Tomes of Miscellany

Welcome to the land of danger and intrigue, where individuals are legion and non-conformity is the norm. Join me as I explore the many facets of humanity and meet the scum of the earth and its angels incarnate.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Publisher: Bantam Books
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1981

Jane's had a hard life. First, she grew up with relatives who had no real bloodties to her (except being her late uncle's family). Then she wound up in a school whose situation (geographic and economic) was hardly an improvement, what with a cruel penny-pinching headmaster and bouts of illness to contend with. After surviving that episode--whereas some of her classmates did not--she continued on there as a teacher in a much improved school until she found a position as a governess in an old, established estate. There she would rise to enjoy great happiness and joy, only to sink once more into the pits of blackest despair. Would Jane ever find true happiness, as a British gentlewoman and as a schoolteacher and as an individual?

Jane Eyre is perhaps one of the first "classic" works I ever read, thanks to a bit of motivation from those comic-style pocket classics that were available at one time. It--along with King Lear and The Merchant of Venice--gave me the basic story to work with, so when I read the longer version at a later time, I understood what everything was about. Of course, I doubt anything can ever surpass Dracula as my absolute favorite classic novel, but Jane Eyre rivals Pride and Prejudice on my list of favorites.

The novel itself has all sorts of eerie, supernatural touches to it, making for a truly Gothic novel. Take for example Jane's youthful encounter (as she explains it) with her late uncle's spirit when she's locked in the room he died in. Or, there are all sorts of instances at Thornfield which suggest an otherworldly (ethereal, spectral, etc.) air, including a reference to Bluebeard the pirate and maniacal laughter. On the other hand, one can't forget that this was also originally written during the age of romance, where young woman sought, fought, lost, and regained the loves of their lifetimes. So while there are occasions of horror and suspense, there are also many touching moments which transcend the mortal plane and attain something higher, elevating the reader at the same time. It's hard to describe, so you'll either have to take my word for it or read the book yourself.

Jane Eyre is probably a novel many students have to read by their senior year, and I know for a fact that I had to read it two or three times over in college (along with Moby Dick and The Scarlet Letter), so this is definitely a book worth looking into if you want a head start on something you may have to read eventually anyway!

Rating: Thumbs up! This semi-autobiographical novel is definitely not a walk in the park...which could sometimes have dangerous consequences, if you know what I mean!

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