If perchance you haven’t seen a TV adaptation, a film adaptation or read the original novel, the plot of Jane Eyre goes a little like this: a young girl is orphaned and left in the care of her aunt who couldn’t care less. Jane is sent to a school, becomes a teacher and then becomes a governess under the employ of a Mr Rochester. Insert swoon here. Published in 1847 under the pen-name Currer Bell, many look back on the book as a tale of girl power; a woman’s search for equality and freedom.
The length is daunting, most editions come in at over 500 pages but it has become my favourite ‘classic’. Yes there is romance, it’s also an epic Gothic tale full of darkness and despair, a story of endurance in spite of those things. I related to Jane a lot, okay I haven’t been dealt the terrible hand she had but she speaks out. If she doesn’t like something, she will tell you. She is honest, feisty and won’t tolerate any of your shenanigans. In 1847, that must have caused quite a stir and I think it still does even now, otherwise we wouldn’t be reading it.