"Do you think that because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am heartless and soulless? You think wrong!
And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should make it as hard for you to leave me, as it now is to leave you....it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal....as we are!

Jane Eyre is a story about a woman and her constant crusade against petty rebellion, snobberies and hypocrisies. It tells of Jane's love for the enigmatic Mr. Rochester, her employer who hires her as governess for his ward. Edward Rochester holds a secret past that finally is revealed and she can only marry when a tragedy brings them to a state of parity. "Jane, will you marry me?...a poor man whom you will have to lead about by the hand..a crippled man, twenty years older than you..."yes sir"...."Truly, Jane?"..... "Most truly, sir."

Charlotte Bronte completed this novel on August 24, 1847 under the name of Currer Bell. Her publisher read it in two days. Six weeks later, on October 16, Jane Eyre was published. It was an instant success. And who was this Currer Bell? No one knew for sure, not even her publisher. Letters would come and go between Currer Bell and her publisher in London, and yet even her father and brother who lived under the same roof, did not know Charlotte had achieved such success on her first novel. Charlotte's true identity would be revealed later on to shock all of London that a woman had written such a tale! Writing was considered "a hobby" for women and not to be taken seriously. Jane Eyre was to be Charlotte's best known work.


An actual conversation between
Charlotte and her father over this novel:

"Papa, I've written a book."
"Have you, my dear?"
"Yes, and I want you to read it."
"I am afraid it will try my eyes too much."
"But it is a manuscript, it is printed."
"My dear! you've never thought of the expense it will be! It will be almost sure to be a loss, for how can you get a book sold? No one knows your name."
"But papa, I don't think it will be a loss: no more will you if you will just let me read you a review or two, and let me tell you more about it."
She gave him a copy to read. When he came in to tea, he said
"Girls, do you know Charlotte has been writing a book, and it is much better than likely?"

Other Work

Villette
The Professor
Shirley

Emma
 


 

In 1985, the movie Jane Eyre starring Timothy Dalton and Zelma Clarke aired on PBS and is the most closely written screenplay to Charlotte's original novel. In 1944, the screen version of Jane Eyre starring Orson Welles, also had an unknown actress appearing for her first screen performance as Helen Burns,
Jane Eyre's friend at the orphanage.
Her name.....Elizabeth Taylor.

Charlotte the Artist | Bronte Family | England | Poem

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