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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is Jane Eyre, sir
It's hard to imagine a better gothic romance than "Jane Eyre" -- gloomy vast houses, mysterious secrets, and a brooding haunted man with a dark past.

In fact, Charlotte Bronte's classic novel has pretty much everything going for it -- beautiful settings, a passionate romance tempered by iron-clad morals, and a heroine whose poverty and lack of beauty only let...
Published on Jan. 11 2009 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Why
Why is this book so often one of the standards of literature programs in American Universities, but no one dares touch War and peace?
Published on April 2 2004


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is Jane Eyre, sir, Jan. 11 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Paperback)
It's hard to imagine a better gothic romance than "Jane Eyre" -- gloomy vast houses, mysterious secrets, and a brooding haunted man with a dark past.

In fact, Charlotte Bronte's classic novel has pretty much everything going for it -- beautiful settings, a passionate romance tempered by iron-clad morals, and a heroine whose poverty and lack of beauty only let her brains and courage shine brighter. And it's all wrapped in the misty, haunting atmosphere of a true gothic story -- madwoman in the attic and all.

Jane Eyre was an orphan, abused and neglected first by relatives, then by a boarding school run by a tyrannical, hypocritical minister. But Jane refuses to let anyone shove her down -- even when her saintly best friend dies from the wretched conditions.

But many years later, Jane moves on by applying to Thornfield Hall for a governess position, and gets the job. She soon becomes the teacher and friend to the sprightly French girl Adele, but is struck by the dark, almost haunted feeling of her new home.

Then she runs into a rather surly horseman -- who turns out to be her employer, Mr. Rochester, a cynical, embittered man who spends little time at Thornfield. They are slowly drawn together into a powerful love, despite their different social stations -- and Rochester's apparent attentions to a shallow, snotty aristocrat who wants his wealth and status.

But strange things are happening at Thornfield -- stabbings, fires, and mysterious laughter. Jane and Rochester finally confess their feelings to each other, but their wedding is interrupted when Rochester's dark past comes to light. Jane flees into the arms of long-lost family members, and is offered a new life -- but her love for Rochester is not so easily forgotten...

"Jane Eyre" is one of those books that transcends the labels of genre. Charlotte Bronte spun a haunting gothic romance around her semi-autobiographical heroine and Byronic anti-hero, filling it with brilliant writing and solid plot. It has everything all the other gothic romances of the time had... but Bronte gave it depth and intensity without resorting to melodrama.

Bronte wrote in the usual stately prose of the time, but it has a sensual, lush quality, even in the dank early chapters at Lowood. At Thornfield, the book acquires an overhanging atmosphere of foreboding, until the clouds clear near the end. And she wove some tough questions into Jane's perspective -- that of a woman's independence and strength in a man's world, of extreme religion, and of the clash between morals and passion.

And Bronte also avoided any tinges of drippy sentimentality (Mrs. Reed dies still spewing venom) while injecting some hauntingly nightmarish moments ("She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart"). She even manages to include some funny stuff, such as Rochester disguising himself as an old gypsy woman.

The story does slow down after the abortive wedding, when Jane flees Thornfield and briefly considers marrying a repressed clergyman who wants to go die preaching in India. It's rather boring to hear the self-consciously saintly St. John prattling about himself, instead of Rochester's barbed wit. But when Jane departs again, the plot speeds up into a nice, mellow little finale.

Bronte did a brilliant job of bringing her heroine to life -- as a defiant little girl who is condemned for being "passionate," as an independent young lady, and as a woman torn between love and principle. Jane's strong personality and wits overwhelm the basic fact that she's not unusually pretty. And Rochester is a brilliantly sexy Byronic anti-hero with a prickly, mercurial wit.

Of Charlotte Bronte's few novels, "Jane Eyre" is undoubtedly the most brilliant -- passionate, dark and hauntingly eerie. Definitely a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, Dec 24 2012
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Paperback)
You cannot go wrong with this book. A classic read with unforgettable characters. If you are craving a good literary fiction, this one is it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Love Story Ever, April 14 2014
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Hardcover)
Jane Eyre is probably one of the characters I identify the most with. Her story, one of the best ever told. I adore this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love the convenience!, Dec 28 2013
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This review is from: Jane Eyre (Kindle Edition)
Jane Eyre has always been one of my favourite books from the first moment I read it and to now have a copy for my tablet that allows me to have it wherever I go is just an added bonus!
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5.0 out of 5 stars eBook Edition, Nov. 10 2013
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This review is from: Jane Eyre (Kindle Edition)
.The eBook version was free and it worked very well! I don't need to specify anything else since eBook is eBook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Classic Gift, Nov. 6 2013
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This review is from: Jane Eyre (Hardcover)
This little hardcover is very charming, and comes with a ribbon for place-keeping. I'm giving it as a gift to my 10-year-old niece, who is sure to love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great read, Aug. 5 2013
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This review is from: Jane Eyre (Kindle Edition)
Love the story, it takes some time to "get over" the old language, but loved it! A story that needs to be read over more than once in your lifetime.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Jane Eyre" deserves its standing as a classic in English literature, Feb. 6 2009
By 
Paul Weiss (Dundas, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
"Jane Eyre" is one of the world's best-loved classic novels for so many reasons.

It's an exciting piece of feminist literature written at a time when feminist literature was little known and even more poorly accepted.

That it is a semi-autobiographical novel written by a staunchly, independent female author who herself was struggling to survive by her own wits and means and stand on her own two feet makes the story all the more poignant and compelling.

While it is a prime example of Gothic romance peppered with the typical fixtures of a Gothic novel - the spectral Thornfield manor that seems to attain a life of its own; the allusions to mythological characters such as ghosts and vampires; the uncanny timing of such weather phenomenon as lightning or a chilling, drenching downpour to accompany major events in the novel - it also breaks new ground in that it avoids some of the typical conventions of Victorian literature.

And, finally, it is a piece of masterful story-telling built around larger than life characters that for over 150 years has enchanted readers of all ages and thrilled watchers of numerous television and movie adaptations.

For those few of you that have yet to read this wonderful novel, the story can be summarized quickly enough. A dying father extracts a death bed promise from his sister to raise his infant daughter, Jane Eyre. The sister, a spiteful and mean spirited woman grows to hate the obligation that Jane represents and soon sends her away to a boarding school. (Did anyone else have flashbacks to Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby when they were reading this portion of the novel?) In spite of the harsh mental and physical cruelty she endures at the hands of the school's administrator and its teachers, Jane survives to become a teacher at the school. Ultimately she leaves to seek her own way in the world and secures a position as governess in the household of Edward Fairfax Rochester.

At this point, most readers will correctly guess that Jane and Mr Rochester fall in love with each other but to tell more of the story would be to spoil the effect of this magnificent novel for first time readers.

Suffice it to say that Charlotte Brontë has woven an enthralling story into the exploration of a multiplicity of themes that will occupy students of the English language novel for decades to come - the interplay of self-respect, morality, conventional mores and religion; the effects of social standing and class discrimination; gender relations in a patriarchal staunchly male-dominated society; legal issues of the day that related to marriage, inheritance and ownership; contrasting extremes of religious zealotry as displayed by Brocklehurst's hypocritical Puritanism reflected against St John Rivers' obsessive but well-intentioned determination to spread Calvinist dogma as a missionary abroad.

While many of these issues have clearly been relegated to the history of the 19th century, it's also a fact that much of the controversy that Brontë has so eloquently built into her characters' lives persist as issues into our own 21st century. Little wonder that "Jane Eyre" has such enduring power in the world of English literature!

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Jane Eyre" deserves its standing as a classic in English literature, Feb. 6 2009
By 
Paul Weiss (Dundas, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Paperback)
"Jane Eyre" is one of the world's best-loved classic novels for so many reasons.

It's an exciting piece of feminist literature written at a time when feminist literature was little known and even more poorly accepted.

That it is a semi-autobiographical novel written by a staunchly, independent female author who herself was struggling to survive by her own wits and means and stand on her own two feet makes the story all the more poignant and compelling.

While it is a prime example of Gothic romance peppered with the typical fixtures of a Gothic novel - the spectral Thornfield manor that seems to attain a life of its own; the allusions to mythological characters such as ghosts and vampires; the uncanny timing of such weather phenomenon as lightning or a chilling, drenching downpour to accompany major events in the novel - it also breaks new ground in that it avoids some of the typical conventions of Victorian literature.

And, finally, it is a piece of masterful story-telling built around larger than life characters that for over 150 years has enchanted readers of all ages and thrilled watchers of numerous television and movie adaptations.

For those few of you that have yet to read this wonderful novel, the story can be summarized quickly enough. A dying father extracts a death bed promise from his sister to raise his infant daughter, Jane Eyre. The sister, a spiteful and mean spirited woman grows to hate the obligation that Jane represents and soon sends her away to a boarding school. (Did anyone else have flashbacks to Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby when they were reading this portion of the novel?) In spite of the harsh mental and physical cruelty she endures at the hands of the school's administrator and its teachers, Jane survives to become a teacher at the school. Ultimately she leaves to seek her own way in the world and secures a position as governess in the household of Edward Fairfax Rochester.

At this point, most readers will correctly guess that Jane and Mr Rochester fall in love with each other but to tell more of the story would be to spoil the effect of this magnificent novel for first time readers.

Suffice it to say that Charlotte Brontë has woven an enthralling story into the exploration of a multiplicity of themes that will occupy students of the English language novel for decades to come - the interplay of self-respect, morality, conventional mores and religion; the effects of social standing and class discrimination; gender relations in a patriarchal staunchly male-dominated society; legal issues of the day that related to marriage, inheritance and ownership; contrasting extremes of religious zealotry as displayed by Brocklehurst's hypocritical Puritanism reflected against St John Rivers' obsessive but well-intentioned determination to spread Calvinist dogma as a missionary abroad.

While many of these issues have clearly been relegated to the history of the 19th century, it's also a fact that much of the controversy that Brontë has so eloquently built into her characters' lives persist as issues into our own 21st century. Little wonder that "Jane Eyre" has such enduring power in the world of English literature!

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest of the Victorian Novels, May 28 2010
This review is from: Jane Eyre (Paperback)
Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' has pretty much everything going for it - beautiful settings, a passionate romance tempered by iron-clad morals, and a heroine whose poverty and lack of beauty only let her brains and courage shine brighter. And it's all wrapped in the misty, haunting atmosphere of a true gothic story - madwoman in the attic and all.

A timeless classic - I only wish she had written a sequel! Other books I'd recommend although very different are:

Godstone - The Kairos Boxes

Screwtape Letters
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