Jane Eyre

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This article is about the novel. Jane Eyre_sentence_0

For other uses, see Jane Eyre (disambiguation). Jane Eyre_sentence_1

Jane Eyre_table_infobox_0

Jane EyreJane Eyre_table_caption_0
AuthorJane Eyre_header_cell_0_0_0 Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre_cell_0_0_1
CountryJane Eyre_header_cell_0_1_0 United KingdomJane Eyre_cell_0_1_1
LanguageJane Eyre_header_cell_0_2_0 EnglishJane Eyre_cell_0_2_1
GenreJane Eyre_header_cell_0_3_0 Novel

Victorian literatureJane Eyre_cell_0_3_1

Set inJane Eyre_header_cell_0_4_0 Northern England, early 19th centuryJane Eyre_cell_0_4_1
PublisherJane Eyre_header_cell_0_5_0 Smith, Elder & Co.Jane Eyre_cell_0_5_1
Publication dateJane Eyre_header_cell_0_6_0 16 October 1847 (1847-10-16)Jane Eyre_cell_0_6_1
Media typeJane Eyre_header_cell_0_7_0 PrintJane Eyre_cell_0_7_1
OCLCJane Eyre_header_cell_0_8_0 Jane Eyre_cell_0_8_1
Dewey DecimalJane Eyre_header_cell_0_9_0 823.8Jane Eyre_cell_0_9_1
Followed byJane Eyre_header_cell_0_10_0 ShirleyJane Eyre_cell_0_10_1
TextJane Eyre_header_cell_0_11_0 at WikisourceJane Eyre_cell_0_11_1

Jane Eyre /ɛər/ (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë, published under the pen name "Currer Bell", on 16 October 1847, by Smith, Elder & Co. of London. Jane Eyre_sentence_2

The first American edition was published the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York. Jane Eyre_sentence_3

Jane Eyre is a Bildungsroman which follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall. Jane Eyre_sentence_4

The novel revolutionised prose fiction by being the first to focus on its protagonist's moral and spiritual development through an intimate first-person narrative, where actions and events are coloured by a psychological intensity. Jane Eyre_sentence_5

Charlotte Brontë has been called the "first historian of the private consciousness", and the literary ancestor of writers like Proust and Joyce. Jane Eyre_sentence_6

The book contains elements of social criticism with a strong sense of Christian morality at its core, and it is considered by many to be ahead of its time because of Jane's individualistic character and how the novel approaches the topics of class, sexuality, religion, and feminism. Jane Eyre_sentence_7

It, along with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, is one of the most famous romance novels of all time. Jane Eyre_sentence_8

Plot Jane Eyre_section_0

Jane Eyre is divided into 38 chapters. Jane Eyre_sentence_9

It was originally published in three volumes in the 19th century, comprising chapters 1 to 15, 16 to 27, and 28 to 38. Jane Eyre_sentence_10

The second edition was dedicated to William Makepeace Thackeray. Jane Eyre_sentence_11

The novel is a first-person narrative from the perspective of the title character. Jane Eyre_sentence_12

The novel's setting is somewhere in the north of England, late in the reign of George III (1760–1820). Jane Eyre_sentence_13

It goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead Hall, where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she gains friends and role models but suffers privations and oppression; her time as governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls in love with her mysterious employer, Edward Fairfax Rochester; her time in the Moor House, during which her earnest but cold clergyman cousin, St. John Rivers, proposes to her; and ultimately her reunion with, and marriage to, her beloved Rochester. Jane Eyre_sentence_14

Throughout these sections, the novel provides perspectives on a number of important social issues and ideas, many of which are critical of the status quo. Jane Eyre_sentence_15

Gateshead Hall Jane Eyre_section_1

Jane Eyre, aged 10, lives at Gateshead Hall with her maternal uncle's family, the Reeds, as a result of her uncle's dying wish. Jane Eyre_sentence_16

Jane was orphaned several years earlier when her parents died of typhus. Jane Eyre_sentence_17

Mr. Reed, Jane's uncle, was the only member of the Reed family who was ever kind to Jane. Jane Eyre_sentence_18

Jane's aunt, Sarah Reed, dislikes her, abuses her, and treats her as a burden, and Mrs. Reed discourages her three children from associating with Jane. Jane Eyre_sentence_19

Jane, as a result, becomes defensive against her cruel judgement. Jane Eyre_sentence_20

The nursemaid, Bessie, proves to be Jane's only ally in the household, even though Bessie occasionally scolds Jane harshly. Jane Eyre_sentence_21

Excluded from the family activities, Jane leads an unhappy childhood, with only a doll and books with which to entertain herself. Jane Eyre_sentence_22

One day, as punishment for defending herself against her cousin John Reed, Jane is relegated to the red room in which her late uncle had died; there, she faints from panic after she thinks she has seen his ghost. Jane Eyre_sentence_23

The red room is significant because it lays the grounds for the "ambiguous relationship between parents and children" which plays out in all of Jane's future relationships with male figures throughout the novel. Jane Eyre_sentence_24

She is subsequently attended to by the kindly apothecary Mr. Lloyd to whom Jane reveals how unhappy she is living at Gateshead Hall. Jane Eyre_sentence_25

He recommends to Mrs. Reed that Jane should be sent to school, an idea Mrs. Reed happily supports. Jane Eyre_sentence_26

Mrs. Reed then enlists the aid of the harsh Mr. Brocklehurst, who is the director of Lowood Institution, a charity school for girls, to enroll Jane. Jane Eyre_sentence_27

Mrs. Reed cautions Mr. Brocklehurst that Jane has a "tendency for deceit", which he interprets as Jane being a liar. Jane Eyre_sentence_28

Before Jane leaves, however, she confronts Mrs. Reed and declares that she'll never call her "aunt" again. Jane Eyre_sentence_29

Jane also tells Mrs. Reed and her daughters, Georgiana and Eliza, that they are the ones who are deceitful, and that she will tell everyone at Lowood how cruelly the Reeds treated her. Jane Eyre_sentence_30

Mrs. Reed is hurt badly by these words, but does not have the courage or tenacity to show this. Jane Eyre_sentence_31

Lowood Institution Jane Eyre_section_2

At Lowood Institution, a school for poor and orphaned girls, Jane soon finds that life is harsh. Jane Eyre_sentence_32

She attempts to fit in and befriends an older girl, Helen Burns. Jane Eyre_sentence_33

During a class session, her new friend is criticised for her poor stance and dirty nails, and receives a lashing as a result. Jane Eyre_sentence_34

Later, Jane tells Helen that she could not have borne such public humiliation, but Helen philosophically tells her that it would be her duty to do so. Jane Eyre_sentence_35

Jane then tells Helen how badly she has been treated by Mrs. Reed, but Helen tells her that she would be far happier if she did not bear grudges. Jane Eyre_sentence_36

In due course, Mr. Brocklehurst visits the school. Jane Eyre_sentence_37

While Jane is trying to make herself look inconspicuous, she accidentally drops her slate, thereby drawing attention to herself. Jane Eyre_sentence_38

She is then forced to stand on a stool, and is branded a sinner and a liar. Jane Eyre_sentence_39

Later, Miss Temple, the caring superintendent, facilitates Jane's self-defence and publicly clears her of any wrongdoing. Jane Eyre_sentence_40

Helen and Miss Temple are Jane's two main role models who positively guide her development, despite the harsh treatment she has received from many others. Jane Eyre_sentence_41

The 80 pupils at Lowood are subjected to cold rooms, poor meals, and thin clothing. Jane Eyre_sentence_42

Many students fall ill when a typhus epidemic strikes; Helen dies of consumption in Jane's arms. Jane Eyre_sentence_43

When Mr. Brocklehurst's maltreatment of the students is discovered, several benefactors erect a new building and install a sympathetic management committee to moderate Mr. Brocklehurst's harsh rule. Jane Eyre_sentence_44

Conditions at the school then improve dramatically. Jane Eyre_sentence_45

Thornfield Hall Jane Eyre_section_3

Main article: Thornfield Hall Jane Eyre_sentence_46

After six years as a student and two as a teacher at Lowood, Jane decides to leave in pursuit of a new life, growing bored of her life at Lowood. Jane Eyre_sentence_47

Her friend and confidante, Miss Temple, also leaves after getting married. Jane Eyre_sentence_48

Jane advertises her services as a governess in a newspaper. Jane Eyre_sentence_49

A housekeeper at Thornfield Hall, Alice Fairfax, replies to Jane's advertisement. Jane Eyre_sentence_50

Jane takes the position, teaching Adèle Varens, a young French girl. Jane Eyre_sentence_51

One night, while Jane is carrying a letter to the post from Thornfield, a horseman and dog pass her. Jane Eyre_sentence_52

The horse slips on ice and throws the rider. Jane Eyre_sentence_53

Despite the rider's surliness, Jane helps him get back onto his horse. Jane Eyre_sentence_54

Later, back at Thornfield, she learns that this man is Edward Rochester, master of the house. Jane Eyre_sentence_55

Adèle was left in his care when her mother abandoned her. Jane Eyre_sentence_56

It is not immediately apparent whether Adèle is Rochester's daughter or not. Jane Eyre_sentence_57

At Jane's first meeting with Mr. Rochester, he teases her, accusing her of bewitching his horse to make him fall. Jane Eyre_sentence_58

Jane stands up to his initially arrogant manner, despite his strange behaviour. Jane Eyre_sentence_59

Mr. Rochester and Jane soon come to enjoy each other's company, and they spend many evenings together. Jane Eyre_sentence_60

Odd things start to happen at the house, such as a strange laugh being heard, a mysterious fire in Mr. Rochester's room (from which Jane saves Rochester by rousing him and throwing water on him and the fire), and an attack on a house-guest named Mr. Mason. Jane Eyre_sentence_61

After Jane saves Mr. Rochester from the fire, he thanks her tenderly and emotionally, and that night Jane feels strange emotions of her own towards him. Jane Eyre_sentence_62

The next day however he leaves unexpectedly for a distant party gathering, and several days later returns with the whole party, including the beautiful and talented Blanche Ingram. Jane Eyre_sentence_63

Jane sees that Blanche and Mr. Rochester favour each other and starts to feel jealous, particularly because she also sees that Blanche is snobbish and heartless. Jane Eyre_sentence_64

Jane then receives word that Mrs. Reed has suffered a stroke and is calling for her. Jane Eyre_sentence_65

Jane returns to Gateshead and remains there for a month to tend to her dying aunt. Jane Eyre_sentence_66

Mrs. Reed confesses to Jane that she wronged her, bringing forth a letter from Jane's paternal uncle, Mr. John Eyre, in which he asks for her to live with him and be his heir. Jane Eyre_sentence_67

Mrs. Reed admits to telling Mr. Eyre that Jane had died of fever at Lowood. Jane Eyre_sentence_68

Soon afterward, Mrs. Reed dies, and Jane helps her cousins after the funeral before returning to Thornfield. Jane Eyre_sentence_69

Back at Thornfield, Jane broods over Mr. Rochester's rumoured impending marriage to Blanche Ingram. Jane Eyre_sentence_70

However, one midsummer evening, Rochester baits Jane by saying how much he will miss her after getting married and how she will soon forget him. Jane Eyre_sentence_71

The normally self-controlled Jane reveals her feelings for him. Jane Eyre_sentence_72

Rochester then is sure that Jane is sincerely in love with him, and he proposes marriage. Jane Eyre_sentence_73

Jane is at first skeptical of his sincerity, before accepting his proposal. Jane Eyre_sentence_74

She then writes to her Uncle John, telling him of her happy news. Jane Eyre_sentence_75

As she prepares for her wedding, Jane's forebodings arise when a strange woman sneaks into her room one night and rips Jane's wedding veil in two. Jane Eyre_sentence_76

As with the previous mysterious events, Mr. Rochester attributes the incident to Grace Poole, one of his servants. Jane Eyre_sentence_77

During the wedding ceremony, however, Mr. Mason and a lawyer declare that Mr. Rochester cannot marry because he is already married to Mr. Mason's sister, Bertha. Jane Eyre_sentence_78

Mr. Rochester admits this is true but explains that his father tricked him into the marriage for her money. Jane Eyre_sentence_79

Once they were united, he discovered that she was rapidly descending into congenital madness, and so he eventually locked her away in Thornfield, hiring Grace Poole as a nurse to look after her. Jane Eyre_sentence_80

When Grace gets drunk, Rochester's wife escapes and causes the strange happenings at Thornfield. Jane Eyre_sentence_81

It turns out that Jane's uncle, Mr. John Eyre, is a friend of Mr. Mason's and was visited by him soon after Mr. Eyre received Jane's letter about her impending marriage. Jane Eyre_sentence_82

After the marriage ceremony is broken off, Mr. Rochester asks Jane to go with him to the south of France and live with him as husband and wife, even though they cannot be married. Jane Eyre_sentence_83

Jane is tempted but must stay true to her Christian values and beliefs. Jane Eyre_sentence_84

Refusing to go against her principles, and despite her love for Rochester, Jane leaves Thornfield at dawn before anyone else is up. Jane Eyre_sentence_85

Moor House Jane Eyre_section_4

Jane travels as far from Thornfield as she can using the little money she had previously saved. Jane Eyre_sentence_86

She accidentally leaves her bundle of possessions on the coach and is forced to sleep on the moor. Jane Eyre_sentence_87

She unsuccessfully attempts to trade her handkerchief and gloves for food. Jane Eyre_sentence_88

Exhausted and starving, she eventually makes her way to the home of Diana and Mary Rivers, but is turned away by the housekeeper. Jane Eyre_sentence_89

She collapses on the doorstep, preparing for her death. Jane Eyre_sentence_90

Clergyman St. John Rivers, Diana and Mary's brother, rescues her. Jane Eyre_sentence_91

After Jane regains her health, St. John finds her a teaching position at a nearby village school. Jane Eyre_sentence_92

Jane becomes good friends with the sisters, but St. John remains aloof. Jane Eyre_sentence_93

The sisters leave for governess jobs, and St. John becomes somewhat closer to Jane. Jane Eyre_sentence_94

St. John learns Jane's true identity and astounds her by telling her that her uncle, John Eyre, has died and left her his entire fortune of 20,000 pounds (equivalent to just under $1.7 million in 2018). Jane Eyre_sentence_95

When Jane questions him further, St. John reveals that John Eyre is also his and his sisters' uncle. Jane Eyre_sentence_96

They had once hoped for a share of the inheritance but were left virtually nothing. Jane Eyre_sentence_97

Jane, overjoyed by finding that she has living and friendly family members, insists on sharing the money equally with her cousins, and Diana and Mary come back to live at Moor House. Jane Eyre_sentence_98

Proposals Jane Eyre_section_5

Thinking that the pious and conscientious Jane will make a suitable missionary's wife, St. John asks her to marry him and to go with him to India, not out of love, but out of duty. Jane Eyre_sentence_99

Jane initially accepts going to India but rejects the marriage proposal, suggesting they travel as brother and sister. Jane Eyre_sentence_100

As soon as Jane's resolve against marriage to St. John begins to weaken, she mystically hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her name. Jane Eyre_sentence_101

Jane then returns to Thornfield to find only blackened ruins. Jane Eyre_sentence_102

She learns that Mr. Rochester's wife set the house on fire and committed suicide by jumping from the roof. Jane Eyre_sentence_103

In his rescue attempts, Mr. Rochester lost a hand and his eyesight. Jane Eyre_sentence_104

Jane reunites with him, but he fears that she will be repulsed by his condition. Jane Eyre_sentence_105

"Am I hideous, Jane? Jane Eyre_sentence_106

", he asks. Jane Eyre_sentence_107

"Very, sir; you always were, you know", she replies. Jane Eyre_sentence_108

When Jane assures him of her love and tells him that she will never leave him, Mr. Rochester proposes again, and they are married. Jane Eyre_sentence_109

They live together in an old house in the woods called Ferndean Manor. Jane Eyre_sentence_110

Rochester regains sight in one eye two years after his and Jane's marriage, and he sees their newborn son. Jane Eyre_sentence_111

Major characters Jane Eyre_section_6

In order of first line of dialogue: Jane Eyre_sentence_112

Chapter 1 Jane Eyre_section_7

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_0

  • Jane Eyre: The novel's narrator and protagonist, she eventually becomes the second wife of Edward Rochester. Orphaned as a baby, Jane struggles through her nearly loveless childhood and becomes governess at Thornfield Hall. Though facially plain, Jane is passionate and strongly principled, and values freedom and independence. She also has a strong conscience and is a determined Christian. She is ten at the beginning of the novel, and nineteen or twenty at the end of the main narrative. As the final chapter of the novel states that she has been married to Edward Rochester for ten years, she is approximately thirty at its completion.Jane Eyre_item_0_0
  • Mrs. Sarah Reed: (née Gibson) Jane's maternal aunt by marriage, who reluctantly adopted Jane in accordance with her late husband's wishes. According to Mrs. Reed, he pitied Jane and often cared for her more than for his own children. Mrs. Reed's resentment leads her to abuse and neglect the girl. She lies to Mr. Brocklehurst about Jane's tendency to lie, preparing him to be severe with Jane when she arrives at Brocklehurst's Lowood School.Jane Eyre_item_0_1
  • John Reed: Jane's fourteen-year-old first cousin who bullies her incessantly, sometimes in his mother's presence. John eventually ruins himself as an adult by drinking and gambling, and is rumoured to have committed suicide.Jane Eyre_item_0_2
  • Eliza Reed: Jane's thirteen-year-old first cousin. Envious of her more attractive younger sister and a slave to rigid routine, she self-righteously devotes herself to religion. She leaves for a nunnery near Lisle after her mother's death, determined to estrange herself from her sister.Jane Eyre_item_0_3
  • Georgiana Reed: Jane's eleven-year-old first cousin. Although beautiful and indulged, she is insolent and spiteful. Her elder sister Eliza foils Georgiana's marriage to the wealthy Lord Edwin Vere, when the couple is about to elope. Georgiana eventually marries a "wealthy worn-out man of fashion."Jane Eyre_item_0_4
  • Bessie Lee: The nursemaid at Gateshead. She often treats Jane kindly, telling her stories and singing her songs, but she has a quick temper. Later, she marries Robert Leaven with whom she has three children.Jane Eyre_item_0_5
  • Miss Martha Abbot: Mrs. Reed's maid at Gateshead. She is unkind to Jane and tells Jane she has less right to be at Gateshead than a servant does.Jane Eyre_item_0_6

Chapter 3 Jane Eyre_section_8

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_1

  • Mr. Lloyd: A compassionate apothecary who recommends that Jane be sent to school. Later, he writes a letter to Miss Temple confirming Jane's account of her childhood and thereby clears Jane of Mrs. Reed's charge of lying.Jane Eyre_item_1_7

Chapter 4 Jane Eyre_section_9

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_2

  • Mr. Brocklehurst: The clergyman, director, and treasurer of Lowood School, whose maltreatment of the pupils is eventually exposed. A religious traditionalist, he advocates for his charges the most harsh, plain, and disciplined possible lifestyle, but, hypocritically, not for himself and his own family. His second daughter, Augusta, exclaimed, "Oh, dear papa, how quiet and plain all the girls at Lowood look… they looked at my dress and mama's, as if they had never seen a silk gown before."Jane Eyre_item_2_8

Chapter 5 Jane Eyre_section_10

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_3

  • Miss Maria Temple: The kind superintendent of Lowood School, who treats the pupils with respect and compassion. She helps clear Jane of Mr. Brocklehurst's false accusation of deceit and cares for Helen in her last days. Eventually, she marries Reverend Naysmith.Jane Eyre_item_3_9
  • Miss Scatcherd: A sour and strict teacher at Lowood. She constantly punishes Helen Burns for her untidiness but fails to see Helen's substantial good points.Jane Eyre_item_3_10
  • Helen Burns: Jane's best friend at Lowood School. She refuses to hate those who abuse her, trusts in God, and prays for peace one day in heaven. She teaches Jane to trust Christianity and dies of consumption in Jane's arms. Elizabeth Gaskell, in her biography of the Brontë sisters, wrote that Helen Burns was 'an exact transcript' of Maria Brontë, who died of consumption at age 11.Jane Eyre_item_3_11

Chapter 11 Jane Eyre_section_11

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_4

  • Mrs. Alice Fairfax: The elderly, kind widow and the housekeeper of Thornfield Hall; distantly related to the Rochesters.Jane Eyre_item_4_12
  • Adèle Varens: An excitable French child to whom Jane is a governess at Thornfield. Adèle's mother was a dancer named Céline. She was Mr. Rochester's mistress and claimed that Adèle was Mr. Rochester's daughter, though he refuses to believe it due to Céline's unfaithfulness and Adèle's apparent lack of resemblance to him. Adèle seems to believe that her mother is dead (she tells Jane in chapter 11, "I lived long ago with mamma, but she is gone to the Holy Virgin"). Mr Rochester later tells Jane that Céline actually abandoned Adèle and "ran away to Italy with a musician or singer" (ch. 15). Adèle and Jane develop a strong liking for one another, and although Mr. Rochester places Adèle in a strict school after Jane flees Thornfield, Jane visits Adèle after her return and finds a better, less severe school for her. When Adèle is old enough to leave school, Jane describes her as "a pleasing and obliging companion – docile, good-tempered and well-principled", and considers her kindness to Adèle well repaid.Jane Eyre_item_4_13
  • Grace Poole: "…a woman of between thirty and forty; a set, square-made figure, red-haired, and with a hard, plain face…" Mr. Rochester pays her a very high salary to keep his mad wife, Bertha, hidden and quiet. Grace is often used as an explanation for odd happenings at the house such as strange laughter that was heard not long after Jane arrived. She has a weakness for drinking that occasionally allows Bertha to escape.Jane Eyre_item_4_14

Chapter 12 Jane Eyre_section_12

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_5

  • Edward Fairfax Rochester: The master of Thornfield Hall. A Byronic hero, he has a face "dark, strong, and stern." He married Bertha Mason years before the novel begins.Jane Eyre_item_5_15
  • Leah: The housemaid at Thornfield Hall.Jane Eyre_item_5_16

Chapter 17 Jane Eyre_section_13

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_6

  • Blanche Ingram: Young socialite whom Mr. Rochester plans to marry. Though possessing great beauty and talent, she treats social inferiors, Jane in particular, with undisguised contempt. Mr. Rochester exposes her and her mother's mercenary motivations when he puts out a rumour that he is far less wealthy than they imagine.Jane Eyre_item_6_17

Chapter 18 Jane Eyre_section_14

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_7

  • Richard Mason: An Englishman whose arrival at Thornfield Hall from the West Indies unsettles Mr. Rochester. He is the brother of Rochester's first wife, the woman in the attic, and still cares for his sister's well-being. During the wedding ceremony of Jane and Mr. Rochester, he exposes the bigamous nature of the marriage.Jane Eyre_item_7_18

Chapter 21 Jane Eyre_section_15

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_8

  • Robert Leaven: The coachman at Gateshead, who brings Jane the news of the death of the dissolute John Reed, an event which has brought on Mrs. Reed's stroke. He informs her of Mrs. Reed's wish to see Jane before she dies.Jane Eyre_item_8_19

Chapter 26 Jane Eyre_section_16

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_9

  • Bertha Antoinetta Mason: The first wife of Edward Rochester. After their wedding, her mental health began to deteriorate, and she is now violent and in a state of intense derangement, apparently unable to speak or go into society. Mr. Rochester, who insists that he was tricked into the marriage by a family who knew Bertha was likely to develop this condition, has kept Bertha locked in the attic at Thornfield for years. She is supervised and cared for by Grace Poole, whose drinking sometimes allows Bertha to escape. After Richard Mason stops Jane and Mr. Rochester's wedding, Rochester finally introduces Jane to Bertha: "In the deep shade, at the farther end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards. What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell… it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing, and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face." Eventually, Bertha sets fire to Thornfield Hall and throws herself to her death from the roof. Bertha is viewed as Jane's "double": Jane is pious and just, while Bertha is savage and animalistic. Though her race is never mentioned, it is sometimes conjectured that she was of mixed race. Rochester suggests that Bertha's parents wanted her to marry him, because he was of "good race", implying that she was not pure white, while he was. There are also references to her "dark" hair and "discoloured" and "black" face. A number of Victorian writers at the time suggested that madness could result from a racially "impure" lineage, compounded by growing up in a tropical West Indian climate.Jane Eyre_item_9_20

Chapter 28 Jane Eyre_section_17

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_10

  • Diana and Mary Rivers: Sisters in a remote house who take Jane in when she is hungry and friendless, having left Thornfield Hall without making any arrangements for herself. Financially poor but intellectually curious, the sisters are deeply engrossed in reading the evening Jane appears at their door. Eventually, they are revealed to be Jane's cousins. They want Jane to marry their stern clergyman brother so that he will stay in England rather than journey to India as a missionary. Diana marries naval Captain Fitzjames, and Mary marries clergyman Mr. Wharton. The sisters remain close to Jane and visit with her and Rochester every year.Jane Eyre_item_10_21
  • Hannah: The kindly housekeeper at the Rivers home; "…comparable with the Brontes' well-loved servant, Tabitha Aykroyd."Jane Eyre_item_10_22
  • St. John Eyre Rivers: A handsome, though severe and serious, clergyman who befriends Jane and turns out to be her cousin. St. John is thoroughly practical and suppresses all of his human passions and emotions, particularly his love for the beautiful and cheerful heiress Rosamond Oliver, in favour of good works. He wants Jane to marry him and serve as his assistant on his missionary journey to India. After Jane rejects his proposal, St. John goes to India unmarried.Jane Eyre_item_10_23

Chapter 32 Jane Eyre_section_18

Jane Eyre_unordered_list_11

  • Rosamond Oliver: A beautiful, kindly, wealthy, but rather simple young woman, and the patron of the village school where Jane teaches. Rosamond is in love with St. John, but he refuses to declare his love for her because she wouldn't be suitable as a missionary's wife. She eventually becomes engaged to the respected and wealthy Mr. Granby.Jane Eyre_item_11_24
  • Mr. Oliver: Rosamond Oliver's wealthy father, who owns a foundry and needle factory in the district. "…a tall, massive-featured, middle-aged, and grey-headed man, at whose side his lovely daughter looked like a bright flower near a hoary turret." He is a kind and charitable man, and he is fond of St. John.Jane Eyre_item_11_25

Context Jane Eyre_section_19

The early sequences, in which Jane is sent to Lowood, a harsh boarding school, are derived from the author's own experiences. Jane Eyre_sentence_113

Helen Burns's death from tuberculosis (referred to as consumption) recalls the deaths of Charlotte Brontë's sisters, Elizabeth and Maria, who died of the disease in childhood as a result of the conditions at their school, the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge, near Tunstall, Lancashire. Jane Eyre_sentence_114

Mr. Brocklehurst is based on Rev. Jane Eyre_sentence_115

William Carus Wilson (1791–1859), the Evangelical minister who ran the school. Jane Eyre_sentence_116

Additionally, John Reed's decline into alcoholism and dissolution recalls the life of Charlotte's brother Branwell, who became an opium and alcohol addict in the years preceding his death. Jane Eyre_sentence_117

Finally, like Jane, Charlotte became a governess. Jane Eyre_sentence_118

These facts were revealed to the public in The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) by Charlotte's friend and fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. Jane Eyre_sentence_119

The Gothic manor of Thornfield Hall was probably inspired by North Lees Hall, near Hathersage in the Peak District. Jane Eyre_sentence_120

This was visited by Charlotte Brontë and her friend Ellen Nussey in the summer of 1845, and is described by the latter in a letter dated 22 July 1845. Jane Eyre_sentence_121

It was the residence of the Eyre family, and its first owner, Agnes Ashurst, was reputedly confined as a lunatic in a padded second floor room. Jane Eyre_sentence_122

It has been suggested that the Wycoller Hall in Lancashire, close to Haworth, provided the setting for Ferndean Manor to which Mr. Rochester retreats after the fire at Thornfield: there are similarities between the owner of Ferndean—Mr. Jane Eyre_sentence_123

Rochester's father—and Henry Cunliffe, who inherited Wycoller in the 1770s and lived there until his death in 1818; one of Cunliffe's relatives was named Elizabeth Eyre (née Cunliffe). Jane Eyre_sentence_124

The sequence in which Mr. Rochester's wife sets fire to the bed curtains was prepared in an August 1830 homemade publication of Brontë's The Young Men's Magazine, Number 2. Jane Eyre_sentence_125

Charlotte Brontë began composing Jane Eyre in Manchester, and she likely envisioned Manchester Cathedral churchyard as the burial place for Jane's parents and the birthplace of Jane herself. Jane Eyre_sentence_126

Adaptations and influence Jane Eyre_section_20

Main article: Adaptations of Jane Eyre Jane Eyre_sentence_127

The novel has been adapted into a number of other forms, including theatre, film, television, and at least two full-length operas, by John Joubert (1987–1997) and Michael Berkeley (2000). Jane Eyre_sentence_128

The novel has also been the subject of a number of significant rewritings and related interpretations, notably Jean Rhys's seminal 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea. Jane Eyre_sentence_129

On 19 May 2016, Cathy Marston's ballet adaption was premiered by the Northern Ballet at the Cast Theatre in Doncaster, England with Dreda Blow as Jane and Javier Torres as Rochester. Jane Eyre_sentence_130

In November 2016, a manga adaptation by Crystal S. Chan was published by Manga Classics Inc., with artwork by Sunneko Lee. Jane Eyre_sentence_131

Reception Jane Eyre_section_21

Jane Eyre's initial reception contrasts starkly to its reputation today. Jane Eyre_sentence_132

In 1848, Elizabeth Rigby (later Elizabeth Eastlake), reviewing Jane Eyre in The Quarterly Review, found it "pre-eminently an anti-Christian composition," declaring: "We do not hesitate to say that the tone of mind and thought which has overthrown authority and violated every code human and divine abroad, and fostered Chartism and rebellion at home, is the same which has also written Jane Eyre." Jane Eyre_sentence_133

Literary critic Jerome Beaty believed the close first-person perspective leaves the reader "too uncritically accepting of her worldview", and often leads reading and conversation about the novel towards supporting Jane, regardless of how irregular her ideas or perspectives are. Jane Eyre_sentence_134

In 2003, the novel was ranked number 10 in the BBC's survey The Big Read. Jane Eyre_sentence_135


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