Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jane Eyre is

Jane Eyre Paperback Cover by Vintage Classics
I said in an earlier post that one of the best compliments I could give the new film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre is that it made me want to read it again. So of course, I have been rereading the novel in the past few weeks.
Now, first of all I have to remind my readers that I am not an English major, nor do I profess to be an expert in English lit. I do however have a passion for 19th century English literature.  I also have a passion for seeing said novels well adapted for the screen. And by well adapted, I suppose I mean that I love it when the film transports me to the 19th century and makes me feel what the characters are feeling.

Can you feel the love between Jane and Mr. Rochester?
So, I'll tell you what I've been pondering this week. One of the things I loved about this new Jane Eyre film (other than the glorious scenery and cinematography) is the fact that it really made me think about love.

Jane and the hateful Mr. Brocklehurst
When it shows Jane as a little girl in Mrs. Reed's house in Gateshead, you really feel the lack of love in this little girl's life. When she goes to Lowood School, she feels the first real love she has ever felt from her wonderful friend and school mate, Helen. Heart achingly beautiful...

Thornfield Hall aka Haddon Hall
Of course, by the time she arrives at Thornfield Hall to be a governess to Mr. Rochester's ward Adele, she is looking for a home, a purpose and above all, the love which she now knows is out there somewhere for her. Of course, as we all know, she encounters a few obstacles to that love. After having her true love snatched from her, she is later offered something which was distinctly NOT love by St. John (Sinjun) Rivers. I just love the way she pushes the handsome and persuasive St. John away. She will work her fingers to the bone for him, but she will not marry without love.

Enough of love will follow????!!!!!
"I scorn your idea of love," I could not help saying, as I rose up and stood before him, leaning my back against the rock.  "I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer:  yes, St. John, and I scorn you when you offer it."

Rock on Jane!!!!!

Do you see where I am going here? I have to come back to the book to find the words that match up with those amazing images from the film. For me, I cannot have just the book. I cannot have just the film. I need both to be happy and satisfied.

This is what it is to be loved for one's self-
imperfections and all!
So what I have been doing over the past week or so is to reread my favourite parts of the book. This is a bad habit of mine, on a subsequent read, to skip over the parts that I did not enjoy even if they are critical to the plot. I love to read the juicy bits again and again. They meld in my mind with the visuals and music from the film and become one happy thought indeed.

Reader, she married him. And if you would like to read just the juicy bits, I have posted the 3 best chapters as pages on my blog.

First, we have the famous Chapter 27. This is where Jane has found out Mr. Rochester's secret and he is endeavouring to tell her how much she means to him and how he plans to keep her with him always. Sigh...

And then we have the lovely last two chapters. Chapter 37 & 38 describe her return to him and what happened afterward.  If you felt a bit ripped off at the ending of Jane Eyre 2011 and found yourself yearning for Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson from the 2006 miniseries like I did, you may want to read those last two chapters again. Charlotte Bronte will give you what Cary Fukunaga would not. Sigh...

P.S. The entire novel Jane Eyre is online if you need a little love today! Jane Eyre at


  1. I didn't mind that you didn't see what happened after they were reunited! The moment was so tender and lovely that it didn't even register with me after it was over that the book didn't end there. The whole movie was so good and I can't wait to see it again!

  2. Hi Erin,

    So glad you loved the film. I did too, I just wanted more. There is actually a petition online for a director's cut so we could have a longer version on DVD. Seems like a lot of us would pay for this.


  3. Okay, now I want to see it. Over the weekend I chatted with friends who felt it too rushed and disjointed, but I like your take on how it is true in spirit to the book.

  4. I've yet to see it, but your post will certainly ensure that I do! Thank you.

  5. I love this post. This version also sent me scampering back to my battered old copy of Jane Eyre, happily skipping ahead to all my favorite sections. It will perhaps not surprise you to know that my version falls open to "the fireplace scene," right after all that business with the burning bed. Ah, metaphor...

  6. Hi Beth,
    Ah, the burning bed/fireplace scene. Yes that is pretty "steamy". Right now I am at the fortune teller, and I may have to skip to your fave. Didn't you love how she was staring at him in the film and then had to turn away quickly when he was putting his pants on? Teehee!

  7. I first read Jane Eyre when I was 11 after I went on a trip to Haworth (I was 10) with my primary school, soon after this my mum bought a copy in 2000 and recommended it to me. I fell in love with the book as I was in the car, I remember not being keen on Rochester because of the way he deceives Jane but as I got older I understood Rochester more and more and fell head over heels in love with him. In September 2000 I started high school and I was bullied which made me very unhappy so Jane became my best friend and as I thought myself plain I could easily understand what Jane meant when she wishes she were pretty.

    Jane Eyre has also distracted me from my disability and has made me believe that a man will love me for who I am despite my disability like Jane love Rochester even though he is blind. It also taught me to resist temptation and I was amazed at how strong Jane was in leaving Rochester even though she loved him so much, I remember thinking how hard that must have been.

    The reason I love Jane Eyre so much is because Jane stands up for herself and overcomes ever obstacle that people put in her path; I also love her morals too and I also like the fact that she is plain but is such a strong heroine. I love the language in this novel and think it is beautifully written.

    Another reason why I love it is because there is a brooding, dark, blunt, rude but a very passionate and gorgeous hero in the novel (what woman doesn't like one of those?!) which is Mr. Rochester who loves Jane for who she is, is very kind to her and treats her like an equal, I know that he has his faults but I can't help but fall for him! I also find him a very sympathetic character because he has a lot of very unfair things to deal with in his life.

    My favourite parts of the novel are:
    When Jane and Edward first meet
    The first conversation they have
    After Jane saves Edward from the fire
    The conversation they have when Jane leaves the drawing-room
    When Jane finds out Edward is the gypsy
    When Jane asks Edward's permission to leave Thornfield Hall
    When Jane returns to Thornfield Hall
    The proposal! (This part is so passionate and romantic!)
    When Edward is explaining everything to Jane after their interrupted marriage and is trying to convince her to stay with him (I nearly cry when I read that part!)
    The reunion of Jane and Edward

    Every time I read Jane Eyre nowadays I still feel like Jane is my friend telling me everything about herself, I love to read it in bed where I can get cozy and fall in love with the novel and Mr. Rochester all over again! I also have Jane Eyre on audio disc as well it's lovely to listen to when I am unwell or the weather is bad.

    I will love Jane Eyre forever and it will always be a very special novel to me.

    I can't wait to see the new film!

  8. Hi Kate,

    You sound like a great girl and I love the way that Jane Eyre has given you strength and been there for you when you needed her. Wow!

    I love all the parts that you have listed. I think your book must fall open to your favourite parts too!

    I'd love to go to Haworth and do a Bronte trip like I did my P&P tour. It would be great to wander the moors.

    I hope you like the new Jane Eyre version. For me I think it is tied with the 2006 version for my fave. Too bad you don't get it until unfair.

  9. Hi Jenny,

    Yes, Jane Eyre has helped me through some very tough times and made me believe you can have a happy ending even though there will always be difficulties. I read Jane Eyre about once a year & I always enjoy it. The first copy I owned fell apart quickly so my mum bought me a lovely hardback copy with a nice blue dust jacket & a red ribbon bookmark.

    I am looking forward to seeing the new film version of Jane Eyre, although I have read a lot of negative reviews about it so I am unsure whether it is good or bad.

  10. Hi Jenny,

    My auntie gave me another copy of Jane Eyre yesterday! It was a complete surprise to me! She said she thought of me when she saw it. It is a pre World War II copy she told me, it has a blue cover and has good sized print which is easy to read. Inside there is a note which she has written:

    To Kate,

    Luvsya loads,

    It is a very special copy of Jane Eyre to me & I will treasure it always. I now own two copies of Jane Eyre but I love both of them!

    Kate Leeds, England xxxxxxxx

  11. Hi Kate,

    Sounds like your Auntie is s kindred spirit! There is nothing quite like a pre-loved copy of a favourite novel is there? I always wonder who read it before and what their story was. Now you have an excuse to read Jane Eyre twice as often!

    Take care,


  12. Hi Jenny,

    My auntie loves Jane Eyre! We talk about our favourite parts of the novel and it is lovely to talk about Jane Eyre to a member of my family. The copy smells old and it is very personal to me because it is from another Jane Eyre fan. She gave me a big hug and said, "Enjoy reading it, Kate." Jane Eyre is my comfort book and I sometimes read it with a nice of tea or in bed where I can be all cosy and warm.

    Kate xxxxx




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