Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Charlotte Bronte




Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Immediately recognized as a masterpiece when it was first published in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring one of the most independent and strong-willed female protagonists in all of literature. Poor and plain, Jane Eyre begins life as a lonely orphan in the household of her hateful aunt. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the later torture of boarding school, Jane manages to emerge with her spirit and integrity unbroken. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she finds herself falling in love with her employer—the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. But an explosive secret tears apart their relationship, forcing Jane to face poverty and isolation once again.

One of the world’s most beloved novels, Jane Eyre is a startlingly modern blend of passion, romance, mystery, and suspense.

Susan Ostrov Weisser is a Professor of English at Adelphi University, where she specializes in nineteenth-century literature and women’s studies. Her research centers on women and romantic love in nineteenth-century literature, as well as on contemporary popular culture. Weisser also wrote the introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Persuasion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593081171
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 01/30/2005
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 4,905
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.48(d)

About the Author

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1816

Date of Death:

March 31, 1855

Place of Birth:

Thornton, Yorkshire, England

Place of Death:

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England

Education:

Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

Read an Excerpt


From Susan Ostrov Weisser’s Introduction to Jane Eyre

Matthew Arnold famously characterized Charlotte Brontë’s writing as full of “rebellion and rage,” yet that description does not easily square with the most famous line of her best-known novel, Jane Eyre: “Reader, I married him.” Coming as it does at the conclusion of a tempestuous series of ordeals in the romance of the governess Jane Eyre and her wealthy employer, Rochester, it implies a conventional happy ending for a heroine, her domestic reward for virtue. Between these two differing accounts of Jane Eyre as subversive and conservative lies a complex and challenging novel full of paradoxes, not least of which is that it appears regularly on lists of classics, yet has had enduring mass appeal as a romance as well.

In Jane Eyre we have that unusual monument in the history of literature, a novel considered from the first a work of high literary merit that is also an immediate and enormous popular success. Indeed, it continues to be widely read both in and out of the academic setting. While it is often “required” reading in secondary schools and universities, it has also been adapted into numerous films, television productions, theatrical plays, and at least one Broadway musical. The first of these productions took place in London less than four months after the novel’s publication, much to the dismay of its author, who feared, like most authors, that the play would misrepresent her work. In fact, it is not surprising that most adaptations of Jane Eyre have selectively emphasized the melodramatic Gothic and romantic elements of the novel at the expense of less easily dramatized aspects, such as its passages about religion or the condition of women. Yet these are just as integral to its meaning as the melodrama for which it is remembered, if not more so.

In some ways it is difficult to account for the continued stature and popular appeal of a work that has been read as both feminist and antifeminist, radical and conservative, highly original and highly derivative, Romantic and Victorian. Certainly many readers, beginning with George Eliot in the nineteenth century, have been disturbed by the way the plot hinges on a moral dilemma involving antiquated divorce laws and nineteenth-century notions of women’s sexual purity. Some critics, such as Virginia Woolf, have seen the novel as too angry for its own literary good; others, notably some modern feminist critics, as not explicitly angry enough. Why does this novel about the moral trials of an impoverished and orphaned governess continue to hold such fascination for a modern audience? Is it the passionate romance, the Cinderella ending, the incipient feminism of its views about the suppression of women?

Most readers who respond to the novel agree that the appeal of Jane Eyre lies in its intensity of feeling, richness of language, and forceful representation of passion in a decidedly dramatic plot. Even at its publication in 1847, critics and the public recognized that, for better or worse, Jane Eyre was something different: a novel about a woman written with a man’s freedom, the freedom to portray the indecorum of a heroine who has outbursts of anger as a child and uncontrollable passion as an adult, who confesses her desire openly when she thinks it is hopeless and refuses the passive and dependent role in romance. All these violated deeply entrenched social codes of femininity and respectability, and shocked some of Brontë’s early critics. Miss Eyre is “rather a brazen Miss,” cried one contemporary reader (letter from John Gibson Lockhart, 1847); another called the novel “dangerous,” filled with “outrages on decorum.” “[The author] cannot appreciate the hold which a daily round of simple duties and pure pleasures has on those who are content to practice and enjoy them,” sniffed another reviewer (Anne Mozley, The Christian Remembrancer, April 1853).

Fearing (with justification) that female authors would not be taken seriously, the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, published their first novels in 1847 under the male pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. A great deal of speculation followed in the press about the identities of the pseudonymous authors, including controversy as to their gender. The exciting revelation that eventually followed—that the writers were not only females, but the humble, reserved, unfashionable, and religious daughters of a clergyman living in a remote village on the moors of Yorkshire—only stimulated more curiosity, this time about the nature of the women who could produce such disturbing works about passion while leading reclusive and virginal lives.

Many modern readers are aware that Charlotte Brontë was one of four remarkable children, three of whom, including Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë, became famous authors themselves, and the other of whom, Branwell, the only brother, died at age thirty-one in miserable and ignoble circumstances. One important aspect of Jane Eyre’s remarkable success has surely been the literary mystery that has grown to the proportions of myth about the entire Brontë family: How could the modest, unworldly authors of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall have understood and depicted fervent, obsessive, sometimes violent love?

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Jane Eyre 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1295 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, truly fantastic! All my classmates gave me weird looks because it looked strange 'im in 8th grade' but I ignored them and read it anyway and it was just, just, I can't say, you know! the ending made me so happy that i cryed, crazy huh? I handed it to my teacher and gushed, 'it was beautiful, so beautiful!' 'it was her copy' so if your some random person looking to see if this book is good, IT IS. If a kid as younge as me can appreciate it fully, you have to understand how utterly perfect it is! Read read! ^ ^
Ivy-Shoelaces More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my AP English class; we all kind of dreaded it whe we first heard. I was once told by a friend that it was horrible and that I should never, ever read it. I did, anyway, and I was thoroughly surprised and I enjoyed every bit of it! Knowing very little about the plot (I'd only been told there's a crazy person in an attic --- which I forgot about), or even Bronte's writing style, I read the first ten chapters with shock and awe that the story was about a ten-year-old. Although the entire book is not about a ten-year-old, I was quickly taken with the plot and characters and just descriptions of England at that time. This book read quickly with alternately likeable and despicable characters, unusual language, and beautiful plot. My only complaint is that one character, Adele, speaks chiefly in French. I was lucky enough to be taking French classes while reading this, so I could piece together what she was essentially saying. What she says is not of a whole lot of importance, but it does bring the book to a halt at times. All in all, Jane Eyre exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds and I enjoyed reading it immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is quite possibly one of my favorite books, one that I have read many times. I bought this edition because I thought the cover was pretty and the fantastic price. Bronte's original text is flawless (although Hindustani is spelled differently in my other copy)I give Bronte 5 stars, however, the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates is terrible. I found it choppy and not that relevant to the story. I don't believe for two seconds that Bertha Mason's insanity was caused by syphilis. I just don't. I also don't buy that Jane thinks human love is more important than God. If she did why did she spend so much time on her knees in prayer? Not one summary, review or movie version I have seen of this story acknowledges any sort of higher power in a non nutcase way. What a shame, I think Bronte should get more credit and less speculation. Let's just take it in the context she wished. I feel better after venting my opinions, bottom line if you want a good copy of Jane Eyre this will work, just ignore the introduction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of those books you can start anywhere anytime and get so incredibly caught up in the story that you never want to stop reading. I've read this book more than fifteen times and have written multiple research papers on it. The characters are well developed, even smaller ones. Jane is a very strong female character, as is Mr. Rochester. The love story between the two does not dominate Jane's character; she remains true to herself regardless of the situation. This truly is a novel written for all women and should be read by all.
ash_glasswing More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of historical romances such as Pride & Prejudice, Becoming Jane, or Sense & Sensibility you would be depriving yourself of experiencing the beauty of this story by not reading it. I can't wait to see the newest version in theaters!! Please read this and be patient with it's lengthy beginning.. I promise it gets better :) -ash
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a bit slow through the first half, but once it gets past Jane's childhood it becomes fascinating and was actually hard to put down. I was amazed by Brontë's vocabulary, writing style, and ability to create such an intriguing and original plot. This is the kind of book that makes you really feel for the characters and get lost in the adventures of their lives. Right when you think you know what's going to happen, Jane Eyre surprises you and another twist to the plot comes in. By the end of the book, I really respected Jane's character and was glad that everything turned out in a way that she liked and had not expected. This is a great classic -- read it!
swift__cat More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of the best classic romance novels I have ever read. As we follow Jane through her harshly brought up childhood to the challenges of her adulthood, we see not only the development of her identity but also the merging of minds between herself and her strange but intelligent employer. Ah, but there is a secret that destroys everything expected! Read this book if you enjoy romance with literary value.
jennysiwss More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Jane Eyre is the respectable, yet fiery lady that I wish I could be. It begins with a stormy and well written childhood, and within a few chapters I couldn't put the book down. I've read classics that I was disappointed in, but this is truly worthy of the title "classic". The love story is so pure, and well worth waiting for. Mr. Rochester seems so unlikable at first, but you just can't help falling inlove with him as the book goes on. I wasn't crazy about St. John. but his purpose was necessary to give you a scare. This book gives great insight to the condition of living for women during this time period. Thank God things have changed. I would've been strung up by my toenails if Reverend Brocklehurst had spoke to me the way he spoke to little Jane. After I read it, I wanted more even though the ending was perfect and filling. Beautifully written characters, and C. Bronte's style of writing is fantastic. I did have to keep a dictionary by my side through most of the book, but I'm not a brilliant kind of gal. The improvement of my vocabulary could only be a plus though. Thank you Miss Charlotte Bronte for this timeless piece of work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Eyre. If I were rating Jane Eyre I would give it six stars out of five. (No that's not a typo.) However, do not buy this book. Buy Jane Eyre, by all means, just don't buy this version of it. There are about five typos a page and by the time I finished the novel, I was so frustrated with the mis-prints I could have screamed. And the cover does the book no justice. The clothing of the woman on the cover is of a different time period than Eyre. The back summary is also hugely misleading and makes this fantastic classic sound more like a trashy romance novel than the brilliantly beautiful work that it truly is. But, do buy Jane Eyre. I have never been so moved by a work of literature than by this book. I cannot praise this book enough, mere words do it no justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Charlotte Bronte novel is a wonderful read. I enjoyed everything about this book. It kept me captivated until the very last page. I would recommend Jane Eyre to all readers!
Bad_Witch More than 1 year ago
Whenever the Jane Eyre series was on PBS I would always catch the last part, so I went to a local used book store and found a copy. I did not put the book down until I was done.
A Very good book, I would recommend reading Jane Eyre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book over the summer and I wasn't happy about the length. However, I was really surprised about how much I loved characters especially Jane. Even though this book was written almost 200 years ago it is still relevant today and addresses a lot of modern issues women are confronted with today. I highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JANE EYRE is such an amazing story that it is extremely difficult to put down. This girl, Jane Eyre, reminds me of the orphan named Annie (from the classic movie, 'ANNIE').
SunshineRE More than 1 year ago
Jane Erye is a romantic piece of literary work that describes the life of a woman. I taught this novel to 12th graders and even the males enjoyed the mystery and intrigue of one of the main characters. A must read!!
aspiring_novelistAS More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i read it in about four days and i just didn't want to put it down. At first i wasn't too into it but then around 50 pages in i was hooked. This is still my all time favorite book hands down.
hey-lover More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is an amazing book and definitely one of my favorites. The beginning, to be quite honest, did start out a little slow for me, however, once I got past all the "background information," I found myself almost obsessed with wanting to know what happened next. A wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is amazing! I love this book! I read it in seventh grade at the suggestion of a librarian and have been in love with it ever since. My younger sister then read it and fell in love too. Charlotte Bronte's masterpeice is amazing and remains a favorite of mine, as it will for all time. It is because of this masterpiece I love classic literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book today. I read it in two days. Last month I saw the movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and after I saw that I decided I had to get the book. I was not dissapointed. Bronte dove deep into Janes heart, without becoming over complicated or boring. I was completely engrossed every second. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Twists, turn, madwomen, this book has it all. I haghly recomend it. I mean, what could be better than a mystery, love story, and all around classic at the same time???
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books.My English teacher recommended it back when i was 12. Yes, i admit the first hundred pages are sort of boring but the rest of the book makes up for it. Its so romantic! Jane is a woman to be admired by all. watch the 2006/07 BBC version of the book! Best one yet!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, I think the novel, Jane Eyre, is a great story of love and faith. Throughout the novel, Charlotte Bronte gives great descriptions of everything going on mentally and physically around Jane Eyre throughout her life. The character of Jane is greatly relatable to every reader because of her great struggles with finding a family, and finding a way to make the one true love of her life work out while still keeping her morals. Jane Eyre is also an enjoyable novel in the fact that Charlotte Bronte made a seemingly ordinary love story novel into a much more complex and interesting novel, that turns out to be much more than just a love novel in the end. Jane Eyre is also a commendable novel because throughout the novel, Charlotte Bronte continuously keeps you guessing about the ending of the novel. Additionally, Charlotte Bronte gave not only a detailed description for Jane Bronte, and the other main characters, but she also gave gratifying descriptions for other characters that weren't mentioned through the novel very often, giving them a memorable personality and character in the novel. As a whole, Jane Eyre is a great novel that I would highly recommend for any reader, especially ones interested in the time era in which it was written. Jane Eyre is a classic piece of literature which most difficult to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am only 14 but this book was just great it wasn't really hard to read or understand . I don't read that much but when I had to read this one in school I realized that I probably will read it again because it was so good and that takes a really good book for me to say that
reading_fox on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Not my cup of tea. Just about readable but I prefer Fforde's version.
miss_scarlet on LibraryThing 6 days ago
It is a classic novel about two people in love and their struggle to find each other. It is a well-developed story, complete with details and explanations of motives which delight the reader on every page. Secrets and surprises are hidden between the romantic passages and simple life lessons of poverty and humility are taught. Sure to bring a tear to your eye, this book is one of the best classic novels you could read. It will definitely be added to my list of favorites!
williamcostiganjr on LibraryThing 6 days ago
This is an enjoyable read, but I felt it had some big problems.Parts of the book are cartoonish and unrealistic, and there is a gothic undertone that felt out of place. Additionally, one major plot point hinges on a coincidence of unacceptably large magnitude. I also felt that, aside from Jane, the characters were one-dimensional, and I disliked her love interest.I found the novel's treatment of religion perplexing. Early on, Jane expresses some budding doubts about religion, but they seemed to be discarded without thorough consideration. Given Jane's intelligence, I would have liked some explanation for her faith.I have criticized this novel so thoroughly, yet it held my interest to the finish, and the writing itself is quite good. I admire Charlotte Bronte's way with words, but I found her story lacking.