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1001 Jane Eyre
Added on 08th August 2020

Author Charlotte Bronte
First published 1847
Publisher Smith, Elder and Co

The classic story of orphan Jane Eyre who is employed as a governess in the house of the enigmatic Mr Rochester, a house which holds a shocking secret.

Story

Jane is an orphan living in the home of her cruel Aunt Reed until she is sent to boarding school where she survives a typhus epidemic. When she leaves school she becomes a governess in the house of Mr Rochester, a house which holds a shocking secret.

Why we chose it

Generations of teenage girls, before the arrival of young adult literature, loved the romance of Jane Eyre. A classic of English literature, Jane Eyre is a coming of age story that many argue is best read first as a teenager.

Where it came from

Charlotte grew up in Howarth, Yorkshire where he father was the rector. She and her siblings, Emily, Anne and Branwell spent their childhoods creating imaginary kingdoms and writing stories and poems about them. She like Jane went to a boarding school and survived an epidemic, though her two older sister Maria and Elizabeth both died while there. She and her surviving sisters also worked as governesses and at one time planned to open a school in the parsonage. All three sisters continued to write and their first novels came out at about the same time. As it was considered shocking for women to write novels, they all originally published under male names, Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell but were forced to reveal their identities to prove that there were indeed three of them.

Where it went next

Jane Eyre was a sensation when it was first published and more of a sensation when the sisters were forced to reveal their actual identity. Few could believe that Charlotte and Emily’s novels could have been written by women, let alone by such timid and unassuming women.

Jane Eyre has been filmed and adapted for television many times and also adapted as a play and as a ballet

Associated stories

Charlotte wrote three further novels, Shirley set during the Luddite riots in Yorkshire and The Professor and Villette, both set in Brussels where she and Emily spent some time at a school, hoping to improve their French. Emily is the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Added on 08th August 2020

Author Charlotte Bronte
First published 1847
Publisher Smith, Elder and Co