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5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte's Most Captivating Work
Quite arguably one of the greatest British novels ever penned, Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is so all-around-wonderful, it's no wonder that it's been adapted into 5+ movies.
We first meet Bronte's Jane as a child, young and abused, in the care of her aunt. We immediately take Jane under our wing, feeling more her personal protector with each turn of the...
Published on June 2 2004 by Kathie Phaevark

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3.0 out of 5 stars Immature and uneven.
One friend who prefers Charlotte Bronte to Jane Austen told me she would feel claustrophobic in the latter's world. And it does seem to be the common view that Jane Eyre is more liberated and complex than Austen's leading female characters. However, that is not my view. First, though, I must give the author credit for creating a childhood so realistic, so painfully...
Published on July 23 2003 by samantha


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5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte's Most Captivating Work, June 2 2004
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
Quite arguably one of the greatest British novels ever penned, Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is so all-around-wonderful, it's no wonder that it's been adapted into 5+ movies.
We first meet Bronte's Jane as a child, young and abused, in the care of her aunt. We immediately take Jane under our wing, feeling more her personal protector with each turn of the page. Then, one day, Jane is a woman. Though retaining many of her childlike tendencies, Jane is determined to be independent: leaving her old boarding school victorious and free, she begins a governess position at the manor home of the elusive and mysterious Mr. Edward Rochester. It is Jane who tames Rochester's brooding and arrogant heart, reducing him to schoolboyish desperation.
So deliciously provactive is "Jane Eyre," that it is impossible not to devour it within days; my own worn-with-love copy sits next to a dog-eared "Villette."
It is sometimes speculated that Charlotte Bronte exercised her complicated mind through the written word; "Jane Eyre" is beautiful evidence of that.
As the story slows to its conclusion, you will find yourself lost: hungry for more of Jane, more of Rochester, and more of the magic that is "Eyre." Quench that thirst with more Bronte (perhaps Emily's "Wuthering Heights" or some of Anne's poetry?) or, if you're like me, a second read of the irresistible "Jane."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre, Feb. 24 2004
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
Do you really need a review of Jane Eyre from me? You do not. There are five hundred and fifty eight reviews of Jane Eyre here ahead of me, and in fact, didn't I already write one and forgot about it? I may have. I don't have the desire to sort through all the Jane Eyre reviews and see. But, the point is, the book has been thoroughly worked over by critics, scholars, Victorian-era enthusiasts, college-girl nymphomaniac readers, feminists, Bronte fanatics, and possibly even extraterrestrials who slipped some info-disc we shot into space 20 years ago into a Martian disc-player and sampled the complete text. I'm not sure, mind you, whether Isaac Asimov, or Oprah Winfrey, ever got around to jabbering about Jane Eyre, though they both seemed (Asimov), or seem (Winfrey), to know everything--but Asimov apparently did write about everything in his lifetime, and Oprah surely has an opinion...
Me? I loved the language...some of the most captivating, superb passages ever ensconced in a dusty old fiction they say we should read. The plot? Oh, I liked Daniel Deronda better...but then Daniel does more for me than this Rochester fellow, who's fairly transparent and yakkety, compared to DD. On the other hand, Jane herself has it all over what's-her-name from the George Eliot novel--she's morally grounded, fierce in love, a survivor, and not a shilly-shally-er when it comes to decisions--and has a name that doesn't flit from the mind a few months later (it's always easier to recall a character's name, of course, when it's the title of the book, except for that Jude fellow, who's last name remains Obscure).
The plot, meanwhile? Well, it's simple, and it follows Jane around wherever she goes, whether she's reduced to begging at doorsteps (leave it to Jane to uncover the hypocrisy of a series of Welcome Mats), or whether she appears to have finally got what she wanted from life (she even gets what she doesn't want: Money; such talent this woman has!). Or, does she? That would be telling. She's also good at hearing strange voices...whether they be creepy, maniacal voices from strange rooms in large mansions, or disembodied voices crying across the landscape ("Jane, HELP!"; she is a talent, this Jane!).
So what have I accomplished? I fear a backlash, but all I have tried to do is write the most irreverent Jane Eyre review around (though an Asimov critique may already have me beat), designed not to blend into the morass. It's a great book, okay? I can't give it five whole stars because I gave Daniel Deronda five stars, and Jane Eyre isn't as good as Daniel Deronda, so it follows that Jane Eyre gets four stars. What do you want from me, blood? And no, I am not reading The Eyre Affair next. I don't work that way. Well, okay, I am likely to read the novelization of the Brain Of Morbius before reading Warmonger, but that's Dr Who stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book about feminism much before this was a fashion, Nov. 9 2003
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
Concerning on English classic novels 'Jane Eyre' has a special place in my heart. This was the very first classic novel that I ever read in English. As I needed that for an exam, and didn't have enough knowledge for reading the original I was supposed to read an abridged version. And so I did. And I loved the book.
Years later, I decided to read the real thing, the original novel. Much to my surprised it turned out to be highly accessible, and as entertaining and a nice read as the abridged version. Moreover, in the original book I could find all the details, and were able to savor Charlotte Brontë's language.
Written more than 150 years ago, 'Jane Eyre' reads as fresh as a XXI Century novel. Brontë's use of language is vivid and remarkable. Her descriptions bring the book into life. We cannot forget that the book is the social portrait of the women in the writer's society. It shows how they struggled --and failed most of the time-- to reach a respectable position in the society.
Jane didn't have any attractive that was required in her time. She wasn't rich or even beautiful, although smart. But smartness wasn't a good thing for a woman in those days. She is even punished for having brains. She ends up being a governess, and end up having a humiliating experience, being forced to change places and even name. Ms Eyre is only noticed when she receives a heritage and becomes rich. And she does not let all she has suffered affect her.
'Jane Eyre' is a novel ahead its time. This book is about feminism much before the term was created. When Jane speaks to her aunt about her rights --can you imagine a girl speaking about her rights in that time-- she is doing what other women would do years later. Charlotte Brontë has managed to creat a strong and sad girl, who is trying to find her place in the world. With that, the writer made a book that will be read for generations to come --even if they read an abridged version before reading the unabridged book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long, but empowering, Oct. 25 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Hardcover)
I throroughly enjoyed reading Jane Eyre. Although it was quite lengthy, it was filled with suspense and excitement. I feel that Jane Eyre was a strong, independent and proud character which makes her a great role model for women and children. From when she is only ten years old she already possesses courage, honesty and generosity despite her unpleasant life. Going to Lowood School only adds to her miserable childhood, but somehow she has the strength to overcome it and move on. Even though she is a poor, unattractive woman in the Victorian era she believes in economic and social equality. When she meets Rochester he is amazed at her intelligence, wit and frankness and though he is a man, she is his intellectual equal. When she realizes she must leaves Edward, she is able to resist the temptation of being with him to uphold her strong morals. This is also a very commendable quality that Jane Eyre possesses. Through her determination, she is able to survive poverty and loneliness and find a home with the Rivers. Here she exhibits true generosity when she divides her fortune among her new found friends. Again, she resists the temptation of a good home and safety and leaves St. John to find her lost love. Jane shows compassion when she decides to stay with Rochester for he rest of her life, and nurse him in his unhealthy state. Reading about a woman like Jane Eyre is very empowering and it makes you want to be a better person. Cudos to Charlotte Bronte for a novel very (long and) well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So good I cried, Oct. 16 2003
By 
Janelle (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an excellent book, and such a good read. Don't be intimidated by the length, because you will certainly get so enraptured, and taken in, that you wont even notice it. I must say that Jane Eyre is one of the most endearing and enjoyable characters that i've encountered. Charlotte Bronte develops her perfectly. I love her ability to poke fun at and tease her admired one, Mr Rochester; it's refreshing, and my idea of love. It develops at a nice, steady pace, never lagging. The tone and the references to the reader suit the book quite well, and I believe that the story was far ahead of its time. Why four out of five? Well, i found certain parts of the story far too unbelievable, and Mr. Rochester seemed to go from stern and haughty, to love-sick and passionate all too quickly, that I found it somewhat ingenuine. I believe that the end is what really made the story worthwhile, when Jane goes back to see her beloved once more. That is when i started to tear. Overall it was well written, and deserves all the credit given to it.
a pleasure to read =)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Immature and uneven., July 23 2003
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
One friend who prefers Charlotte Bronte to Jane Austen told me she would feel claustrophobic in the latter's world. And it does seem to be the common view that Jane Eyre is more liberated and complex than Austen's leading female characters. However, that is not my view. First, though, I must give the author credit for creating a childhood so realistic, so painfully vivid, that one cannot help but be moved by the first chapters. Jane Eyre the child is the quintessential homely loner in the corner with her book. Immediately one feels Jane Eyre *is* Charlotte Bronte, but it is terribly dangerous to take the autobiographical route in the discussion of a work. So this is no critique of the author's own life. Jane Eyre, however, becomes a self-righteous do-gooder, and the narrator provides all the stepping stones for her preachy little journey. She is wonderfully kind to the people who are horrible to her-- but we are oh-so aware of how much *better* she is than these ogres. And we know someday-- according to something in the Scriptures-- she shall be rewarded. Of course, a handsome, refined man of Jane Austen's world is not her final reward. She yearns for a rough, rugged, physically unattractive man-- though he of course has his eyes on a pretty young woman. This is a fantastic Romantic tale which may always win over teenage readers. It's just unfortunate that Bronte's moral view and understanding of human nature did not extend beyond this adolescent world. For instance, we must have the monster in the attic who was once the beautiful temptress from a sunny isle. This heavy-handed way with moral imagery is a sad weakness in Bronte's novel, a novel which begins with so much promise when the heroine is a tortured young girl. As a matter of fact, this book is the only instance in all of classic literature in which I prefer the movie (with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine) to the original. On the screen we do miss Bronte's beautiful language, though like most novelists of the 19th century, she doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. Many readers enjoy the Gothic darkness of her language-- and imagery-- but clarity is the key to prose, no matter how many would wallow in a murky stew of sound and meaning. This is a Classic, for once that label is applied nothing will remove it. Yet for me it is a classic example of an inadequate style and moral point of view, both typical of Bronte's era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT, July 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
OH GOSH! This is the best! I'm thirteen, and I had just recently finnished Wuthering Heights when I decided to pick this up. I loved it so much! It's a really intense, frightening, startling, & romantic story, one that I think everyone should know about! So anyways, Jane starts out as a little girl of ten, and lives an unhappy life with her dreadful aunt. She is sent away to Lowood, a school of which she attends for eight more years. After two years of teaching there, she decides she needs a change. Jane is accepted to be a governess at Thornfield Hall, and then she meets Mr. Rochester! The good part starts! The two form a strong friendship, and go through the terrors of Thornfield's mystery villian together. Then, they fall in love. But, a secret that surrounds Rochester seperates Jane from him, and then she leaves. She finds long-lost family, and is proposed an offer of marraige by St. John, who wanted her to be a missionary with him. Well, does Jane accept? Or return to her beloved Mr. Rochester? Find out for yourself, and read this fantastic novel!
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5.0 out of 5 stars How on earth can anyone find Jane Eyre boring??, May 31 2003
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm sorry and rather shocked that our kids apparently find this marvelous novel a drag. I'm 53, and I've read it about once a year since I was 12. . .never once as a school assignment, much less a punishment. I've read for pleasure all my life. . .voluminously, addictively. . . and Jane Eyre is my alltime, number-one favorite novel. Dull?!? Good grief, silly girls, it's the first fullblooded feminist novel in English, and still the very best! It has a bright, strong, creative, misunderstood and abused kid heroine who nearly dies of her maltreatment, but survives, thrives, ignores her era's view of women as brainless porcelain dolls, experiences passionate love on her own terms rather than his, refuses to give up her enormous integrity for a false heaven, lives homeless and nearly dies of it rather than become anyone's plaything, fends off patriarchal religion with rare spirit and honesty, and finally. . .well, I'll let you read the absolutely splendid ending for yourselves, if you haven't been rendered incapable of understanding it by today's
alleged educational system. Suffice it to say that it was sufficiently radical in its day to get the author a lot of hate mail. . .to which she replied with a spirit that would've made Jane proud.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre, May 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
As a young child Jane Eyre is stuck in her aunt's house. People think of her as a wicked child for she doesn't appreciate discipline and speaks her own mind. Jane's dignity is stricken away from herself when her cousin John causes her to be cast into the haunted red room, for he accused her of using "his" books and made her lose her temper.
During her stay in the red room Jane sees the ghost of her uncle, she faints and attention of the house is drawn upon her. This attention displeases her aunt and she sends her to the Lowood Academy for girls. There she meets a very important person in her life. Helen Burns is a girl very like herself, just older and more experienced. They click immediately and form a valuable friendship.
As Jane grows up she remains at Lowood until she decided that she had had enough of teaching younger girls. She placed an ad in a paper for a job which is answered by Mr. Rochester. There she takes care of a French girl and falls head over heels on Mr. Rochester.
This book hasn't been of any significance in my life. The first pages were dull and any excitement was sucked out of the pages. The overall quality of the writing was absolutely superb but the author didn't have enough life in the book. I only recommend this book to people who have a lot of spare time on their hands, or wish to give it to their children to read as punishment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless Classic in the English Canon, May 3 2003
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This review is from: Jane Eyre (Mass Market Paperback)
Few people probably need an introduction to this novel, given its popular appeal and long circulation. But some words are needed to explain its importance.
At a simple level, the novel is the archetypal 'soap opera'; indeed, one can see virtually every plot found in 'Days of Our Lives' or something similar flowing through this work. But Charlotte Bronte's genius makes this wonderful work so much better than a mere one dimensional soap opera.
The protagonist displays a keen intellect, a penetrating psychological understanding of those around her, and amazing powers of description. Whether it is the depressing institution of Lowood, or the passing away of Jane Eyre's childhood friend before her eyes, the scenery, the atmosphere, the emotional power, and the raw beauty of the language shine through.
Bronte also makes use of the 'Gothic' element in her novel, particularly in the mysterious, mad wife of Edward Rochester, 'Bertha Mason', a sinister figure who is mad and tries to kill Rochester at every opportunity. The atmosphere in the novel is dark, spooky, and has a strong hint of the supernatural; Eyre's descriptions of the Moon often come into this.
The characters themselves (apart from the caricature of Bertha Mason) are also psychologically and morally complex. Eyre pursues her career as a governess and eventually Rochester himself often using dubious means, and Rochester himself is far from a heroic figure. Who is good, or evil? Even the end offers no resolution of this (though Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea suggests Rochester is the nasty one).
Although Gothic romances are not my favorite literary genre, this book is worth recommending simply for the sheer genius of the author.
Charlotte Bronte, one of the finest novelists in the 19th century realist tradition,
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Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Hardcover - Oct. 27 2009)
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