Jane Eyre: Introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Everyman's Library Classics Series) (Hardcover)
Reader, I read it: Jane Eyre, with all its glorious gothic turns—from the prison of the Red Room to the privations of Lowood and the haunted halls of Thornfield—and its stirring declarations of an independent spirit.
There are many paperback and hardcover editions of the classic. I indulged in the Everyman’s Library; there’s nothing like a hardcover bound with a ribbon bookmark.
This year marks the 175th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece. Published October 16, 1847, under the male-sounding pseudonym Currer Bell, Jane Eyre was revealed to be the work of its rightful female author by the second edition.
I was struck by how modern Jane sounds in her assertion of her worth despite the rule of wealth and caste and the customs of the time. “I care for myself,” she tells Mr. Rochester. “The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” Amen.— Susan
Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr Rochester's past are revealed.
Charlotte Brontë’s novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has, ever since its publication in 1847, enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving affirmation of the prerogatives of the heart in the face of disappointment and misfortune.
Jane Eyre has enjoyed huge popularity since first publication, and its success owes much to its exceptional emotional power.
About the Author
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), a poor clergyman’s daughter from Yorkshire, England, worked as a teacher and governess before her publication of Jane Eyre won her instant fame. She went on to produce three more novels before dying at the age of thirty-eight.