Jane Eyre

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1996 - Charity-schools - 532 pages
47 Reviews
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre none the less emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr Rochester and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society. In his introduction to this new Penguin Classics edition Michael Mason discusses the literary critical history of Jane Eyre and provides fresh insights into Charlotte Bronte's great novel.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - athena.j - LibraryThing

The genre of this book is realistic fiction. Jane Eyre is a lonely orphan who believes that she will never find love. She goes to work and reside in Thornfield Hall as a governess, but strange ... Read full review

Review: Jane Eyre

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

I really dug the first half of Jane Eyre. The characterization is wonderful; the writing is first-class. What threw me, halfway through, was the lunatic wife; I'd been cruising along with this well ... Read full review

About the author (1996)

Charlotte Bronte lived from 1816 to 1855. In 1824 she was sent away to school with her four sisters and they were treated so badly that their father brought them home to Haworth in Yorkshire. The elder two sisters died within a few days and Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne were brought up in the isolated village. They were often lonely and loved to walk on the moors. They were all great readers and soon began to write small pieces of verse and stories.

Once Charlotte's informal education was over she began to work as a governess and teacher in Yorkshire and Belgium so that she could add to the low family income and help to pay for her brother Branwell's art education. Charlotte was a rather nervous young woman and didn't like to be away from home for too long. The sisters began to write more seriously and published poetry in 1846 under male pen names - there was a lot of prejudice against women writers. The book was not a success and the sisters all moved on to write novels. Charlotte's best-known book, Jane Eyre, appeared in 1847 and was soon seen as a work of genius. Charlotte really knew how to make characters and situations come alive.

Charlotte's life was full of tragedy, never more so than when her brother Branwell and sisters Emily and Anne died within a few months in 1848/49. She married her father's curate in 1854 but died in 1855, before her fortieth birthday.


Michael Mason teaches at University College London and has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature.

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