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About the book
  • Published: 1 January 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511120
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $14.99

Jane Eyre

Penguin English Library




‘Charlotte has been writing a book, and it is much better than I expected’ - Patrick Brontë, (Charlotte’s father) in Mrs Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë

As an orphan, Jane's childhood is not an easy one but her independence and strength of character keep her going through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal school. However, her biggest challenge is yet to come. Taking a job as a governess in a house full of secrets, for a passionate man she grows more and more attracted to, ultimately forces Jane to call on all her resources in order to hold on to her beliefs.

  • Pub date: 1 January 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511120
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born on 21 April 1816. Her father was curate of Haworth, Yorkshire, and her mother died when she was five years old, leaving five daughters and one son. In 1824 Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth and Emily were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen's daughters, where Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis and died. The children were taught at home from this point on and together they created vivid fantasy worlds which they explored in their writing. Charlotte worked as a teacher from 1835 to 1838 and then as a governess. In 1846, along with Emily and Anne, Charlotte published Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.After this Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, Anne wrote Agnes Grey and Charlotte wrote The Professor. Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were both published but Charlotte's novel was initially rejected. In 1847 Jane Eyre became her first published novel and met with immediate success. Between 1848 and 1849 Charlotte lost her remaining siblings: Emily, Branwell and Anne. She published Shirley in 1849, Villette in 1853 and in 1854 she married the Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died the next year, on 31 March 1855.

Charlotte Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816. Her mother died in 1821, and Charlotte, her four sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, Emily and Anne, and her brother Branwell were left in the care of their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. Left to pursue their education mainly at home, all the Bronte children became involved in a rich fantasy life and Charlotte and Branwell collaborated in the invention of the imaginary kingdom of Angria. In 1824 Charlotte went with Maria, Elizabeth and Emily to a school for daughters of the clergy; her experiences there are fictionalized in the Lowood section of Jane Eyre (1847; written under the pseudonym of Currer Bell). She wrote three other novels, Shirey (1849) Vilette (1853) and She Professor (published posthumously in 1857). She also made occasional visits to London where she became known to various writers, including William Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. In 1854 Charlotte finally overcame her father's objections and married, but unfortunately she was to die in the following year.

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Praise for Jane Eyre

“At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë”

Virginia Woolf

“Jane Eyre's suspense-laden, melodramatic plot - featuring child cruelty and attempted bigamy, as well as the celebrated madwoman - explains much of its appeal... Jane Eyre is a book into which generations of readers have escaped. And yet it seems to provide something far more sustaining than the escapist fantasy... Her technical skill at writing the self in a first-person narrative is supreme, her words carefully chosen”

Lucasta Miller, Guardian

“Charlotte Bronte was surely a marvellous woman. If it could be right to judge the work of a novelist from one small portion of one novel [JE], and to say of an author that he is to be accounted as strong as he shows himself to be in his strongest morsel of work, I should be inclined to put Miss Bronte very high indeed. I know of no interest more thrilling than that which she has been able to throw into the characters of Rochester and the governess, in the second volume of Jane Eyre”

Anthony Trollope

“Great genius”

William Makepeace Thackeray

“Passionately independent orphan falls for the perfect romantic anti-hero. But then she discovers what he keeps in his attic...”

Maggie O’Farrell

“Marred only by the fact that Charlotte clearly liked Mr Rochester too much; but we can forgive her that. Often given to schoolchildren to read, but you have to be a grown-up to really get it. One of the most perfectly structured novels of all time”

Sarah Waters


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