Recommendations from our site

“I think Charlotte Brontë’s most accomplished book is Villette. It’s probably a better book, it’s tighter and more sophisticated in some ways. But there’s something about Jane Eyre that is just deeply emotionally compelling for me.”

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“It wasn’t until my third reading of the book that I realised Brontë had slipped the supernatural into Jane Eyre.”

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“The idea of marriage is that two people are going to become one, but here you know—because of the mad woman in the attic—that it’s one thing about to be split in two.”

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“There is an interesting debate … that the real heroine of Jane Eyre is not the plain little governess but the mad woman in the attic, Bertha Mason”

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“This book was revolutionary because it insisted that not only could a heroine be small and poor and plain, but she could actually be worthy of respect because she had a mind.”

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Commentary

“I don’t think any married woman would have written Jane Eyre…there is a certain naive attitude to men which would hardly survive a year of married life.”

DH Lawrence, quoted in Novelists on Novelists, edited by David Dowling

“[Charlotte Brontë] does not attempt to solve the problems of human life; she is even unaware that such problems exist; all her force, and it is the more tremendous for being constricted, goes into the assertion, ‘I love’, ‘I hate’, ‘I suffer’.

Virginia Woolf, quoted in Novelists on Novelists, edited by David Dowling

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