(Older works have few, if any, mainstream press reviews online. See Amazon and Barnes & Noble for helpful customer reviews.)
Possibly no book, other than Pride and Prejudice, has been as beloved by women as Jane Eyre, a Cinderella novel if ever there was one.... On its surface, Jane Eyre is a simple romance: a young girl, brought low by circumstance and maltreated by the very institutions that should have protected her (family and school), wins the love of a wealthy, accomplished man. At its core, however, Jane Eyre is much, much more. (Read more...)
LitLovers Book Reviews - April 2013
The detailed exploration of a strong female character's consciousness has made readers in recent decades consider Jane Eyre as an influential feminist text. The novel works both as the absorbing story of an individual woman's quest and as a narrative of the dilemmas that confront so many women. Its mythic quality is enhanced by the fact that at the time of its writing its author was, like her heroine, unmarried and unremarked, and considered unattractive. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë created a fully imagined character defined by her strength of will. Though Jane is nothing more than an impoverished governess, she can retort to her haughty employer Rochester: "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?—You think wrong!" (p. 284). Jane's willfulness scandalized many contemporary critics, who called her (and the novel) "coarse" and "unfeminine." Such criticisms were powerless against the novel's popularity, and Jane's indomitable voice continues to enthrall readers more than 150 years after the novel's original publication.
Penguin Classic Edition (excerpt)
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