Jane Eyre: Writer's Digest Annotated Classics

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Overview

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will..."

One of the most sweeping and enduring novels in English literature, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has become a beloved classic and a must-read for fans of period romance. Filled with memorable characters, witty dialogue, emotional scenes, social commentary, and intriguing twists, Bronte's novel, written in 1847, still has much to teach writers about ...

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Jane Eyre: Writer's Digest Annotated Classics

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Overview

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will..."

One of the most sweeping and enduring novels in English literature, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has become a beloved classic and a must-read for fans of period romance. Filled with memorable characters, witty dialogue, emotional scenes, social commentary, and intriguing twists, Bronte's novel, written in 1847, still has much to teach writers about crafting exceptional stories.

As part of the Writer's Digest Annotated Classics series, this edition of Jane Eyre features hundreds of insightful annotations from writing instructor and author K.M. Weiland. Explore the craft and technique of Jane Eyre through the lens of a writer, and learn why and how Bronte made the choices she did while writing her iconic novel. The techniques learned from the annotations and accompanying study guide will aid in the crafting of your own celebrated works of fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What a great concept. Take a literary classic, one that has stood the test of time, and include the notes of a superb writing teacher like K.M. Weiland. The result is a master class in fiction technique and a superb learning experience for writers of all levels. Highly recommended." --James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure and The Art of War For Writers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599631448
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 7/24/2014
  • Pages: 487
  • Sales rank: 341,192
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

K.M. Weiland is the internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the fantasy Dreamlander. When she's not making things up, she's busy mentoring other authors through her award-winning blog HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com.

Biography

Charlotte Brontë was born on April 21, 1816, in Thornton, Yorkshire, in the north of England, the third child of the Reverend Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell Brontë. In 1820 the family moved to neighboring Haworth, where Reverend Brontë was offered a lifetime curacy. The following year Mrs. Brontë died of cancer, and her sister, Elizabeth Branwell, moved in to help raise the six children. The four eldest sisters -- Charlotte, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth -- attended Cowan Bridge School, until Maria and Elizabeth contracted what was probably tuberculosis and died within months of each other, at which point Charlotte and Emily returned home. The four remaining siblings -- Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne -- played on the Yorkshire moors and dreamed up fanciful, fabled worlds, creating a constant stream of tales, such as the Young Men plays (1826) and Our Fellows (1827).

Reverend Brontë kept his children abreast of current events; among these were the 1829 parliamentary debates centering on the Catholic Question, in which the Duke of Wellington was a leading voice. Charlotte's awareness of politics filtered into her fictional creations, as in the siblings' saga The Islanders (1827), about an imaginary world peopled with the Brontë children's real-life heroes, in which Wellington plays a central role as Charlotte's chosen character.

Throughout her childhood, Charlotte had access to the circulating library at the nearby town of Keighley. She knew the Bible and read the works of Shakespeare, George Gordon, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott, and she particularly admired William Wordsworth and Robert Southey. In 1831 and 1832, Charlotte attended Miss Wooler's school at Roe Head, and she returned there as a teacher from 1835 to 1838. After working for a couple of years as a governess, Charlotte, with her sister Emily, traveled to Brussels to study, with the goal of opening their own school, but this dream did not materialize once she returned to Haworth in 1844.

In 1846 the sisters published their collected poems under the pen names Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily), and Acton (Anne) Bell. That same year Charlotte finished her first novel, The Professor, but it was not accepted for publication.

However, she began work on Jane Eyre, which was published in 1847 and met with instant success. Though some critics saw impropriety in the core of the story -- the relationship between a middle-aged man and the young, naive governess who works for him -- most reviewers praised the novel, helping to ensure its popularity. One of Charlotte's literary heroes, William Makepeace Thackeray, wrote her a letter to express his enjoyment of the novel and to praise her writing style, as did the influential literary critic G. H. Lewes.

Following the deaths of Branwell and Emily Brontë in 1848 and Anne in 1849, Charlotte made trips to London, where she began to move in literary circles that included such luminaries as Thackeray, whom she met for the first time in 1849; his daughter described Brontë as "a tiny, delicate, serious, little lady." In 1850 she met the noted British writer Elizabeth Gaskell, with whom she formed a lasting friendship and who, at the request of Reverend Brontë, later became her biographer. Charlotte's novel Villette was published in 1853.

In 1854 Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, a curate at Haworth who worked with her father. Less than a year later, however, she fell seriously ill, perhaps with tuberculosis, and she died on March 31, 1855. At the time of her death, Charlotte Brontë was a celebrated author. The 1857 publication of her first novel, The Professor, and of Gaskell's biography of her life only heightened her renown.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Jane Eyre.

Good To Know

Sadly, Brontë died during her first pregnancy. While her death certificate lists the cause of death as "phthisis" (tuberculosis), there is a school of thought that believes she may have died from excessive vomiting caused by morning sickness.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 21, 1816
    2. Place of Birth:
      Thornton, Yorkshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      March 31, 1855
    2. Place of Death:
      Haworth, West Yorkshire, England
    1. Education:
      Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2014

    I was in for a double-treat as I read Jane Eyre for the first ti

    I was in for a double-treat as I read Jane Eyre for the first time with KM Weiland's annotations helpfully placed throughout the story. Weiland's comments are relevant, unobtrusive, and concise, chock-full of meaty information for those studying the craft of writing. The annotations are spread side-by-side throughout the text of the novel, offering a springboard on which aspiring writers can climb and eventually jump into greater knowledge.

    Reading this version of Jane Eyre felt like attending an informal sit-down with a friendly literature professor. Weiland's annotations cover all the elements of story: characterization, suspense, character arc, symbolism, foreshadowing, backstory, dialogue (my favorite aspect of Jane Eyre is the invigorating dialogue), moral arguments, and tension, among other literary devices. Weiland's careful description of story element and her faithful, reverential deconstruction of this timeless story enable the reader/writing student a broad look into great literature.

    From the opening hook - clearly explained by Weiland - to the heart-warming climactic moment, Weiland's passion for and knowledge of story and character offers writing students the unique opportunity to glimpse into the mind of master author Charlotte Bronte. The writing student has the opportunity to see and grasp the very reasons Jane Eyre is a classic.

    The Jane Eyre Annotated Classic is a powerful tool for furthering those interested and invested in the craft of writing, one I highly recommend.

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  • Posted July 20, 2014

    Great Opportunity to Learn From A Master Storyteller...Don¿t Mis

    Great Opportunity to Learn From A Master Storyteller...Don’t Miss Out!
    Committed writers understand that to be in the business of words means embracing a perpetual state of learning. We read books on writing, we attend lectures and workshops, and we practice our craft, seeking to continually improve our writing skills. If you’re like me, you learn technique best through reading exceptional examples. K.M. Weiland’s book, Jane Eyre: Writer’s Digest Annotated Classics is the perfect vehicle for shedding light on how one master storyteller deliberately uses structure and craft technique to make her story and characters come alive for readers.

    My biggest struggle as a writer is that I too easily slip into the role of a reader, and I fall headlong into the storyline and stakes, forgetting that I should be analyzing as I read. Because of this, an annotated classic like Jane Eyre is perfect, balancing my desire to be swept up by the words with the author’s gentle nudging to see the advanced technique at work in selected passages. K. M. Weiland is a skilled author herself, and viewing Jane Eyre through her filter of craft mastery and experience really brought the lessons to life for me. I recommend this book to writers of all levels!

    Angela Ackerman

    Bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression

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  • Posted July 19, 2014

    Writer¿s Digest has a collection of annotated classics that prov

    Writer’s Digest has a collection of annotated classics that provide great insight on how past writers have created their masterpieces. Thanks to K.M. Weiland, the classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is now a part of that collection.

    If you’ve never read Jane Eyre, I suggest reading it before picking up this annotated edition. Mainly because it is a great book, but also because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll get so swept up in the story you’ll bypass the notes. I’d never read Jane Eyre before. But, when the opportunity presented itself to read this, I decided it was time. So, I read the book, then I went back through and read the annotations by K.M. Weiland.

    Understanding structure and how a novel progresses can be a difficult thing sometimes. With the annotated version of Jane Eyre, K.M. Weiland makes it easy to see where in the story the key factors to make a great story take place. She explains the hook, setting, conflict, tension, using all five senses, closing chapters, and symbolism and theme to name a few. And it’s not just, “Hey, this is where this happens.” It’s a detailed description of how Bronte used these aspects of writing to better her story.

    This is one of the few writing advice books I would recommend, not because it gives advice, but because it helps you to understand how you can make your story really shine by offering examples.

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    I first became aware of Charlotte Brontë¿s singular novel while

    I first became aware of Charlotte Brontë’s singular novel while in high school but I did not appreciate its grace and strength until seeing the story told in a film version starring George C. Scott and Susannah York (1970). I then returned to the book itself with renewed vigor and became a fan. Looking back now, I can see how some of the themes and motifs from that novel have become influential to my own writing, for better or worse. (I believe the story is well known so I  won’t take time to recount it here.)
    Therefore, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this annotated edition, a volume which serves two purposes: 1) a thorough review of the novel as a work of literature and, 2) as a detailed model of the structure of a novel as well as dramatic structure in general. In re-reading this novel, my appreciation for it was renewed, especially after having seen the more recent (2011) film version. After receiving the copy, I enjoyed re-reading the novel and was simultaneously impressed by the accompanying notes.
    However, what makes this volume so special is that it works on two levels and in two equally fascinating ways, thanks to K.M. Weiland’s carefully crafted annotations which run side by side with the novel’s text. Weiland’s well thought-out notes add insight to the story, scene by scene, but also point out the craft Brontë employs in each scene. While beginning writers are always told to do this or that when they write, and told about such things as “the hook” and “dramatic arc” and “denouement,” here we easily see it all in action, being able to read the text and the notes together.

    For one example, Weiland sets the following note beside the scene where Jane first encounters strange noises in the grand old house, foreshadowing a possible ghost story for the reader:
    Foreshadowing the Supernatural:

    Brontë’s story is set within a realistic world. Without proper foreshadowing early on, the vaguely supernatural elements that play an important role later in the story (i.e., the psychic link between Jane and Rochester in Chapter 35) would jar against the reader’s understanding of the world she has created. Her discussion of ghosts here—coupled with Jane’s violently realistic reaction to them—serves most obviously to strengthen the general creepiness of the scene. But, more important, it subtly introduces a paranormal element, which will be reinforced throughout the book to present a solid foundation for the use of the supernatural in the book’s Climactic Moment.
    Like this one example, all the notes in the book are succinct and to the point yet full of insight, valuable for both the literature student as well as the beginning writer. I estimate a third of the words in this book are among the notes on most of the pages.
    This volume begins with an insightful introduction by Diana Gabaldon addressing beginning writers with points to remember for their own writing and ample encouragement to follow Brontë’s example. K.M. Weiland then follows this lead on nearly every page by using notes to explain the drama and elucidate on plot points, dialog craft, character development, and other elements of fiction writing. 
    This is a great book for use by teachers of literature as well as teachers and students of fiction writing. As a professor of English who teaches both literature and fiction writing, I believe this annotated novel is a great addition to a classroom curriculum because it works quite well for both audiences. I very much recommend it for teachers, writers, and readers of all ages.

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    Every writer has books that they love, classic authors that they

    Every writer has books that they love, classic authors that they admire and wish to emulate. In her excellent breakdown of Jane Eyre, Weiland shows writers exactly how Brontë came to write such an enduring book. Through easy-to-read footnotes, writers will see how Brontë effectively used foreshadowing, motifs, and subtext to make the most of her story. They’ll see the story’s structure broken down from opening hook to epilogue. There will be no need to wonder how Brontë created such intriguing, relatable, and flawed characters, because Weiland explains exactly how they develop. Any writer desiring to learn from one of the masters should check out this book.

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