Thursday, February 10, 2011
This book was originally published as an autobiography, but under the pseudo-name Currer Bell. I had heard that this book was a "sort-of" autobiography for Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is one of my mother-in-law, Donna's, favorite novels of all time and she informed me that Bronte heard this story from a classmate while in school...and it was that classmate's story. I cannot find anything via the web to corroborate this version...everything I've read said that Jane Eyre was partially autobiographical. Perhaps, one of my next non-fiction readings will be about Miss Bronte herself to try and find the truth. We'll see, considering my book list is always growing!
The story of Jane Eyre begins with Jane living with her widowed aunt and three cousins. Her aunt has no real care for Jane and only keeps her because of her husband's dying wish to "care for Jane as for her own children." Jane's uncle held a soft spot in his heart for his niece and wished only the best for her, but with him gone Jane did not receive the best of care. In fact, one of her cousin's routinely abuses her both physically and emotionally. But, Jane fights back and this comes to a pinnacle within the household...and Jane is sent off to an orphan's school, Lowood.
Lowood is not an expressly happy institution due to the cold-hearted clergyman that runs the school, but the teachers are fine educators with a warm heart for their students...even if some of them show it in odd ways. Jane completes her education at Lowood and even teaches for a time once she has finished. However, she wishes to see a little more of the world and with two of her best friends from the school gone, Jane sees no reason to feel tied to the institution.
Miss Eyre receives notice of an opening for a governess ship at a Thornfield Hall after placing an ad for such a position. At this point the real story begins... Jane arrives on the grounds of the beautiful Thornfield Hall, makes nice with the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, and proceeds to bond with her student, Adele. The master of the estate, Mr. Rochester, is not home for a time when Jane first arrives, but soon appears. He and Jane develop an...interesting...relationship, especially considering Mr. Rochester's cold demeanor and the age difference between the two. What Jane does not know, however, is that Mr. Rochester is hiding something at Thornfield Hall...a very large, very dangerous secret...
And I'm going to leave the book review at that...if you want to know where this story goes, read Jane Eyre! I really, really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the movie coming on March 11th! I'm listing the preview below, which really shows a lot of the darker aspects of this book. Trust me, this book isn't quite this dark, though there are definitely darker parts. Read it and watch the movie when it comes out! I highly recommend!