Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

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Overview

Orphaned into cold charity at the hands of her rich cousins and, later, at Lowood Asylum, Jane escapes to take up a position as governess to the young ward of Mr. Rochester. Their love affair, Jane's discovery of Rochester's secret-hideously concealed in the attic of Thornfield Hall-and her desperate flight, are told in a drama of passionate intensity whose pace never slackens. Jane Eyre is a love story with a happy ending, rare in its time for its sympathetic portrayal of the love of a married man for another woman. It is, as Thackeray said, 'The masterwork of a great genius'.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566190244
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Publication date: 10/29/1992
Pages: 466
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Charlotte Brontë was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters, who lived with their father and brother at the parsonage in Haworth in Yorkshire. Between them, they produced some of English literature's greatest novels. In addition to Jane Eyre, Charlotte also wrote Shirley and Villette.

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1816

Date of Death:

March 31, 1855

Place of Birth:

Thornton, Yorkshire, England

Place of Death:

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England

Education:

Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

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Chapter One
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Jane Eyre"
by .
Copyright © 2009 Charlotte Bronte.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction     7
Biographical Sketch     9
The Story Behind the Story     11
List of Characters     14
Summary and Analysis     18
Critical Views     45
John Maynard on Jane's Sexual Awakening     45
Irene Tayler on Bronte's Heroines     51
Anita Levy Contrasts Jane, Blanche, and Bertha     56
John G. Peters on Jane's Otherness     61
Lawrence J. Starzyk on the Significance of Pictures     74
Micael M. Clarke Compares Jane to Cinderella     80
Works by Charlotte Bronte     90
Annotated Bibliography     91
Contributors     94
Acknowledgments     96
Index     97

What People are Saying About This

Clive Barnes

The novel that cries out for the stage has gotten the stage. The story is beautifully adapted and acted.
The New York Post

Virginia Woolf

So we open Jane Eyre... The writer has us by the hand, forces us along her road, makes us see what she sees, never leaves us for a moment or allows us to forget her. At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Bronte.... It is the red and fitful glow of the heart's fire which illuminates her page.

From the Publisher

"Renowned artists are commissioned to design the binding for each of [White's Books]'s beautifully crafted hardcovers."  —Fuck Yeah, Book Arts!

Reading Group Guide

1. In Jane Eyre, nothing can better show a man's moral worth than the way in which he treats the women in his life. How is Rochester's character reflected in the way he treats Jane, Adele, Bertha Mason, and Miss Ingram, and in his reported treatment of Celine Varens? How is St. John's character reflected in the way he treats Jane, Miss Oliver, and Diana and Mary? Why does this serve as such a good gauge of a man's morality and worth? What other relationships serve similar functions in the novel?

2. Throughout the novel, questions of identity are raised. From her identity as an orphan and stranger in the hostile environment of Gateshead Hall to that of a ward of the church at Lowood; from her being a possible wife of Rochester, then of St. John, to being the cousin of Diana and Mary, Jane is constantly in transition. Trace these changes in identity and how they affect Jane's view of herself and the world around her. Describe the final discovery of her identity that becomes apparent in the last chapter of the novel and the events that made that discovery possible.

3. Throughout the novel, Charlotte Brontë uses biblical quotes and religious references. From the church-supported school she attended that was run by Mr. Brocklehurst to the offer of marriage she receives from St. John, she is surrounded by aspects of Christianity. How does this influence her throughout her development? How do her views of God and Christianity change from her days as a young girl to the end of the novel? How is religion depicted in the novel, positively or negatively?

4. Many readers of Jane Eyre feel that the story is composed of two distinct parts, different in tone and purpose. Thefirst part (chapters 1-11) concerns her childhood at Gateshead and her life at Lowood; the second part is the remainder of the story. Is creating such a division justified? Is there a genuine difference of tone and purpose between the two sections as they have been described? Some critics and readers have suggested that the first part of Jane Eyre is more arresting because it is more directly autobiographical. Do you find this to be true?

5. Upon publication, great speculation arose concerning the identity of the author of Jane Eyre, known only by the pen name Currer Bell. Questions as to the sex of the author were raised, and many critics said that they believed it to be the work of a man. One critic of her time said, "A book more unfeminine, both in its excellence and defects, it would be hard to find in the annals of female authorship. Throughout there is masculine power, breadth and shrewdness, combined with masculine hardness, coarseness, and freedom of expression." Another critic of the day, Elizabeth Rigby, said that if it was the product of a female pen, then it was the writing of a woman "unsexed." Why was there such importance placed on the sex of the author and why was it questioned so readily? What does it mean that people believed it to be the product of a man rather than of a woman?

6. Scenes of madness and insanity are among the most important plot devices in Jane Eyre. From the vision Jane sees when locked in the bedroom at Gateshead to her hearing the "goblin laughter" she attributes to Grace Poole, to the insanity and wretchedness of Bertha Mason, madness is of central importance to the plot and direction of the story. Give examples of madness in the text, and show how they affect the reader's understanding of the character experiencing the madness and how these examples affect the reader's understanding of the characters witnessing it.

7. There is probably no single line in the whole of Jane Eyre that has, in itself, attracted as much critical attention as the first line of the last chapter: "Reader, I married him." Why is the phrasing of this line so important? How would the sense be different-for the sentence and for the novel as a whole-if the line read, "Reader, we were married"?

Customer Reviews

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Jane Eyre 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1436 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, truly fantastic! All my classmates gave me weird looks because it looked strange 'im in 8th grade' but I ignored them and read it anyway and it was just, just, I can't say, you know! the ending made me so happy that i cryed, crazy huh? I handed it to my teacher and gushed, 'it was beautiful, so beautiful!' 'it was her copy' so if your some random person looking to see if this book is good, IT IS. If a kid as younge as me can appreciate it fully, you have to understand how utterly perfect it is! Read read! ^ ^
Ivy-Shoelaces More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my AP English class; we all kind of dreaded it whe we first heard. I was once told by a friend that it was horrible and that I should never, ever read it. I did, anyway, and I was thoroughly surprised and I enjoyed every bit of it! Knowing very little about the plot (I'd only been told there's a crazy person in an attic --- which I forgot about), or even Bronte's writing style, I read the first ten chapters with shock and awe that the story was about a ten-year-old. Although the entire book is not about a ten-year-old, I was quickly taken with the plot and characters and just descriptions of England at that time. This book read quickly with alternately likeable and despicable characters, unusual language, and beautiful plot. My only complaint is that one character, Adele, speaks chiefly in French. I was lucky enough to be taking French classes while reading this, so I could piece together what she was essentially saying. What she says is not of a whole lot of importance, but it does bring the book to a halt at times. All in all, Jane Eyre exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds and I enjoyed reading it immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is quite possibly one of my favorite books, one that I have read many times. I bought this edition because I thought the cover was pretty and the fantastic price. Bronte's original text is flawless (although Hindustani is spelled differently in my other copy)I give Bronte 5 stars, however, the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates is terrible. I found it choppy and not that relevant to the story. I don't believe for two seconds that Bertha Mason's insanity was caused by syphilis. I just don't. I also don't buy that Jane thinks human love is more important than God. If she did why did she spend so much time on her knees in prayer? Not one summary, review or movie version I have seen of this story acknowledges any sort of higher power in a non nutcase way. What a shame, I think Bronte should get more credit and less speculation. Let's just take it in the context she wished. I feel better after venting my opinions, bottom line if you want a good copy of Jane Eyre this will work, just ignore the introduction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of those books you can start anywhere anytime and get so incredibly caught up in the story that you never want to stop reading. I've read this book more than fifteen times and have written multiple research papers on it. The characters are well developed, even smaller ones. Jane is a very strong female character, as is Mr. Rochester. The love story between the two does not dominate Jane's character; she remains true to herself regardless of the situation. This truly is a novel written for all women and should be read by all.
ash_glasswing More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of historical romances such as Pride & Prejudice, Becoming Jane, or Sense & Sensibility you would be depriving yourself of experiencing the beauty of this story by not reading it. I can't wait to see the newest version in theaters!! Please read this and be patient with it's lengthy beginning.. I promise it gets better :) -ash
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a bit slow through the first half, but once it gets past Jane's childhood it becomes fascinating and was actually hard to put down. I was amazed by Brontë's vocabulary, writing style, and ability to create such an intriguing and original plot. This is the kind of book that makes you really feel for the characters and get lost in the adventures of their lives. Right when you think you know what's going to happen, Jane Eyre surprises you and another twist to the plot comes in. By the end of the book, I really respected Jane's character and was glad that everything turned out in a way that she liked and had not expected. This is a great classic -- read it!
swift__cat More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of the best classic romance novels I have ever read. As we follow Jane through her harshly brought up childhood to the challenges of her adulthood, we see not only the development of her identity but also the merging of minds between herself and her strange but intelligent employer. Ah, but there is a secret that destroys everything expected! Read this book if you enjoy romance with literary value.
jennysiwss More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Jane Eyre is the respectable, yet fiery lady that I wish I could be. It begins with a stormy and well written childhood, and within a few chapters I couldn't put the book down. I've read classics that I was disappointed in, but this is truly worthy of the title "classic". The love story is so pure, and well worth waiting for. Mr. Rochester seems so unlikable at first, but you just can't help falling inlove with him as the book goes on. I wasn't crazy about St. John. but his purpose was necessary to give you a scare. This book gives great insight to the condition of living for women during this time period. Thank God things have changed. I would've been strung up by my toenails if Reverend Brocklehurst had spoke to me the way he spoke to little Jane. After I read it, I wanted more even though the ending was perfect and filling. Beautifully written characters, and C. Bronte's style of writing is fantastic. I did have to keep a dictionary by my side through most of the book, but I'm not a brilliant kind of gal. The improvement of my vocabulary could only be a plus though. Thank you Miss Charlotte Bronte for this timeless piece of work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Eyre. If I were rating Jane Eyre I would give it six stars out of five. (No that's not a typo.) However, do not buy this book. Buy Jane Eyre, by all means, just don't buy this version of it. There are about five typos a page and by the time I finished the novel, I was so frustrated with the mis-prints I could have screamed. And the cover does the book no justice. The clothing of the woman on the cover is of a different time period than Eyre. The back summary is also hugely misleading and makes this fantastic classic sound more like a trashy romance novel than the brilliantly beautiful work that it truly is. But, do buy Jane Eyre. I have never been so moved by a work of literature than by this book. I cannot praise this book enough, mere words do it no justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Charlotte Bronte novel is a wonderful read. I enjoyed everything about this book. It kept me captivated until the very last page. I would recommend Jane Eyre to all readers!
Bad_Witch More than 1 year ago
Whenever the Jane Eyre series was on PBS I would always catch the last part, so I went to a local used book store and found a copy. I did not put the book down until I was done.
A Very good book, I would recommend reading Jane Eyre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book over the summer and I wasn't happy about the length. However, I was really surprised about how much I loved characters especially Jane. Even though this book was written almost 200 years ago it is still relevant today and addresses a lot of modern issues women are confronted with today. I highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JANE EYRE is such an amazing story that it is extremely difficult to put down. This girl, Jane Eyre, reminds me of the orphan named Annie (from the classic movie, 'ANNIE').
SunshineRE More than 1 year ago
Jane Erye is a romantic piece of literary work that describes the life of a woman. I taught this novel to 12th graders and even the males enjoyed the mystery and intrigue of one of the main characters. A must read!!
aspiring_novelistAS More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i read it in about four days and i just didn't want to put it down. At first i wasn't too into it but then around 50 pages in i was hooked. This is still my all time favorite book hands down.
hey-lover More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is an amazing book and definitely one of my favorites. The beginning, to be quite honest, did start out a little slow for me, however, once I got past all the "background information," I found myself almost obsessed with wanting to know what happened next. A wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is amazing! I love this book! I read it in seventh grade at the suggestion of a librarian and have been in love with it ever since. My younger sister then read it and fell in love too. Charlotte Bronte's masterpeice is amazing and remains a favorite of mine, as it will for all time. It is because of this masterpiece I love classic literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book today. I read it in two days. Last month I saw the movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and after I saw that I decided I had to get the book. I was not dissapointed. Bronte dove deep into Janes heart, without becoming over complicated or boring. I was completely engrossed every second. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Twists, turn, madwomen, this book has it all. I haghly recomend it. I mean, what could be better than a mystery, love story, and all around classic at the same time???
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books.My English teacher recommended it back when i was 12. Yes, i admit the first hundred pages are sort of boring but the rest of the book makes up for it. Its so romantic! Jane is a woman to be admired by all. watch the 2006/07 BBC version of the book! Best one yet!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, I think the novel, Jane Eyre, is a great story of love and faith. Throughout the novel, Charlotte Bronte gives great descriptions of everything going on mentally and physically around Jane Eyre throughout her life. The character of Jane is greatly relatable to every reader because of her great struggles with finding a family, and finding a way to make the one true love of her life work out while still keeping her morals. Jane Eyre is also an enjoyable novel in the fact that Charlotte Bronte made a seemingly ordinary love story novel into a much more complex and interesting novel, that turns out to be much more than just a love novel in the end. Jane Eyre is also a commendable novel because throughout the novel, Charlotte Bronte continuously keeps you guessing about the ending of the novel. Additionally, Charlotte Bronte gave not only a detailed description for Jane Bronte, and the other main characters, but she also gave gratifying descriptions for other characters that weren't mentioned through the novel very often, giving them a memorable personality and character in the novel. As a whole, Jane Eyre is a great novel that I would highly recommend for any reader, especially ones interested in the time era in which it was written. Jane Eyre is a classic piece of literature which most difficult to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am only 14 but this book was just great it wasn't really hard to read or understand . I don't read that much but when I had to read this one in school I realized that I probably will read it again because it was so good and that takes a really good book for me to say that
Anonymous 3 months ago
So much more than I expected.
Anonymous 5 months ago
One of my all-time favorites! Such a moving a beautiful tale.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book was ahead of its time. Charlotte Bronte was a genius.