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Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte


Amazon.com
Written in 1847, this novel remains a favorite, especially among younger readers and listeners who continue to be entranced by the young Jane and her mysterious Mr. Rochester. The story of an unhappy orphan and her life as a governess at Thornfield is filled with difficulty, including a shocking revelation on her wedding day. The happy ending finally arrives, though, and Jane and Rochester are united forever. Long criticized as being melodramatic and contrived, Jane Eyre has nonetheless become a romantic classic and is often the book that introduces students to serious literature. Bronte's suspense-filled plot adapts well to the audio format. This version, although abridged, omits nothing of importance. Juliet Stevenson, a Royal Shakespeare Company associate, reads with the drama the story demands and makes each character emerge with life and energy.

From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 09:07 PM I usually whip through books but I'm going slow with this one...not because it's a difficult read. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm taking it slow because I want to savor it. I really don't want the story to end. I'm sure most of you know the plot..a young poor governess falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester, one of the most romantic literary characters in all of literature. I read it when I was younger, but had forgotten all but the basic story line, so thought Id give it another go. I didn't know much about any of the Brontes, outside of the fact that they all died young, so I've lately spent an extraordinary amount of time researching more about them, especially Charlotte. One thing I didn't know was that 'Jane Eyre' is quite autobiographical, and had in fact, originally been categorized as an autobiography. When this book was first published, it created quite the controversy. Not only did Bronte question the limits society had put on educated women of that era, she challenged the conventions imposed upon women's rights for emotional and sexual fulfillment. This is a beautiful book and a true lesson in compassion. (and Ann Davey..I'm sorry I couldn't wait. I tried, honest, but I kept looking at the darned book just sitting there..and well, you know how it is sometimes..) Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (2 of 30), Read 37 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 10:24 PM Yeah, I understand Beej. It is one of the very few books I have read twice. With Mill on the Floss, we've been discussing "bad" endings. A lot of people would characterize Jane Eyre the same way. Oh sure, Jane gets her man, but he's only a shadow of his former sexy self. Were you disappointed in the way Bronte wrapped things up? Please elaborate on the autobiographical elements in the book. I'm interested. A few years back, Ellen Johnson, who started Classics Corner, recommended a prequel to Jane Eyre called The Wide Saragossa Sea by Jean Rhys. It's the story of the mad woman in the attic, and Rochester comes off very badly in this version. It's interesting, but I didn't like it nearly as well as JE. Ann
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (3 of 30), Read 40 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 10:52 PM Ann, I've heard about 'The Wide Saragossa Sea' and even read a little about it earlier this evening. I was a bit tempted to read it and then decided not to. Once I'm done with 'Jane Eyre,' (I'm not quite finished) I'm done. I don't want to read what another author supposed happened. Oh my, he was sexy, wasn't he? I remember pieces of the ending, but not enough where I feel it yet..I'll be done soon tho. The autobiographical aspects of this novel are really surprising..First off is the school where Jane boarded, Lowood. It's based on the school where Charlotte and her sisters boarded. The conditions were absolutely horrendous and two of her sisters died during a typhoid (?) outbreak there. The character of Helen, the little girl who had befriended Jane and who died while sleeping next to her, is based on Charlotte's sister's death. Charlotte did go on to become a teacher and then a governess, where she had an affair with her employer. When his wife discovered what was going on, she fired Charlotte. Charlotte had a friend at the time, also a governess, whose employer kept his insane wife locked up in an upstairs room. It wasn't too large a leap to combine both of these experiences as a governess to arrive at the story of Jane Eyre. I can go on and on and instead of doing that, I'll find a link to one of the biographical sites I read last night, that ties in events from Bronte's life with the events that happen to Jane. Another thing I found interesting..Charlotte Bronte was extremely tiny. There's a museum that displays some of her clothing and I read they were the size that would fit an 11 year old child. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (4 of 30), Read 44 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 12:11 AM I read this book over and over when I was young. And again as an adult. I just loved it. I like the ending. If CB had made the more obvious happy ending, with no consequences suffered by the principals, it might have dragged the whole book towards the realm of the romance novel. (All the romance novel elements are there, are they not?) BTW, on your Bronte research Beej, have you run into Bramwell yet? Wow. I read Wide Sargasso Sea many years ago. At the time I had no idea it was related to Jane Eyre. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (5 of 30), Read 48 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Dottie Randall randallj@ix.netcom.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 12:19 AM Ann and Beej -- Ruth is right on target -- Sargasso Sea can be read and stand alone without tainting Jane Eyre at all. But if the two are read together it is also truly quite a lot of fun -- that is the way I read them about five years ago -- Ann, wasn't it about three years back I put these two on as a dual reading suggestion for CR and CC? They didn't fly then but I'm going to hang around this thread and if you decide to do so -- I'd love to jump into that Sea with you as I really enjoyed the expansion of the story and I'm one who, like you, usually figures any book doing this will be a flop and/or taint the book it's working from -- in this case -- it's no The Hours by Cunningham but it wasn't any whatever that D***** thing about Rhett and Scarlett was called -- such drek -- Sargasso Sea actually worked for me though it may be a bit uneven -- it was a long time ago so my memory may be tricking me in the details. Dottie Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine. Honore de Balzac
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (6 of 30), Read 49 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Jonathan Metts jonathan@planetgamecube.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 12:40 AM I had to read this book in high school and just didn't like it at all. The first twenty pages or so were great, in which Jane is a rambunctious child who speaks her mind and gets into lots of trouble. Then she goes off to boarding school, becomes a prim little woman who minds her manners, and I lost my entire reason to be interested in the character. The rest of the book bored me so much that I honestly never quite finished it, and that's a very, very rare thing for me to do. Jonathan Published daily at PlanetGameCube.com Currently reading: Great Expectations
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (7 of 30), Read 49 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 07:39 AM Jonathan, Thanks for a male perspective. JE is one of the great romances in western literature, but I can see where it appeals mostly to women, who love Jane's spunk and lust after Rochester. Any other guys out there with an opinion on this book? Ann
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (8 of 30), Read 54 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Sandy Langley cheefwil@aol.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 08:19 AM The Brontes have always fascinated me. I spent the summer I was 12 reading Jane Eyre over and over. I would finish and turn back to the first page. As a college student, I learned about the Bronte family, a fascinating group. Emily and Ann, for example, created a kingdom called Gondal. It was a complete creation with maps, history and its own language. The Bronte sisters were also the Bell brothers. Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Sandy
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (9 of 30), Read 62 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 08:42 AM Sandy, I fully understand (even though I'm far from being 12 years old!) why you turned around and went back to page one..I'm tempted to do the same thing! The Bronte's were a fascinating family, and the more I read about them, the more fascinating they become to me. You mentioned the pseudonyms of the Bells; my copy has a preface written by Currer Bell (Charlotte) that had been included in the second edition of 'Jane Eyre.' Obviously it had been written in reply to all the controversy that stormed after the release of the first edition, and 'Currer' is quite defensive. She states, in her defense, 'conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.' Ruth, yep, I've run into Bramwell...the opium addicted brother of the Bronte sisters, and I suspect the character of John Reed, Jane's Eyre's sadistic, self serving cousin, might have been based on Bramwell. (not that I've read anything that might allude to Bramwell having any sadistic tendencies, but because both John Reed and Bramwell Bronte became opium addicts and died as a result of that [tho Reed committed suicide and Bramwell did not, both deaths were a result of a drug enhanced psychological decay] bringing financial ruin with them as a result of their addictions.) Dottie, to tell the truth, one reason I shied away from Sargasso Sea was because it brought to mind the disappointment of the GWTW sequel. But those of you here who did read Sargasso Sea seem to have enjoyed it . I'll hunt down a copy and be happy to discuss it with you. Jonathan, perhaps you might want to give 'Jane Eyre' another chance now that you're a bit more mature. I think there's a lot more depth in her character than you might have picked up on as a younger teen. Like Ann, I'm interested to know other male pov's on this book. Ann, I haven't had the opportunity to get back to the site that centered on the autobiographical tie to Jane Eyre, but I will do that today and post the link here. It's really interesting. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (10 of 30), Read 54 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 11:17 AM I'm trying to remember the name of the book I read about Bramwell, but to no avail. And do try Wide Sargasso Sea, Beej. It's certainly not dreck. A good book in its own right, altho I remember I had some reservations. I'd like to reread it someday, simply because when I did read it, I made no connection with JE. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (11 of 30), Read 57 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 11:46 AM Okay, I've requested 'Wide Sargasso Sea' from my library, Ruth. Why don't you join me in reading it? I'm also going to look for a good biography on the Brontes. I have to say I got pretty exasperated with Jane when she bucked Rochester's desire to give her all that jewelry! Jane, Jane, Jane! What is wrong with you! When a man offers you diamonds or emeralds or sapphires or rubies..any of the lot...TAKE THEM! Taking them doesn't mean you don't love the guy for himself. It just means you love jewelry too! I wanted to shake that woman! I mean, it wasn't as if she was having a casual fling with him. They were engaged and he wanted her to have those gems. She got stuck on the notion that he was trying to make her something she wasn't..Wrong! He loved her for her. So what if he wanted to give her a cute little bauble or two. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (12 of 30), Read 50 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 11:57 AM I think she was afraid he was going to turn her into a society lady, which she knew she could never be. R
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (13 of 30), Read 56 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 12:00 PM Well, then she should've just locked them in a drawer. But to say "No I don't want them!?!" I don't understand that at all. But, I think you're right about that being her fear. After all, every lady of society she had ever met was a shallow, conceited money grabber. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (14 of 30), Read 51 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 12:28 PM Here's an excellent introduction to 'Jane Eyre,' written by Joyce Carol Oates: http://storm.usfca.edu/~southerr/eyre.html I think the answer as to why Jane refused that jewelry is a quote within the first paragraph of this intro..""I resisted all the way." At the bottom of the JCO intro is a fine write up of 'Wide Sargasso Sea.' Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (15 of 30), Read 47 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 01:21 PM Beej, I wanted to thank you for the information on the autobiographical elements in JE. I knew that the school scenes had a lot of elements from Bronte's real life, but I didn't realize she had been a governess in love with her employer. Was it a full blown physical affair? Ann
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (16 of 30), Read 27 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 04:54 PM I was so excited to see Jane Eyre posted here! This is only my absolute favorite book of all time! So much so, that I actually own 7 copies of the book...my prized possession being a second printing that I picked up for 50 cents at an estate sale in Chicago...they didn't know what they had! Dottie: "Scarlet" was the piece of tripe that was "passed off" as GWTW's sequel. I am sure Margaret Mitchell turned over in her grave several times when that piece of garbage came out! Jonathan: I never thought that Jane lost her spunk. She learned to temper it as she matured, but I don't think she ever lost it! Think about the scene where Jane grabbed Helen's placard with "slattern" written on it. She threw it into the fire and was extremely boisterous in her indignation about the whole affair. That took spirit! Also, when she was a governess for Mr. R., she argued with him (and his temper) on several occasions...even though she could have lost her job over it! That also took a lot of spunk! Beej: By the time she was engaged, Jane had been told (and shown through actions) that she was not "worthy" of happiness. To me, her low self-esteem would have "told" her that she was not worth the gems being heaped on her! I read a very interesting biography about Charlotte two or three years ago that had me STUNNED! The author claimed that her husband had such a hold over her, that he convinced her to POISON her father, sister and brother...and that is why they died in such quick succession. I would love to read another biography on her, if anyone has any ideas! Also, how can we get "Jane Eyre" and "The Wide Saragossa Sea" on the CR's discussion list? They have my vote! Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (17 of 30), Read 26 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 05:08 PM Janet, once a year both Constant Reader (Reading List) and Classics Corner take nominations for the next years' reading, and we all vote. Usually around November. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (18 of 30), Read 36 times Conf: Classics Corner From: David Moody davidmoody22@aol.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 06:20 PM Ruth, I looked for some biographies of Branwell. Do any of these ring a bell? Profligate son : Branwell Brontė and his sisters / Joan Rees (1986) Patrick Branwell Brontė / Alice Law (1977) Infernal world of Branwell Brontė / Daphne Du Maurier (1961) Branwell Brontė / Winifred Geren (1961) There are others, but these sound the most likely Janet, are you sure it was her father that Charlotte was supposed to have poisoned? He actually outlived her, dying six years after her death in 1855. (Branwell and Emily died in 1848, Ann in 1849) David
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (19 of 30), Read 37 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 08:51 PM Why David, thank you. I think it was the du Maurier. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (20 of 30), Read 24 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:25 PM Ann, I goofed. Though Charlotte had been a governess on two separate occasions, I discovered this love affair took place when she was a teacher, and not a governess. I'm not sure how far the affair went. I know he, a man by the name of M. Heger, spent considerable time with her, discussing their mutual love for literature and poetry. From what I can find, Heger's wife fired Jane during a fit of jealousy, after she became aware of Jane's 'infatuation.' I haven't found out yet if this infatuation was mutual, tho I'm getting the feeling that it was. Janet, I think Jane tried really hard to develop a sense of self worth and dignity. I think she felt the way to do that was by becoming totally autonomous. Possibly, she refused the offer of the jewelry because she felt it infringed somehow on her desire for independence. But, where she made her mistake was in confusing autonomy with isolation...something that was deeply engrained within herself. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (21 of 30), Read 23 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:28 PM Thanks, David. You are right. It hit me while I was driving home tonight that the book talked about her two sisters and brother all dying within a very short time...not her father. Like I had said...it was two or three years since I read that book. I still have to find the title of it (I got it at our local library) and will post the title and author once I get the info. janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (22 of 30), Read 20 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:32 PM Oh! That reminds me..it wasn't typhoid that caused so many in Charlotte's family to die..it was tuberculosis. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (23 of 30), Read 20 times Conf: Classics Corner From: David Moody davidmoody22@aol.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:39 PM Janet, was it The crimes of Charlotte Brontė by James Tully? David
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (24 of 30), Read 18 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:33 PM Hi, Beej! I forgot to mention your idea in the posting that I sent just a minute ago. Yes, you could be right about the "autonomous" slant. She did want to continue being in his employ (as governess to Adele) with the same wages, etc. That (in itself) could point to her desire for independence. That is what I love about discussing books! You get to look at things in a whole new way...you might not agree with everything everyone says, but it does make you think! janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (25 of 30), Read 19 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:41 PM On one hand she wanted so badly to belong to someone, even to where she forgave her Aunt Reed on her (the aunt's) deathbed and begged her aunt to give her a kiss on the cheek. Even then, the aunt refused and drew away from Jane. Love and human bonds became a push/pull habit for Jane. Through out her life, any closeness she felt toward another resulted in some sort of abandonment. Even the one friend she made at that horrid boarding school abandoned her by dying. Perhaps, with so many members of her immediate family dying, Charlotte Bronte felt abandoned, too. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (26 of 30), Read 18 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:55 PM I want to say that was the book, David. I am going to check on that but that sounds very familiar. I have thought of that book several times since I read it and wondered about the research (if any) that the author did, or was it pure speculation on his part? janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (27 of 30), Read 16 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Edward Houghton eddh@pacbell.net Date: Thursday, April 03, 2003 04:06 AM The DuMaurier book on Branwell was very good I thought. Branwell was a bit of a flake, but I don't think any of his sisters would have cast him in a bad role in their books. He was doted on by all of them. EDD "She shook her head again, even more vigorously, and said still gasping, "Nobody-ever-shot-at me-before."" TWILIGHT AT MAC'S PLACE by Ross Thomas.
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (28 of 30), Read 11 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Sandy Langley cheefwil@aol.com Date: Thursday, April 03, 2003 07:01 AM On 4/3/2003 4:06:00 AM, Edward Houghton wrote: >The DuMaurier book on Branwell >was very good I thought. >Branwell was a bit of a flake, >but I don't think any of his >sisters would have cast him in >a bad role in their books. He >was doted on by all of them. > > >EDD Also, he was Charlotte's particular chum, just as Ann was Emily's. Charlotte and Branwell created the worlds of the Glasstowns and Angria, while Emily and Ann were developing Gondal. Sandy
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Bronte (29 of 30), Read 10 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, April 03, 2003 08:19 AM Yes. And as I said before, nowhere did I find any reference made that Branwell had any sadistic tendencies. All references to a similarity between John Reed and Branwell Bronte were based on their common drug and alcohol abuse and resulting financial ruin and death. The Brontes..and this is all from various sites on the web..had hoped Branwell would carry the family financially. Instead, and due to his abuses, he lost job after job. Beej
From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, April 03, 2003 08:42 AM I found this in the online 'Jane Eyre' cliff notes, which briefly touches on both subjects of M. Heger and Branwell: 'Charlotte was already twenty-six when she and her sister entered the school of Monsieur and Madame Heger in Brussels, and she was soon teaching English lessons as well as studying. Emily went home after a year, but Charlotte stayed on until 1843, when for some reason the relationship between herself and Mme Heger became tense. Judging from some letters she wrote, it seems that Charlotte had fallen in love with M. Heger. Had he returned her affection? Probably not. The theme of an impossible love affair--with a married man, a teacher, in one case even a Belgian teacher--keeps coming up in Charlotte Bronte's novels. Many readers can't help concluding from this that M. Heger was the great passion of Charlotte's life. But we can't be sure. Less than two years after Charlotte's return home, her brother Branwell was involved in a scandal. As the only boy, Branwell had been the focus of the whole family's hopes for worldly success. Charlotte, in particular, had always believed that her brother was the true genius of the family. The devoted sister was the last to see what was obvious to everyone else: Branwell was a total failure. Not only had he never carried through on his ambition to become a painter, he was an alcoholic, a gambler, and eventually a drug addict. Anne, the only sister who had managed to persevere with her career as a governess, had arranged a job for Branwell as a tutor with the same family she worked for. Branwell repaid the favor by getting involved in a messy affair with the lady of the house, Mrs. Robinson. In the end, both he and Anne were sent away in disgrace. By 1845, it seemed that all of the Brontes' hopes and plans had come to nothing. Branwell was an idle drunk, whose periodic rampages disrupted the peace of the house.' And this, from DooYoo/UK/books: 'Part of the novel is autobiographical. Lowood School is Cowan Bridge, the school where she and her sisters were sent, Mr Brocklehurst is based on the appalling real life headmaster, the Rev. Carus Wilson, while Helen Burns is the personification of the two eldest Brontė sisters who died of consumption there. John Reed is also thought to have been modelled on her dissolute brother Branwell. Charlotte herself was a governess for a time, a brief unhappy career which nevertheless helped to inspire two of her other novels as well as this.' And, this reference made to Bronte's modelling of John Reed after Branwell, is only one of many, many I've found on the web. Beej
From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, April 03, 2003 11:15 AM I had been wondering how to put those dots over the 'e' in Bronte and I just found Martin's code page down in the poetry conference! (..let's see if it works!) Brontė... I did it, I did it! Thanks, Martin! Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (32 of 46), Read 39 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, April 04, 2003 11:12 AM the library just e-mailed me to say my requested copy of 'Wide Sargasso Sea' is in! I'm really looking forward to reading this on all your recommendations. Do you think Blanche was a victim too? After thinking about Rhys' stand, I wonder now if Blanche wasn't more a victim than Mr. Rochester. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (33 of 46), Read 37 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Friday, April 04, 2003 12:34 PM Beej, Mr. Rochester is an entirely different character in Wide Saragossa Sea. You won't like him. Ann
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (34 of 46), Read 31 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Friday, April 04, 2003 09:16 PM Beej: You statement about Blanche possibly being a victim fascinated me....how so? I always looked at her as the "diva" of the book....haughty, proud, vain...etc. Even worse than Georgianna.... Of course, she was bred that way...maybe in that way she became a victim? Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (35 of 46), Read 33 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, April 04, 2003 09:26 PM Oh Janet, I'm sorry! I meant Bertha. Blanche definitely was not a victim! Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (36 of 46), Read 30 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Friday, April 04, 2003 09:42 PM Ok, Beej! That's better! :) In fact, Bertha is the main reason I want to read "TWSS"...I am most interested in getting to know her as a person. By the time Jane becomes "acquainted" with R.'s wife, she is very much in the third person: A witch-like creature with little resemblance to a human being. We have heard Rochester's side of things...I am curious as to her side. True, she is "mad", but as Rochester pointed out, he was once attracted to her (although eventually the very thought of her made him sick). I want to see for myself just what it was that made Rochester once fancy himself lucky to have such a bride! On a related note, I wonder if Bertha figures in Charlotte's life in any way...another "play" on someone Charlotte really knew.... Have you run across "Bertha" in any of your research...I haven't, yet. Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (37 of 46), Read 33 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Saturday, April 05, 2003 12:21 AM Janet, I'll probably begin to read 'The Wide Sargasso Sea' tomorrow and I'll start a thread on it in few days. Have you read it before? I think it'll be interesting to 'see' Mr. Rochester in two different lights. I did find a biographical basis for Bertha Mason during one of my earlier Brontė searches. Apparently Charlotte Brontė had a friend who was a governess. That friend's employer had a wife who was insane and who was kept in a third story room in his manor. Charlotte had been fascinated by that, and I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't sow the earliest seeds for the story of Jane Eyre. I picked up a Charlotte Brontė biography and I'll let you know if it says anything more about this apparent model for Bertha Mason. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (38 of 46), Read 28 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Sunday, April 06, 2003 08:59 PM That's great Beej! I am anxiously awaiting my own copy of TWSS to be delivered to our library through inter loan. What biography did you "pick up" about C.B.? Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (39 of 46), Read 29 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Sunday, April 06, 2003 09:22 PM I'm closing in on the last few pages of my WSS reread. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (40 of 46), Read 28 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Sunday, April 06, 2003 10:10 PM Janet, The title of the Brontė biography is 'Charlotte Brontė, A Passionate Life' by Lyndall Gordon. I've just begun WSS. I have a feeling this will be a fast read and I hope you get hold of your copy soon, Janet! I think Dottie plans on joining in this one, too. How long did it take for you to read this, Ruth? I'm curious to hear how your perceptions changed, if they have changed, now that you're aware that this is the story of the insane wife of Edward Rochester. One character I absolutely did not like in JE was St.John Rivers. I just thought, especially for a minister, he had absolutely no love for anyone, not even his sisters, much less for Jane. In some ways he was similar to Mr. Rochester (before he fell in love with Jane, that is) in that he shielded himself from forming any real bonds with others, and yet he seems to be so completely different from Mr. Rochester, too. He was a real puzzle for me. Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (41 of 46), Read 27 times Conf: Classics Corner From: R Bavetta Date: Sunday, April 06, 2003 11:05 PM Coupla days, Beej. It's a fast read. This time I'm thinking of Jane Eyre all the while, yet it's such a different book I'm having a hard time making it relate in any way. Ruth
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (42 of 46), Read 29 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Monday, April 07, 2003 09:51 AM Oh, yes, Beej. That is a very good biography to read. It went camping with me last September! Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (43 of 46), Read 27 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Janet Poppema Date: Monday, April 07, 2003 10:28 AM I had just left this site to go to work. When I got to work (at the library), there was a book on our holds shelf that just JUMPED out at me. It is called "Adele: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story" by Emma Tennant. It begins when Adele is 8 years old and alone in Mr. R.'s big house. Jane Eyre enters the picture and the story goes on as a "re-telling" through Adele's eyes. The synopsis goes on: "As the years pass, Adele watches with wonder as an unexpected romance blossoms between her governess and guardian - even as her curiosity leads her deeper into the shadowy manor, toward the dark and terrible secret that is locked away in a high garret. And on Jane and Rochester's planned wedding day, it is Adele who's instrumental in bringing about the fiery catastrophe that shatters her "family" and sends her fleeing , frightened and alone, back to France." The synopsis goes on to say that we will follow her back to Paris and the scenes that await her there.... Two things struck me: 1) I would love to get my hands on this book, as well. 2) There was no fire on the day of their wedding. Bertha set fire to Mr. R's bed drapes, etc. some time before the two of them even declared their love to one another. The fire that killed her was set sometime after Jane had fled. So, is this another "off shoot" in which the author hasn't even read the original or thinks that she can do a better job that C.B. in telling the story? Has anyone else heard of/read this book? Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (44 of 46), Read 25 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 09:46 PM I've been skimming through the CB bio came upon something that piqued my interest. Anne Brontė had been employed as a governess for a woman named Mrs. Ingham. This woman and employed Anne for a long time. Wealthy and haughty, both Mrs Ingham and her daughter scorned Anne at every turn, and no matter how long or hard Anne struggled to please her employers, she gained no recognition. In their eyes, she was worthless for anything outside of tending to children, and even in that was treated poorly. The woman Rochester becomes engaged to is named Miss Ingram. She and her mother, Lady Ingram were modelled after the Inghams. (I would have loved to have been a mouse in the corner if and when the Inghams read this book and realized it was Anne's sister who wrote it! I'm sure they had to wonder if the similar name had any bearing on them!) Beej
Topic: Jane Eyre ..Charlotte Brontė (45 of 46), Read 25 times Conf: Classics Corner From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:29 PM Interesting, Beej. Ann
From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 11:36 AM I knew that Anne had been a governess, too. I didn't know the family's name until now....how interesting! In these days and times, I wonder if they would have sued for defamation of character, or something? Janet Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot
From: Ernest Belden drernest@pacbell.net Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 12:55 AM I often wondered about this book that seemed to be recommended to girls but never (to the best of my knowledge) to boys. Most of the women I know have read Bronte but none of my male friends have. It took some doing on my part to ask my wife for her copy, but I did. Well I was totally amazed how I like the book. No, I am not finished, I am a slow reader and got a late start. Regardless of the actions that are bound to take place this book is fine writing and true literature. I also got to love the heroine as many have in the past. So I am truly grateful having found this book on the reading list of CC. Few if any of our readers would agree with me that Bronte has a better style and is a superior writer compared to the "truly recognized great women in literature i.e. George Eliot etc. Brote's writing reminds me a bit of Dickens. What strange contrast between Jane Eyre and Metamorphoses! Ann was this combination one of your ideas? You have my vote and approval. Ernie
From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 01:58 AM I'm delighted you liked the book, Ernie. It was a book I read over and over again when I was a kid, and still enjoy. Ruth
From: Pres Lancaster plancast@neteze.com Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 02:00 PM It was a book I read over and over again when I was a kid . . . Ruth Led me to remember that one of my favorite re-reads as a young goat was THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett of Little Lord Fauntleroy fame. Never liked any of the play/movie/tv renditions of SG. pres
From: Ann Davey davey@tconl.com Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 02:27 PM Ernie, Jane Eyre wasn't officially on the reading list, but it is a book that many of us have enjoyed over the years. It is one of the very few books I have read twice, both times when I was a young girl. Glad to know you like it too. Ann
From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 02:40 PM I loved SG, too, Pres, altho I wasn't introduced to it until I was in jr high. R
From: Janet Poppema Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 03:48 PM Hi, All....it was interesting to see Pres bring up The Secret Garden. As the youth librarian at our local public library, I am starting up a "mother/daughter book discussion" for our summer reading program. The librarian who is going to help me with getting it off the ground wants to do SG. What do any of you think of that book for a possible "starter" to our new book discussion group? It will be open to all girls 12 years old and older and their "significant" female in their lives. janet What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books. Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
From: R Bavetta Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 04:10 PM I'd do a little feeling out, perhaps SG is considered hopelessly old-fashioned these days. R
From: Pres Lancaster plancast@neteze.com Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 06:47 PM Reluctantly, I must agree with Ruth that SG would perhaps seem old fashioned. But if you can get a report from someone who has recently "done a reading", you might find that it worked. There is the fact that it is a portrait of a world very different from ours, socially and in its assumptions. If my retired children's librarian friend was not skipping about Dubrovnik, I'd ask her. pres P.S. I've not added "Dubrovnik" to the CR dictionary.

 

 
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