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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre (original 1847; edition 2008)

by Charlotte Bronte

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
43,76972217 (4.23)7 / 2650
Title:Jane Eyre
Authors:Charlotte Bronte
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)

  1. 442
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Bonzer, chrisharpe, fannyprice)
    chrisharpe: There are some similarities between these two books: a young woman marries an older widower and moves to his mansion, where the marriage is challenged by the unearthly presence of the first wife.
    fannyprice: These two books reminded me a lot of each other but Rebecca was more modern and somewhat less preachy.
  2. 396
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Debates about which is the greater love story have raged between book lovers for years. Why not read both and form your own opinion?
  3. 357
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Kerian, westher, deepikasd)
    Kerian: If for some reason you read The Eyre Affair without having read Jane Eyre, I definitely recommend it. It will certainly be interesting to read and is a very good book.
    westher: Voor als je wilt weten hoe de verhaallijn ontstaan is ;-)
    deepikasd: This story also gives you a different spin and shows how the story is "changed" to what it is today. Though the story is a parody, the reader who loves Jane Eyre will definitely love meeting the characters again and relish the story all over.
  4. 3712
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (roby72, gabynation6)
    gabynation6: these authors were sisters
  5. 288
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (stephmo, aces, JenniferLivingstone)
    stephmo: Written as the story of the first Mrs. Rochester. While this may not be the light we want to remember Mr. Rochester in, it leads to a richer picture of the man he becomes for Jane.
  6. 141
    Villette by Charlotte Brontë (Wraith_Ravenscroft, allenmichie)
  7. 218
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: Both gothic novels, with a big ol' creepy house, and theme of hidden family secrets
  8. 142
    Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (Medellia)
  9. 131
    The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors by Juliet Barker (Wraith_Ravenscroft)
  10. 81
    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (hazzabamboo)
  11. 158
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (lanaing)
  12. 92
    Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: An interesting retelling.
  13. 61
    Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (ElizabethPotter)
    ElizabethPotter: This is like Jane Eyre in verse.
  14. 61
    The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: The Mysterious Howling offers a fresh perspective on the young governess arriving at a mysterious new place of employment. It's tongue-in-cheek and very funny--definitely an enjoyable read for those who don't take Jane Eyre too seriously.
  15. 51
    The Victorian Governess by Kathryn Hughes (susanbooks)
  16. 139
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Maiasaura)
  17. 30
    Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon (MissBrangwen)
  18. 74
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Two Victorian heroines approach the question of how to reconcile passion and morality in very different ways.
  19. 52
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Anonymous user)
  20. 41
    Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Naylor so brilliantly plays w/Dante & Jane Eyre

(see all 33 recommendations)

Romans (11)
1840s (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 683 (next | show all)
(Original Review, 1981-01-31)

Ever since my first reading of Jane Eyre I've always viewed it as an account of the indelible effects of emotional abuse, and as such, a very grim book indeed. The novel opens with a recall of the emotional deprivation the 8-year-old Jane receives daily at the hands of her aunt. The story then continues with Jane's time at Lowood School, an institution devoted not so much to teaching the children of paupers, as to teaching them their place in life.

By the time she reaches adulthood Jane is really quite damaged, and she regards herself as a social inferior. This self-image is never really challenged, much less altered or dispelled. The many reviews that praise Jane's undoubted courage unfortunately gloss over this or omit it completely, giving a misleading impression. It is apparent that Jane never ever overcomes the effects of her ghastly childhood. Remember, she is only able to accept Rochester after he had been brought down in the world by the loss of his home and fortune, and his disablement. And while she does, in the end, reject St John, the reader should note how close she comes to succumbing to this emotionally remote, manipulative, hypocritical bully.

To my mind, the most astounding thing in Jane Eyre is Charlotte's implicit (explicit?) criticism of the saintly St. John Rivers. He's supposed to be a man of God, as beautiful as an angel, but with a will of iron and a heart of stone. The way he bullies Jane, using his power as a man and as a servant of God to try to force her to submit to him against her will, is horrific. It's as if he sees an independent woman as a threat which he has to destroy.

Where did this terrifying character come from? Imagination, or did Charlotte perhaps know someone like him?

I think it's Jane's raw, violent, unexamined sexuality. Having never really had much in the way of human warmth, guidance, or emotional education, Jane is quite literally wild. She seeks sensuality like a starving beast and has an almost animal understanding of what constitutes a connection between two human beings. Jane probably doesn't even know what sex is, yet she burns with desire. Rochester - depraved, debauched, debilitated by vice and excesses- sees this in her and in the purity of her passion, he is able to cleanse himself and transcend his baser instincts. I completely buy their relationship, and while it is, objectively, very iffy by today's standards (the gap in age, experience, social status! the mad wife in the attic! the illegitimate child!), it is also completely, viscerally believable. Jane Eyre still shows that lust within love should still be the (moral) goal. She actually effectively teaches Rochester this, as someone barely half his age. She teaches him some morals.

For me, the novel’s strength lies in vivid writing that brings the people and the scenes to life, whether or not one likes them, or approves. The style isn’t always to my taste (I don’t care for the 19th Century habit of addressing the reader) but is compelling in a way that is the hallmark of a great writer.

Maybe a modern politically-correct world that is obsessed with conformity no longer recognises this kind of gift.

The inherent craft of a storyteller is to use invention to more clearly express essential truths of ideas, emotions, impressions and events. Sometimes fiction contains more truth than a fact. What else can a reader expect from a group of authors other than some uncertainty between what's real and what's not? ( )
  antao | Dec 2, 2018 |
amazingamazingamazing. ( )
  inescapableabby | Nov 28, 2018 |
It took me a long time to read the book that I thought I had read in my youth but hadn't. I liked the strength of character of Jane Eyre, her firm and unwavering resolve but not the inflexible, inhuman resolve of of St John Rivers. Principles before emotional waywardness to the level illustrated in Jane Eyre goes beyond modern standards. Oh come on, Jane, I felt at certain times, chill out and marry Rochester after what he's been through. The ending was bleak and a bit far-fetched.I thought the book was brilliant though and am really pleased that I have now read it. ( )
  jon1lambert | Nov 5, 2018 |
This is a classic for a good reason. I expected a romantic novel, but I did not expect the fresh, modern take that shines through the 19th century setting. The character descriptions and development are unparalleled in any novel I have read. Jane's motivation and thinking, while rooted in its own time, are also timeless and modern. She is an independent woman, determined to make her own way and own choices in a time where women had but few. She chooses to make her own living, and she chooses to follow her heart, instead of convention or duty. Jane Eyre is a romantic novel, but also an enduring look at what is important in life, what happiness truly means, and how to be compessionate and also to be true to oneself. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Very much how I remembered. A great book that can be read over and over. St. John was even worse than I remembered. He really pressured Jane. ( )
  nx74defiant | Sep 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 683 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (123 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, Charlotteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Booker, NellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brett, SimonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cabot, MegIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Darcy, DameIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, StevieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, Joe LeeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ericksen, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freedman, BarnettIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilpin, SamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ibbett, MaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jong, EricaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klett, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leavis, Q. D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mason, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minogue, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, KathyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Root, AmandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, LucyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shorter, Clement K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisser, Susan OstrovIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeiger, ArthurAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
A preface to the first edition of 'Jane Eyre' being unnecessary, I gave none: this second edition demands a few words both of acknowledgment and miscellaneous remark.
I could not answer the ceaseless inward question—why I thus suffered; now, at the distance of—I will not say how many years, I see it clearly.
Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain and little that I am souless and heartless? You think wrong. I have as much soul as you and full as much heart, and if God had granted me some beauty and much wealth I should have made it as hard for you to leave me as it is now for me to leave you.
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.
To have yielded would have been an error of principle; to have yielded now would have been an error in judgement.
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.
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This is the complete, unabridged Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Do not combine with any abridged versions, Norton Critical Editions, or vampire books.
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Wikipedia in English (6)

Book description
Jane Eyre is the story of a love-deprived girl who becomes the governess of a young french girl at a the Rochester estate. Jane's boss, Mr Rochester is mysterious and reclusive. As romance develops between Jane and Rochester not all is as it seems. There are strange noises in the night and Jane believes a servant is trying to kill Rochester. Nothing at the Rochester estate is as she expects.
historia de amor
Haiku summary
She's poor and orphaned
But educated and proud
Boss gets all fired up.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441143, Paperback)

A new edition of one of Penguin's top ten Classics-the novel that has been "teaching true strength of character for generations"
(The Guardian)

A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman's quest for freedom. This updated edition features a new introduction discussing the novel's political and magical dimensions.

Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:42 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

"Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, 'Jane Eyre' (1847) dazzled and shocked readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom. In her introduction, Stevie Davies discusses the novel's language and politics, its treatment of women's lives and its literary influences. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading, an appendix and notes." -- Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 107 descriptions

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