and near starvation and witnesses her best friend's death. Nevertheless, "I would not have exchanged Lowood with all its privations for Gateshead and its daily luxuries." There is a dreadful irony in the fact that the first time a relative demonstrates any interest in her (John Eyre), it seems to ruin everything. VILLAINS AND CHRISTIANITYWho is the worst villain: John Reed, Aunt Reed, Mr Brocklehurst, Blanche Ingram, St John Rivers or even Rochester?Christianity gets a very mixed press in the book: Mr Brocklehurst is cruel and comically hypocritical (curly hair is evil vanity in poor girls, who "must not conform to nature", but fine for his pampered daughters); St John Rivers thinks his devoutness selfless, but is actually cold and selfish (his motive being to gain glory in Heaven for himself); Helen Burns is a redemptive Christ figure who accepts her punishments as deserved, helps Jane tame herself ("Helen had calmed me") and, of course, dies. Jane's own beliefs (or lack) are always somewhat vague (though she's very moral) and controversially feisty. When, as a small girl, the nasty Brocklehurst asks her what she should do to avoid going to Hell, she replies, "I must keep in good health, and not die"!Aspects the way Christianity is portrayed may make it more accessible to modern readers from more secular backgrounds, but might have been shocking to devout Victorians. Perhaps they were placated by the fact that despite the cruelty, Jane forgives Aunt Reed for trying to improve her errant niece, even though "it was in her nature to wound me cruelly".MALE POWER, FEMINISM, AND RELEVANCE TODAYMen had most of the power and respect in Bronte's time and often Jane has to go along with that. However, Bronte does subvert that to some extent by making Jane so assertive, determined and independent. The story of Jane Eyre has parallels with the story of Bluebeard, albeit with a very different ending, in which the woman takes charge of her own destiny. Bluebeard was well-known in Victorian fables as a rich and swarthy man who locked discarded wives in an attic (though he killed them first). He took a new young wife and when she discovered her predecessors, he was about to kill her, but she was rescued by her brothers, rather as Mason wants to rescue Bertha. Jane even likens an attic corridor to one in "some Bluebeard's castle", so Bronte clearly knew the story and assumed he readers did too. See her minimal contact with men, right from the outset Jane instinctively knows how to respond to the man she describes as "changeful and abrupt". When they first meet in the house and he is quizzing her, she consciously mirrors his tone ("I, speaking as seriously as he had done") and "His changes of mood did not offend me because I saw I had nothing to do with their alteration". Like many bullies, he enjoys a bit of a fight, rather than the nervous, prompt and unquestioning obedience his manner normally elicits, and Jane isn't afraid to answer him back and speak her mind. It isn't long before she can say "I knew the pleasure of vexing him and soothing him by turns". When Blanche arrives, Jane realises "he had not given her his love" and that "she could not charm him" (as she could). At this point, she realises her self-delusions in overlooking his faults and merely considering them as "keen condiments".What should modern women make of this book? Bronte is radical in that neither Jane nor Rochester is conventionally attractive (it is personality that matters) and Jane is fiercely independent and assertive, even when she gives the impression of being submissive. She even says, "Women are supposed to feel very calm, generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint... precisely as men would suffer." On the other hand, Rochester's treatment of Jane, Bertha, Blanche and Céline is hard to justify (other than the fact he keeps Bertha alive - why not kill her?). Does disappointment and disability truly changed him, and does that, coupled with her independent wealth make them equals? Will they live happily ever after?ROCHESTERWhat were Rochester's plans and motives for his relationship with Jane? Why does he insist that Jane appears in the drawing room every evening while Blanche and friends are staying, even though he fully understands and comments on how depressed it makes Jane? And would Rochester have married Blanche if Mason hadn't turned up, making a big society wedding impossible? If so, was Jane always in his mind as a mistress and backup in case marriage to Blanche was not possible, or did he only decide to marry her much later? What sort of basis for a happy marriage is that, and can the equalising effect of his later disability and her inheritance really conquer it? It's true that Rochester tells Jane "I feigned courtship of Miss Ingram, because I wished to render you as madly in love with me as I was with you", but that is after Mason's visit, so is it true?Rochester's treatment of Bertha is even more problematic: divorce wasn't viable, and yet he didn't want to leave her behind in the Caribbean... very odd. In a funny sort of way, he might have felt he was doing the right thing by her, or at least, not the wrong thing. In a society which condemns divorce and cohabitation, is Rochester's planned bigamy justifiable? As Rochester hints to Jane early on, "Unheard-of combinations of circumstances demand unheard-of rules". He also knows that Jane's integrity means she must be unaware of the details if he is to be with her (he says that if he asked her to do something bad, she would say "no sir... I cannot do it, because it is wrong"), though in fact there is a bigger tussle between her head and heart than he might have expected. Later, he ponders the fact that she is alone in the world as being some sort of justification, "It will atone" and extends to the more blasphemous and deluded "I know my Maker sanctions what I do. For the world's judgement - I wash my hands thereof." ST JOHNJane's bond with St John is very different, and she realise it, "I daily wished more to please him; but to do so, I felt daily more and more that I must disown half my nature". His proposal is positively alarming, "You are formed for labour, not for love. A missionary's wife you must - shall be. You shall be mine: I claim you - not for my pleasure, but for my Sovereign's service"! Under the guise of serving God and man, he is irredeemably self-serving.MAGIC REALISM?The strangest element is the small but hugely significant ethereal message from Rochester that might now be called magical realism. It sits oddly with the rest of the book, but I can never decide whether this is it a strength or a weakness.WHO KNOWS WHAT?A constant theme is "who knows what?". Is Aunt Reed ignorant of how awful Lowood is and has she truly convinced herself that her treatment of Jane is appropriate? How much does Mrs Fairfax know (and tell) about Rochester's wives, current and intended? Does Rochester know whether or not Adele is really his daughter, and what does Jane believe? Blanche appears to know very little, but is she only seeing what she wants to see? LOVE?Overall, there is so much in this book, it is well worth rereading, but I am not convinced that it is a love story. It is the easiest label to apply, and although Jane certainly finds love, I am not sure that love finds her. They're intellectually well-matched, and the sparring and physical attraction bode well. On the other hand, my doubts about his motivations when he was juggling Blanche and Jane make me uneasy. Incidentally, I first read this book at school (a naive mid-teen enjoys and appreciates it for very different reasons than an adult). One day, we were at a point when Jane was with the Rivers and possibly being courted by St John. We were told to read to page x for homework, so I turned to that page to mark it and saw the famous words (not that I knew they were), "Reader, I married him" and was shocked to assume it referred to St John.Jane's Place in My LifeLike many, I first read this at school. I was captivated from the outset. Jane was wild, and brave, and rebellious - all things we weren't supposed to be, and yet we had to read and write about her. I vaguely knew about the wedding scene, but everything about her time with the Rivers was new and unexpected. For all that I had doubts about Rochester, I felt (in a naive, teenage way) I shared a passion for him. When I thought Jane would end up with St John, I was devastated. The actual ending was a happy relief - all the more so because it had been unexpected. I thought I understood the book, and got good marks for essays about it (apart from the injustice of being deducted marks for a comment a teacher refused to believe I hadn't copied from Brodie's Notes - a brand I'd never actually seen!). But like all great works of art, it speaks differently on each encounter, and the more I've read it, aided by a bit of maturity along the way, and now discussions with GR friends, the more I've seen in it.So no, this not a love story - on the pages. But there is a love story: between the reader and Jane. PrequelI finally read Jean Rhys' prequel "Wide Sargasso Sea", reviewed here:

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-05-22 15:39


  • Ellen
    2019-05-14 17:33

    [The picture disappeared which made the comments rather irrelevant.:]…Oh course, Rush Limbaugh is nuts.In December 2007, on a radio show with an audience of 14.5 million, Limbaugh asked this question about the former first lady's presidential prospects, after an incredibly unflattering picture of her had surfaced: "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis? I want you to understand that I'm talking about the evolution of American culture here, and not so much Mrs Clinton," Limbaugh told his audience. "It could be anybody, and it's really not very complicated. Americans are addicted to physical perfection, thanks to Hollywood and thanks to television” ( and at the same time, we have John McCain, another presidential prospect, who was 71 years old [11 years older than Hillary Clinton:]. Somehow this is different. Society has agreed that women age, and men grow more distinguished. Ah, bullshit. McCain looked plenty old and acted like an irrational coot.However, the more important point is how little we've changed. Women still must be beautiful. And, for the most part, beautiful women still populate contemporary fiction. Consider how brave it was, then, for Charlotte Brontë to insist on a "plain" heroine. Brontë emphasizes Eyre's plainness as if challenging the reader to reject her. The impact of presenting such a heroine may be gauged by a male critic (a 19th century Limbaugh) in the Westminister Review (1858), who writes, "Possibly none of the frauds which are now so much the topic of common remark are so irritating, as that to which the purchaser of a novel is a victim on finding he has only to peruse a narrative of the conduct and sentiments of an ugly lady" (Showalter 123).Despite ignoring the classic paradigm of either having a beautiful heroine or a heroine--ostensibly plain--who later "blooms," Brontë makes us forget that neither Jane nor Rochester are physically attractive. From the opening scene, Jane's personality dominants the horizon. Having endured the young master's abuse for some time, Jane strikes back and, as punishment for her passion, is banished to the red room. The room is chill, garish, and where Mr. Reed died. Jane's cries to be released are ignored, and she falls into unconsciousness. Although Jane suffers no lasting harm, her thoughts before she is thrust into the room isolate well why her path will be harder than fate had dictated already:I know that had I been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child—though equally dependent and friendless—Mrs. Reed would have endured my presence more complacently; her children would have entertained for me more of the cordiality of fellow-feeling; the servants would have been less prone to make me the scapegoat of the nursery.While beauty and its attendant charms would have made Jane’s life easier, it would have lessened her complexity as a character. Again and again, Jane cannot sit back and depend on the free pass beauty often accords, but must choose to give up or to fight her way through. Jane chooses to fight, and it is her passion, wit, and intelligence that make her an unforgettable heroine.

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-04-28 14:41

    “‘Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.’‘I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.’”I am glad that in 1847 Charlotte Bronte made the decision to publish her novel under a male pseudonym. Currer Bell had a much better chance of being published than Charlotte Bronte and, with reviewers and readers assuming that she was in fact a male writer, allowed the novel a chance to be weighed properly without prejudice. Jane Eyre became a bestseller. The question is, of course, would the novel have been so successful or even published at all if CHARLOTTE BRONTE had been emblazoned on the cover? I like to think that some editor would have realized the bloody brilliance of the story and would have published it anyway, even if they didn’t spend any money on promoting it. Would readers have bought it? Hopefully, word would have trickled out about how compelling the plot was, and people would have overcome their natural prejudice for reading a novel by a woman. So isn’t it fun that Charlotte tricked everyone, including her own father? She did not confess her efforts to him until she had become successful. Even writing these words, I have a smile on my face thinking of this successful bamboozlement of publishers, editors, and readers. The story, of course, is larger than the book. Most people with any kind of inquisitive nature have been exposed to the bare bones of this novel without ever reading the book. Maybe they watched a movie based on the book, or maybe they have heard it referenced. Once read, it is impossible for people not to use aspects of this novel as common reference points for other readers. Take Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester himself, the master of Thornfield Hall. He is a brooding, complicated, dark, and intelligent creature. He is a force of nature who conforms the world around him with every stride he takes or every word that drops from his lips. He is the embodiment of the Lord Byron character. It doesn’t matter that he is not handsome. He is powerful. Women swoon in his presence and, after a carefully administered smelling salt, might start calculating what he is worth a year. Rochester is completely taken by Jane Eyre, practically from the moment they meet. The drama of their meeting is one of those great cinematic scenes in the history of literature. Bronte incorporates many scenes into the novel that are, frankly, gifts to future movie renditions. Rochester has never met anyone quite like her. He is not alone. Everyone who comes into contact with Jane Eyre knows they have met a unique person. She is a kind and pleasant person, but she will not brook any discriminations against her character. Mrs. Reed (her aunt), Mr. Brocklehurst (director of Lowood School attended by Jane), Mr. St John Eyre Rivers (minister who asks to marry her), and even Mr. Rochester, all attempt to conform Jane to the acceptable, deferring Victorian woman of the time. To call this a feminist novel does put it in a box which constrains it too tightly. Jane or Charlotte, either one, would loosen those bindings and let it breath as Charlotte’s intentions with this novel go well beyond the confines of any specific genre. I found her ideas of female equality, embodied so wonderfully in the character of Jane, inspiring. ”Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their effort, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer, and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”I hear you, Charlotte.Can you imagine the impact of such words on your typical, Victorian housewife? A woman who has lived her whole life being the daughter of her father, the wife of her husband, the mother of her sons. She has been passed from the care of one man after another. If she were fortunate enough to be born pretty, she has that brief moment of power when suiters contend for her hand, but probably, ultimately, her father would decide who was best for her to marry. How about the impact of reading this novel on the typical, Victorian man? Did he look up from this book and peer over at his wife, she looking rosy in the firelight, knitting away at some frivolous thing, and think...does she want more? Or maybe he sees his pretty daughter enter the room on the verge of womanhood, and does he consider the possibility that she wants or deserves more? There is no spark of revolution inspired by this book, but I do hope that this book may have chipped away at some of the archaic ideas of inequality. Maybe a few women readers realized that some of those secret desires they have harbored their whole life were not such strange concepts. When Jane stands up to the conformists she encounters, she is willing to take the punishment because she knows in her soul that what she believes about herself is incontestable. This is no better illustrated than in her interactions with (I’m sorry to say this because it isn’t completely fair) the odious St. John Eyre Rivers. He wants to marry her but only for the sake that he believes she will make a wonderful, useful, missionary wife. He doesn’t love her. She is willing to go, but only as a “sister,” not as a wife. Jane refuses to compromise, but there is this moment where she is teetering in the balance. I’m mentally screaming to her at this point. ”I shuddered as he spoke: I felt his influence in my marrow--his hold on my limbs.” He is a cold man who would have gladly marched OUR Jane off to some godforsaken part of the world to die some horrible death from disease or from simple neglect. I know the plot; and yet, I’m still completely invested in every scene. There is always the possibility that I’ve fallen into an alternative universe and I am reading some other version of Jane Eyre with a completely different ending. I can assure everyone this did not happen.When Jane is residing with Mrs. Read, she describes her place to sleep as a “small closet.” I can’t help but think of the closet under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive. Like Harry Potter, she is also an orphan but still with a rebellious streak because she is also sure that she is supposed to be someone other than who she is currently perceived to be. The relief she experiences when she learns she is getting away from the condescending attitude of the Read house and going away to school at Lowood also reminds me of Harry’s relief to discover he, too, is escaping to Hogwarts. Though I must say Harry, despite the trials and tribulations he experiences, draws a better straw than Miss Jane. I really enjoyed the gothic elements; those were, to a degree, completely unexpected. ”’Oh sir, I never saw a face like it! It was a discoloured face--it was a savage face. I wish I could forget the roll of the red eyes and the fearful blackened inflation of the lineaments!’‘Ghost are usually pale, Jane.’‘This, sir, was purple: the lips were swelled and dark; the brow furrowed: the black eyebrows widely raised over the bloodshot eyes. Shall I tell you of what it reminded me?’‘You may.’‘Of the foul German spectre--the Vampyre.’”There are noises in the night at Thornfield Hall. There is an unknown tenant locked away in the rafters of the house. There are secrets. There are unexpected fires. There are scandals waiting to be known. In fact, the twists of the plot were considered so outrageous for the time that the book acquired a reputation for being “improper.” This helped to boost sales further. The Bronte family was very close. They grew up conceiving their own stories and fantasies and acting them out in impromptu plays. All three girls and the brother, Branwell, were writers. Tragically, they all died young. Charlotte outlived them all, dying in 1855 at the age of 38 with her unborn child. Branwell (31) and Emily (30) both passed away in 1848, and Anne died the following year at the age of 29. Can you imagine having to bury all your siblings? It must have felt like the spectre of death was stalking nothing but Brontes. What makes Rochester unique is that he does eventually see Jane the way she sees herself. ”Fair as a lily, and not only the pride of his life, but the desire of his eyes.” I will remember that line ”desire of his eyes” for a long time. She is a hidden gem in rooms full of people. Charlotte Bronte makes some good points through Jane’s eyes at how unaware wealthy people are of the true natures of those who serve them. I would talk about the love story, but what is there to say. It is one for the ages. I would say that Charlotte Bronte never found her Rochester in real life, but some letters have come to light, written to a man named Constantin Héger, that suggests that maybe she did. He was married to someone else, and when Elizabeth Gaskell wrote the biography of her friend, she carefully edited out those very revealing letters of a love that could never be. Jane Eyre, may you always find the readers you deserve. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-05-02 10:40

    I'm bumping Jane Eyre up to the full five stars on this reread. It has its Victorian melodramatic moments (horrible aunt! and cousins! (view spoiler)[mad wife secretly hidden away in the attic! heroine starving in the wilderness! (hide spoiler)]), but overall I found this story of a plain, obscure girl determined to maintain her self-respect, and do what she feels is right even in the face of pressure, profoundly moving. And I'm a romantic, so yeah, that aspect totally sucked me in too. And it really is a great romance, at least in my book, but it's just so much more than that.Reasons I Love Jane Eyre:1. Jane is no beauty. There's no Cinderella moment. Deal with it. Her beauty is all on the inside.2. Rochester is not gorgeous. This is not going to change either. In fact, his outward appearance gets worse in the end. And it doesn't matter! When's the last time you read a romance where neither the heroine nor the hero was good-looking?3. Great dialogue. Rochester makes sarcastic comments to Jane all the time. She sasses him right back.4. This is a romance of the mind and the heart, not just OMG HE'S SO HOT AND HIS LIPS MAKE ME MELT. (Though there's definitely physical attraction here too.)5. Jane maintains her pride and self-respect. She sticks to her principles, even when the pressure's on, even when it would be much easier, and would bring her much more short-term happiness, to let those principles go hang.6. Jane Eyre takes a very nuanced view of religion: there are hypocrites, in at least a couple of different variations. There are hard, cold people who sometimes use religion as a tool, or an excuse for what they do. There are saintly characters who always turn the other cheek. And there are believers, like Jane, who are imperfect but are doing the best they can. 7. Jane teaches us that we have a great power to take control of our lives and decide our own destiny, even when the cards are all stacked against us. It's up to us to take action to change our lives, not wait for someone else to change it for us.8. Jane Eyre empowered women, written at a time when in so many ways we were considered second-class citizens. It still empowers us now.Women ... feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.Buddy (re-)read with Jess, Karly, Vane, Kristin, Rabbit, and Andrea.P.S. The Kindle version available for free at Project Gutenberg has wonderful pencil drawing illustrations.Bonus: excerpts from Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters **spoiler alert**JANEMY LITTLE SUNBEAMWHERE ARE YOUI NEED YOU BY MY SIDEI’m taking a walkbe back for dinnerAH YES MY CAGED SPRITECOMMUNE WITH NATURE AND UPON YOUR RETURNRELATE TO ME THE VAGRANT GLORIES OF THE RUINED WOODSdo you really want me to describe my walk to youMORE THAN ANYTHING YOU POCKET WITCHit is fairly cloudy outlooks like rain soonAHHH TO THINK THAT MY LITTLE STARLING JANESHOULD RETURNTO PERCH ON MY BROKEN MALFORMED SHOULDERSINGING A SONG OF THE GREY AND WRACKING SKIESMAKES MY HEART SWELL TO BURSTall right—JANE WHERE HAVE YOU GONEI AM BEREFT AND WITHOUT MY JANE I SHALL SINK INTO ROGUERYi am with my cousinsWHICH COUSINIS IT THE SEXY ONEPlease don’t try to talk to me againIT IS YOUR SEXY COUSIN“ST. JOHN”WHAT KIND OF A NAME IS ST. JOHNI’m not going to answer thatI KNEW ITDID YOU LEAVE BECAUSE OF MY ATTIC WIFEIS THAT WHAT THIS IS ABOUTyesabsolutelyBECAUSE MY HOUSE IN FRANCE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE AN ATTICIF THAT’S WHAT YOU WERE WORRIED ABOUTIT HAS A CELLAR THOUGH SO YOU KNOWDON’T CROSS MEHAHA I’M ONLY JOKING["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Matthew
    2019-05-14 14:46

    I read this book back in High School. I hated it. I thought it was boring and stupid and all I wanted to do was spread the word that this book was terrible and no one should read it. I had it marked one star on Goodreads and it had a home on my least favorite shelf.Well, I have been waiting years to find the perfect place to use this gif:I reread in late August, early September 2017. I have to say that I should probably reread everything I read bank in High School to get a better perspective. I enjoyed the book quite a bit this time. The story in intricate and dark. Jane Eyre is a tragic hero who does her best through the whole book but keeps encountering unfortunate situation after unfortunate situation. The story held my interest a lot more than some other classic novels I have read. My only complaint was a few times certain plot points were belabored. I found myself saying, "Okay, I get it, let's move on."So, everyone, if you remember a book from your youth with less than enthusiastic fondness, it might be worth giving it another shot. You never know what you might find!

  • Steph Sinclair
    2019-04-26 10:29

    I often think of classics as "required reading," usually accompanied by a barely suppressed groan. Because, surely, they can't actually be any good. I'm not sure why I've always associated well-known and well-loved classics as such, but I suppose it must be the expectation to love it just as much as the world. It's silly, I know. A person can't be expected to love all books, classic status or not, but still, I wondered if I would enjoy it.Jane Eyre is one of those novels that proves me completely wrong and I'm glad of it. It is not beloved simply due to its age or progressiveness or pretentious nature, but because at its heart it's a damn good book. Lyrical, emotional, and captivating, Brontë makes you beg and plead sweet, emotional reprieve. You hunger for it, but she holds on to it ever so slightly -- not to the point of frustration, but instead leaves a trail of bread crumbs to keep you from starving. And the best part is that you delight in every moment. Brontë made my emotions work for that happily ever after with the irresistible OTP: Jane and Mr. Rochester.At the same time, while I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic aspect, I was also equally intrigued with Jane Eyre's life in general. While at times she lived under horrible circumstances, her resilience was nothing short of admirable. She never let her hardships define her as a person or let it compromise her morals even when she was at her lowest. In the end, her luck does turn around and she finds happiness, which at times I felt was way overdue.Thandie Newton's narration was even better than I expected. Her voice brought the novel to life and at times, I could have sworn several different people narrated instead of just her. It was very apparent that she had a healthy amount of respect for the novel, and her reading, imparted the same into me. It felt like her voice said, "These words are amazing, this prose is magic, this story enchanting. I'm thrilled to be reading them to you. Let's bask in in Brontë's brilliance together."  Who could say no to that? I was very impressed and believe listening to this version was the best decision for me. I never was once bored because Newton demanded all my attention.This is the first time that I've read Jane Eyre and I'm glad I did at this point in my life where I'm fully able to appreciate the various themes conveyed. That's not to say I wouldn't have understood certain things, but I'm sure there are lots of books where we come away thinking, "Wow, this was exactly what I needed right now." It's even more surprising and intriguing that it's a novel written over 100 years ago that appeals to me even now. Ah, the joys and magic of literature!All the things that I love in a good book was here and more: masterful character development, interesting plot, and OMG, the witty dialogue. I could have read an entire book composed of Jane and Mr. Rochester's banter alone!This book brought me many happy sighs and I'm thrilled to have found a new all-time favorite in a classic tale. Definitely an oldie, but goodie for sure.More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery.

  • Grace Tjan
    2019-05-16 11:49

    Now I know why Charlotte Bronte said this of Jane Austen: "The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood". I love Jane, but Charlotte REALLY knows how to write about passion, romantic or otherwise. If Jane’s books are stately minuets in which the smallest gesture has its meaning, Charlotte’s is a spirited, sweeping tango of duty and desire. A perfect blend of passionate romance, gothic mystery, romantic description of nature, social commentary and humor, all rendered in vivid, gorgeous prose. One cannot help to admire Jane Eyre, the little governess who could. She rises above her harsh upbringing to become a governess, poor but ever fiercely independent. Even the promise of love and comfort with the man that she worships is not enough to sway her from the path of integrity. One cannot help to admire Charlotte, who makes her intensely human; a woman of virtue, yet one who is not above jealousy and doubts, and who constantly struggles with the personal cost of her decisions. A deeply felt, and ultimately moving story of love and redemption that will linger long after the last page is turned.

  • Ana
    2019-05-08 17:47

    I, Ana, take you, Mr. Rochester, to be my lawful wedded husband (I'm sure my boyfriend won't mind).Back off fangirls, he is mine.I needed something to make me stop thinking about Heathcliff and Catherine and theirhorrorlove story. So, naturally, I chose Jane Eyre. Yes, it's dark but nowhere nearly as scary as Wuthering Heights. It's actually quite romantic. Ok, he locked his wife in the attic. In those days people didn't get divorced. If you had a crazy spouse, you locked them in the attic. That's how it was done. Let's cut Mr. Rochester some slack. "I knew," he continued, "you would do me good in some way, at some time: I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you; their expression and smile did not strike delight to my inmost heart so for nothing."

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    2019-05-11 11:44

    I think this may be my favourite book of all time.Video Review -> the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:- 11. A book from the Rory Gilmore Challenge

  • Gabriella
    2019-05-02 14:26

    SPOILER ALERT. YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU PLAN ON READING JANE EYRE.I read Jane Eyre for the first time as an adult and I can't help but feel sorry for every junior high or high school student who was forced to read this book. I thought getting through this book was very difficult. I assumed I would love it since I generally love books by Jane Austen, but I didn't find many similarities at all. Jane Eyre was boring and unbelievable. I did enjoy the first half of the book because I had such hope for her, but then it just became dull and unrealistic. I never bought the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester, nor did I buy the coincidence of her happening to arrive on the doorstep of the only relations she has in all of England during her time of need. I also find it strange that she dedicates the last paragraphs of the book primarily to St. John Rivers, when he was such a small part of her life, not to mention the fact that the part he did play was primarily negative.Bronte failed to draw me into the lives of these characters or like them, frankly, which made this a very long read for me.

  • Diane
    2019-05-12 13:36

    Jane Eyre makes me want to be a better person. Her goodness, her humility, her frankness, her passion, her fierce will and her moral compass are all inspiring.And yet, I also love her faults. Jane has a temper, she gets jealous, she fights back, and at times she is too obedient, especially when given orders by overbearing men.What is it about this gothic novel that still makes it a compelling read more than 160 years after it was published? I first came to this story, as I suspect many have, through the various movie and TV versions of the book.* I have now read this book three times, and I get something more out of it with each reading. With each reread, I have paid better attention to what Brontë was saying about women and gender roles; I saw her comments on class and social order; I noticed her thoughts on religion and piety, and the continuum of Christian characters she created — some noble, like St. John, and some who twisted the Bible for their own gain, such as Mr. Brocklehurst and Aunt Reed. (As the daughter of a stern clergyman, I am sure Charlotte had some strong opinions on the ways and people of the church.)Indeed, Brontë had a lot to say about Victorian England, and her characters were all so real and well-drawn that I feel as if I know them. I loved this book, and I will continue to love it. I'm already looking forward to the next time I read it.Update March 2017When Donald was elected U.S. President over Hillary, my heart broke. I was depressed and anxious, and decided to seek comfort from my old friend Jane Eyre. This was the first book I grabbed after the November election, and I savored the reread. I chose Jane because she always tried to do the right thing, despite being forced to deal with people of inferior moral character. Jane's goodness was indeed a comfort, and I was grateful for the companionship.During that post-election reread, one quote in particular struck me as especially relevant:"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soul has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones."First read: February 2009Second read: January 2015Third read: November-December 2016FAVORITE QUOTES"Children can feel, but they cannot analyze their feelings; and if the analysis is particularly effected in thought, they know not how to express the result of the process in words.""I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek knowledge of life amid its perils.""It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer, and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.""Most true it is that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master's colorless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth — all energy, decision, will — were not beautiful, according to the rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me — that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.""I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad -- as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be."FOOTNOTE*Since this is the closest thing I have to a blog, I will share my opinions on the best and worst movie adaptations of Jane Eyre. As I see it, casting is everything. It is not enough to take a famous actress, put her in a dowdy gray dress and do her hair in an elaborate bun. No, you have to find the right actress. And if you are lucky enough to find her, then you have to find the right man to play Mr. Rochester. And then, by jove, the two have to have on-screen chemistry. A film version of Jane Eyre with no heat between Jane and Edward is a waste of everyone's time. So here are my rankings of the versions I have seen:ABSOLUTE BEST: 2006 Masterpiece Theatre version with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. A fantastic script, incredible actors, steamy chemistry and beautifully filmed. One of my all-time favorite period dramas. 5 starsA FOR EFFORT: 2011 movie with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The script moves quickly through the book and changes the original timing to in media res, which works OK. Both actors gave good performances and the mood was very gothic, but the chemistry wasn't as great as with Wilson and Stephens. Mia and Michael were just on slightly different levels. 4 starsSOLID TRY: 1996 Zeffirelli film starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt. Fine script and beautifully filmed, the problem with this version is William Hurt, who seems half-asleep. Charlotte is a good Jane, but I wish Franco would have found a more impassioned Mr. Rochester. 3 starsMEH: 1997 movie with Samantha Morton and Ciarán Hinds. A total mismatch of actors. Just frustrating to watch. (Sorry Ciarán, but I loved you in Persuasion and Miss Pettigrew!) 2 starsWORST: 1943 version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. This movie made me cringe. The problem with Orson Welles is that no matter who he's playing, he's always Orson Welles. He is a terrible Mr. Rochester -- he just bellowed and stomped around. I generally enjoy classic Hollywood films, but this was unwatchable. 1 star

  • Samadrita
    2019-04-24 16:51

    EDIT - 22/04/2015:- The following review was written in paroxysms of adoration which I no longer feel hence a star is being ducked. Now that I have read Wide Sargasso Sea and re-read Wuthering Heights, Rochester and Jane's attraction as characters of high morals has waned in my eyes. But until I write a more balanced critique of this, I refrain from disowning my first impressions.____What do I write about you Jane? Words fall short when I try to. Jane, you are so much a part of me as I am yours.You are so much a part of women who lived in obscurity centuries before Brontë breathed life into you. You are so much a part of women who are alive at present and so much a part of women yet to be born. You are so much a collective chorus of voices than just a single one.You are so much an inexorable force which builds up in intensity over the course of the narrative.You are so much an embodiment of the feminine spirit and not just an ordinary looking, puny little girl of barely twenty with grand world views and ideals.Jane, you are not only the essence of womanhood at its best but the finest specimen of humanity - so refined, so just, so fragile yet so iron-solid. So full of scorn yet so humble. So elegant even in utter distress.Jane, you transcend the boundaries of an era so effortlessly and retain your relevance even today.I don't give any guarantees that reading Jane Eyre (that is if you are still uninitiated) will cure you of misogyny. I do not believe in utopian concepts such as chauvinistic men suddenly giving up on their own delusional views on women and starting to treat them with respect deserving of a human, after reading a book. But it may come very close to achieving that purpose.Then again, I do not expect a well-read man/woman (shocking but women can be misogynists as well) to be a misogynist in the first place.Charlotte Brontë has accorded this immortal literary character with such a voice, such a dignity of bearing, such a sharpness of intellect, such a power of conviction - that absolutely no one can remain unaffected after reading this. Once you get to make the acquaintance of courageous, zealous, outspoken, energetic, intelligent, principled, respectable Jane, you are bound to remember her forever. Rather, Jane will ensure that you do not forget.If you are a woman of integrity, you may see a part of yourself reflected in her sarcastic comebacks, in her sense of humor, in her feelings of rage, in her unapologetic frankness and in her cold refusal to bow down to the wishes of those more powerful than her in terms of wealth or social recognition.Before the term 'feminism' had even come into being, Charlotte Brontë was busy creating an everlasting symbol of feminine power that will stand the test of time with incredible ease and continue to cast its influence on society and literature. Sure Jane Eyre has a romance at its heart - a memorable one at that. Sure it also contains a Gothic mystery. But these are not its only highlights. Jane Eyre is a feminist doctrine in the garb of a novel. Jane Eyre highlights the injustices of class divisions. Jane Eyre contains a subtle indictment of blind religious zealotry and upholds the value of man over God. Jane Eyre lays bare the perversities in self-important men of religion. Jane Eyre criticizes a prejudiced Victorian society and exposes the hollowness of the lives of its affluent but ignorant gentry. And to think Charlotte Brontë wrote this in the middle of the 19th century. The last time I had been this strongly affected by a classic was about 10 years ago, when I had read A Tale of Two Cities for the first time. This is the kind of book whose greatness you cannot try and measure by awarding it a number of stars or even by reviewing it. This is not just one of the finest literary masterpieces ever to come into existence but forms a very important part of the reason why we read, why we prefer to shun the company of people and seek a few precious hours of togetherness with fiction or literature, instead.Dear Ms Brontë, I am late to the party but I have arrived nonetheless. And I cannot thank you enough for bringing me, for bringing 'us' alive in your powerful words. The world and I owe you a debt we can never repay. Oh thank you so very much!P.S.:- This review is glaring in its obvious exclusion of Edward Fairfax Rochester, but that is not for any shortcoming on Mr Rochester's part. Rochester is without a doubt one of the most realistic and engaging literary romantic interests ever created. But I wanted this to be about Jane and only her. Because had Brontë's intention been to bestow equal importance on Jane and Rochester, she would have named this 'Jane and Edward' or something along those lines.

  • Helene Jeppesen
    2019-05-05 16:28

    I just finished this book in the early hours of the morning, and I'm left with a heavy but happy heart and a smile on my face. I clung to those last pages like nothing else - not wanting the story to end - and this is even a reread for me. This goes to show how much I love this book and this journey of Jane. I think what I love the most is exactly the fact that it takes you on an amazing journey, and Jane changes so radically from beginning to end. As a reader, you are rooting for her and your feelings are on their peak from the very first pages when she's being treated so cruelly. Another thing that makes me love this book to pieces is tbe fact that the two main characters are not beauties - the hero and heroine are actually quite ugly, but they find each other - maybe exactly because of that. Finally, we get a story which is not about perfect princesses or handsome princes - this is about common people and that makes it SO MUCH BETTER! I will say that the men in this story raise questions and they are quite unbelievable at times. They behave in such a way that is hard to understand for a modern reader; but I guess that was common back in the days. Nevertheless, that doesn't degrade the book for me in the least. This was a reread for me, but I kept being surprised anyway by the story and the twists and turns. This is a MUST READ and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Beware, because you will be taken on a most wonderful and amazing journey - and good luck!

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-04-22 12:46

    It seems silly to say that a book can affect you on a profound level. well I definitely believe in this power that a good book has. Jane Eyre is one of them. I cannot say that this was an easy book to read. But it was a book that I was very enriched by reading. Romance is a genre that is looked down on by many "sophisticated readers." Perhaps they would look down on Jane Eyre, but would probably get some eyebrows raised at them. Well Jane Eyre is the archetype for the romance novel. After having read thousands of them, I know a romance novel when I see it, and Jane Eyre does qualify. But it is much more than this. It's a story for the person who wonders why they keep trying to do the right thing, and persevering in life, instead of just taking what they want when they want it. If Jane Eyre had been that sort of person, she would not have gotten her happy ending. Instead, Jane walked away from the thing she wanted most in the world. She almost died doing what she felt in her heart was right. Had the story ended there, I probably would have detested this book. But it doesn't. We see Jane continue to grow and act as the phenomenal person that she was. Although often downtrodden, she is no meek mouse. She has a fighting spirit that keeps her going when others would have laid down and died. But despite being a fighter, she is not a user and abuser. It's hard at times for the difference to be clearly delineated. Well there is no question about Jane's level of strength and intregrity. Although it is made clear several times in this novel, that Jane is no beauty, her soul makes her a beautiful character. Beautiful in a more profound way.There are moments when you feel, how can one person suffer so? But taking the journey, you realize that all Jane's suffering had a purpose. It refined her into a woman who could look beneath and love what others could never love or understand. It made her the woman who could love and heal Rochester.At the same time, Rochester was made for Jane Eyre. He had searched his life for a woman like her, and made quite a few mistakes along the way. And out of love, he was able to let her go when he wanted to keep her. But she came back to him, when he needed her most. Rochester is the hero that formed the archetype for many of my favorites: tortured, scarred, dark, enigmatic, all of those things. Best of all, loving little, plain, ordinary Jane with a fundamental intensity that pours out of the pages of this book into my heart as a reader. Despite his lack of perfection, I could not love him more.Ah, how maudlin I sound. I can't help it. This book moved me to tears. Yet I smiled at the same time. I enjoyed the conversations between Rochester and Jane. There was a heat there, a passion. Yet this book is clean enough to read in Sunday school. That is grand romance. The journey so well expressed, that no sex scenes are needed. It's all there. This novel is also inspirational. Not preachy, in my opinion, but for a believer, one can definitely find spiritual messages in this book. About perseverance, about not wearying about doing good. About the profoundness of God's love. It's all there, but in a narrative that expertly showcases it, not preaching it.I feel I am failing to write the review I want to write for this book. The words do fail me. All I can say is that this book will always be a favorite of mine because of the way it touched my heart and challenged me.

  • Rowena
    2019-05-21 15:32

    I get the feeling that Jane Eyre may have ruined future English classics for me. I find it hard to imagine other classics topping this one. This was actually a book that I had no interest in reading because I had been underwhelmed by a Jane Eyre miniseries I watched several years ago. However, so many people have urged me to read this, saying it’s an excellent book, and they weren’t wrong.Jane Eyre is definitely cut from a different cloth from the other classic novel heroines I have come across. She is well-rounded woman of substance, courageous and brave. We follow Jane from her humble beginnings as an abused orphan, both at her Aunt Reed’s house and the boarding school she was subsequently sent to, to her life as a governess. During this period, Jane learns, and is willing to learn, many lessons. I admired her courage and her determination, her desire to be free, despite what little she had or was given, her intelligence, and her love for others.“I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen that then I desired more of the practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach.” I was surprised to read passages that highlighted her feminist leanings; it was very timely that I read this book on International Women’s Day. “Nobody knows how many rebellions beside political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings…”It’s also a love story, featuring the brooding Mr. Rochester. I found him to be quite an interesting character, though I did question a few of his actions. Bronte’s writing style is truly exquisite; she has an adept handle on the language and her prose was like poetry at times. I found it quite charming the way in which she addressed the reader (“dear Reader”) throughout the narrative. It was also interesting to see that Bronte uses semi-colons a lot more often than I do (and I think I use them a lot!).“The flame flickers in the eye; the eye shines like dew; it looks soft and full of feeling; it smiles at my jargon: it is susceptible; impression follows impression through its clear sphere; where it ceases to smile, it is sad; an unconscious lassitude weighs on the lid: that signifies melancholy resulting from loneliness. It turns from me; it will not suffer farther scrutiny; it seems to deny, by a mocking glance, the truth of the discoveries I have already made…”I’m so glad to have my own copy of this book as I believe I’ll be reading this one over and over again in the future.

  • Manny
    2019-05-03 16:39

    Reader, she married him.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-05-11 12:40

    One of the most beloved novels in history for many generations ; "Jane Eyre", is set in England, in the 1800's . The story of a neglected girl orphan, of that name, who never gives up her dream of happiness, no matter how remote a possibility, that goal, can ever be reached. Hated by her cruel Aunt Mrs. Sarah Reed (NOT A BLOOD RELATIVE), and cousins, Eliza, jealous of her more beautiful, but spiteful sister Georgiana, and abused by them both. They look down at the beggar, this little poor girl, this imposition, why is she here ? They show every day, their contempt, not even bothering to hide it . It would be so nice, everyone thinks, if Jane wasn't there. Her miserable, tormented life, seems everlasting, no escape, where would she go ? And treated like a lowly servant, not a loved relative, she the orphan has to keep her feelings, to herself. Bessie, the nurse maid, is the only person, that treats Miss Eyre, kindly, secretly of course. The frosty aunt, who very reluctantly raised Jane, until the age of ten, then gladly Mrs. Reed , sends the unwanted prepubescent Jane , to a charity school Lowood's, run by a clergyman , the tyrannical Mr. Brocklehurst who forgot the teachings of Jesus . Harshly treated there too, as are the other students (Jane is hungry and cold, often), by the director Brocklehurst, a man who believes in discipline, except for his own luxury- loving family ! Jane grows up a lonely woman with few friends, only one in fact, fellow student Helen ( who is there, for a short time), she hopes there has to be something better than mere existence. Leaving the horrible school after eight long years, the last two as a teacher, the teenager gets a job as a lowly and paid little governess , in a gloomy mansion, far away. Her new "master," is the rather distant and frightening Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester, a mysterious man that spends little time at home. Jane becomes attractive to the not very attractive Rochester, many questions are left unaccountably unanswered, at Thornfield Hall. The little girl Adele, the governess, teaches and takes care of sometimes. Along with her French nurse, Sophie, is she Rochester's child, or just his ward ? Those strange,horrific noises up on the third floor , dreadful, devilish, and inhuman laughs, in the middle of the night, what is causing them ? How did the owner of the house make all his money ? Will Rochester marry the beautiful, but greedy woman, Blanche Ingram, who despises Miss Eyre, and make her leave Thornfield Hall. Will the plain Jane ever find a place to call her own , and find love and contentment ? This classic book, written by one of the brilliant, but short- lived, Bronte sisters , Charlotte, will not disappoint readers of great literature, still worth the effort, after more than a century and a half, of its existence ... it will continue for who knows how long ?

  • Maureen
    2019-05-15 16:54

    I just really love this book. Jane is such a strong strong character who does what she believes is right no matter what and the SASS is so real. I love it.As per usual, I loved it, though I feel like the older I get the more I notice the seriously problematic things in it.But Jane is still the best.

  • Garima
    2019-05-01 15:36

    Classics are books which, the more we think we know them through hearsay, the more original, unexpected, and innovative we find them when we actually read them. -Italo Calvino, Why Read the Classics?There is no second or third or nineteenth time for me. This is the first time I have read Jane Eyre and this is the first time I’ve read anyone like her. Did I take forever to say ‘hello’ to Jane? Not at all! There couldn’t have been a more better timing since at present, my mind is in perfect harmony with my heart and I’m walking down the line of rationality without many missteps. Kindly don’t consider these words as some kind of vain certitude on my part but rather an admission of those rare times in our lives, no matter how short lived these moments are, when the clouds of confusion and ambiguity makes way for a clear sky of coherence and understanding, mostly about ourselves and sometimes about others and in this blissful state, I met Jane, Jane Eyre, Jane Elliot, Jane Fairfax Rochester and Jane.We hit it off right away. I empathized with her when she was a child, I encouraged her when she was an adolescent and I admired her when she was on the cusp of being a teenage girl and a woman. Everything was taking place in an acceptable manner. But then Mr. Rochester entered the scene and I went weak at the knees. I wanted a perfect love story with a perfectly happy ending. This usually happens whenever I realize that the love in question is true and pure and the hopeless romantic in me can’t bear the thought of any ill fate befalling upon my dear lovers. I’m game for all the crazy twists and turns but something different was happening here and the difference was Jane. I had my doubts about her along with some petty preconceptions and banal expectations but in spite of reading so much about her, a surprise bundled in the myriad layers of words and phrases, both contemporary and archaic was waiting for me in the form of this book.“You are going, Jane?”“I am going, sir.”“You are leaving me?”“Yes.”One fundamental aspect of this novel was the constant movement of our protagonist. The changes in her life were not courtesy the coming and going of others but it was her, who moved to different places and caught herself in different circumstances which brought the welcome and unwelcome changes that eventually gave the long awaited meaning to her life. As a child, it was an imposition but as the years passed, she attained an understanding of being an individual. This despite the fact that there was an easy and apparently happy road she could have chosen, but that person at the end of that road would have transformed into someone else, someone not Jane. In her quest, she took us, the readers, along with her and made us see the world through her eyes. It was an unpleasant world- unfair, prejudiced, conceited, gothic, but the presence of Jane was redeeming enough. She was real in the world of fakes, an antidote to the poisonous streams of inhumanity and a torchbearer of individuality, feminism, integrity, and independence. What about Love in all this? Especially when Love is all you got? Is this what you’re supposed to proclaim?I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.That’s precisely what you need to do. You need to care for yourself in order to know yourself, only then you can and should step up on the pedestal of love without compromising your being in any manner and Love! It always finds a way when it is meant to be. As for me, I have found a lifelong companion in Jane. What would Jane think? Had I been a Jane in my life? Do I feel a little guilty for not being a Jane on certain occasions? These are some sample yardstick questions I have saved for myself for the perpetual dilemmas that engulf our lives. I’m sure that their answers would help me in a great way and my kind Jane, my plain Jane, my beautiful Jane will always be there to help because, Dear Readers, Jane is Forever.

  • Stephen
    2019-05-14 13:52

    A CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH REVIEW: Hamlet vs. Jane Eyre! Setting: A small town in the Old West. Sheriff Hamlet is relaxing out in front of the General Store. Suddenly Polonius comes running down the middle of the dirt road at the center of town, waving his hands in the air, shouting "EVERYBODY RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! JANE EYRE AND THE BRONTE POSSE IS COMING TO TOWN!!" The townspeople all scramble out of sight. Store owners pull the shades down. Sheriff Hamlet remains cucumber cool with his legs crossed, reading in the newspaper. According to the article, candidate Marcellus is going on again about “there’s something rotten” in Mayor Claudius’ administration. Then Jane Eyre and the rest of the Brontes appear on horseback at the end of the street coming to halt in a cloud of dust. Jane dismounts and moseys up the middle of the street, spurs jangling, eyes darting back and forth, alert for movement. Sheriff Hamlet gets up, peering at Jane from squinty eyes beneath his hat. He saunters cool-like and deliberate, taking his position at the opposite end of the street. Jane: (menacing) You sheriff round these here parts? Hamlet: (calm) I reckon so. Jane: (calls back to her posse) Well that’s a dandy…Get 'im, Bertha! Suddenly bursting into view, a wild-eyed woman in a charred wedding veil issues forth a shrill war cry, and charges full-speed on her horse towards Hamlet. Unphased, Hamlet stands his ground and puts two fingers to his mouth, whistling loudly. At this signal, Ophelia bursts forth from the saloon doors, foaming at the mouth and waving tulips in her hand. Ophelia: (to Bertha) THESE ARE TULIPS!! THESE ARE FOR TAKING YOU DOWN!!! Bertha, caught completely off guard, is tackled by Ophelia and pulled off her horse. Hitting the ground with a thud, the two are dazed as they roll into a nearby ditch and drown. (the horse runs away) Hamlet: (calm) Fight crazy with crazier, I always say. Jane: (miffed) Well played, Danebag but Mr. Rochester ain’t crazy. Get 'im, Rochester. Mr.Rochester rushes Hamlet at full speed. Again, Hamlet whistles loudly. The ghost of Hamlet’s father suddenly appears, spooking the horse who throws Mr. Rochester crashing to the ground. Jane: (at Hamlet) You bewitched his horse, you stupid Dane!! (to Rochester) Are you all right, my dear? Rochester: (looks pretty beat up, is bruised and laying in a fetal position at the side of the road) I don't think it's fatal, Sweets, but I shall be incapacitated for some time, I believe. Jane: (angered, she draws a gun) Enough foolin' around! She fires off several shots at Hamlet. The bullets seem to travel in slow motion towards the sheriff, who doesn't draw his gun, but instead dodges them, Matrix-style. Jane: (amazed) You didn't even draw your gun! Hamlet: Don't you read any Shakespeare? We never use guns! We're all about poison. (smiles) Did you get your water at that well yonder down the road about a mile? Jane, startled, looks back at the half-consumed flask of water hanging from her horse's saddle. Suddenly, she is overcome with sickness. She grabs at her stomach and falls to a crumpled heap at the ground. Off in the distance, the opening phrase of the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" plays as Hamlet, with a twinkle in his eye, is heard to remark, “What a piece of work am I.” HAMLET WINS!!

  • Mansuriah Hassan
    2019-04-22 11:27

    One of my reading goals is to read as much classic literature as I can. And I am glad that I chose this book. Jane Eyre tells a story of a very likable personage - orphan girl Jane Eyre who, after her parents' deaths lived with her aunt and three cousins who heartily hated her, then at the age of 10 she was sent to a special school-orphanage where after spending 8 years she became a teacher and later a governess at a rich household. As the story progresses we see Jane mature from a young rebellious thing to a fine, upstanding, sweet natured woman, who is headstrong and determined, independent and completely selfless person.Narrated in the first person, Bronte's writing instantly draws the reader into the story, compelling me to keep reading. I found the book incredibly hard to put down. The way the story unfolds is mesmerizing, and it is so intelligently written and absorbing. Having never read any works of Charlotte Brontë before, I was quite skeptical about Jane Eyre at first thinking that this is going to be like another Cinderella story (about a kind orphan girl who is cruelly treated by the people around her and in the end found her happily ever after). Jane is such a likeable character and I am sure most readers identify with her, even today, after its first publication in 1847, her situation and predicaments are something we all experience at some point in our lives. It is no wonder that this story has stood the test of time, and I am sure that in future this fine example of English literature will have its fans as much as it does today.Read Jane Eyre, I urge you, you will not regret it!

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    2019-04-24 12:48

    Anyone else didn't love the romance in here?

  • Bradley
    2019-05-22 15:44

    The funny thing about this novel is not how enlightened it is for the time period, because it really isn't all that enlightened, right Mr. Rochester? How's that first wife hanging in the attic? Or how closely aligned to modern ideas of equality between the sexes and finding an equitable arrangement between them it is, because it only happens to conform to the standards of romantic literature of the time, where happy endings happen. Windfall out of nowhere? Really? Trope, much? And how does that subvert anything except as to put Janet on an *externally* equal footing? Being balanced in monies and station is not the same thing as having a true meeting of minds and hearts.Fortunately for us, all the plot twists are secondary to the one thing that she and Mr. Rochester have in common, and that is a true meeting of minds and hearts, and while the idiot manages to really crap it up, it seems that only an enormous act of god or authorship or pandering to trope could possibly put Jane back into a position of strength where she can tell the rest of the world to **** off and do what she wanted to do, originally.And that's what this novel is really about. It's not about the plot. It's about the internal character of Jane Eyre. She's wholly her own person, and that, more than anything, is more subversive than anything else in this novel. She's not bucking the male-dominated world. She's not setting off to have adventures. She's not even telling people off unless they push her to it, and she has no qualms about being subservient or going dropping all of her happiness in a big pile and storming off to hold to her personal ethics.That's the point. She knows herself. She knows her limits. She knows what she wants. And even if she doesn't always know how to get what she wants, she knows what she'll settle for and precisely what she won't settle for. She follows her heart, her own judgement, and nothing that anyone might ever say to her would ever change that.There's plenty in this novel that might annoy or outrage modern readers, of course, but this one simple fact about Jane is what lets it transcend all other considerations, or indeed, time itself.This is a great novel. :)

  • Councillor
    2019-05-03 11:53

    Jane Eyre is one of those books everyone says you have to read one day, often mentioned in one breath along with classics like Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights, and I agree. This is an important novel about female independence, the development into an adult human being and the search for one's true destination in juxtaposition with traditional ideals and guidelines.But not only is it an important novel: Charlotte Brontë managed to include elements of humor, romance, gothic fiction and even a little mystery in her story, allowing it to address not only one specific target audience. Even if this book is not part of everyone's reading interests, it is a novel which will make you think about certain aspects (like the aforementioned themes), and maybe it will even make you feel close to Jane Eyre, the main character, and become interested in the story of her fateful life.Almost everyone will probably know what this book is about, but in case you don't, Charlotte Brontë introduces us to Jane Eyre who grows in an unhappy childhood with her aunt, later endures cruelty and her first introduction to the life outside of her own family at a charity school, and finally begins to live her own life when she starts to work as a governess for Mr. Edward Rochester. Even though the book may sound melodramatic in its outline, I personally think that it was the emphasis on the emotions each of the characters went through which allowed it to achieve its famous status. The novel is almost entirely character-driven for the majority of the story, making it easy to feel emotionally connected to Jane and her independent mind.I had some smaller issues with the book, including (view spoiler)[the coincidence of Jane, out of all the houses she could have went into in the entirety of the United Kingdom, entering the home of her only relatives she has left in the country (hide spoiler)]. I did need more than seven months to finish the novel, but that was mainly my own fault because I wasn't in the right mood for it for a long time and did ultimately read most of the novel in the course of a few days, which should generally not provide a problem because of the sophisticated, yet very readable language.A true classic which can be recommended for all age groups and all kinds of readers, and which made me join the group of people who say everyone should read it one day.