All About Jane!

One of the reasons I’m looking forward to this year so much is all of the fantastic Charlotte Bronte related pieces that are going to be published! It’s the 200th anniversary of her birth, and several media outlets are celebrating. Many publishers are releasing books that are related to the Bronte Siblings or Charlotte Bronte herself, the BBC will be releasing a miniseries on the siblings, and there are going to be loads of little exhibitions throughout the UK.

I absolutely love love love the story of Jane Eyre. I read it when I was 14 and became absolutely obsessed with it. The themes in it are so brilliant, so striking, and so true, even today. Yes, it’s a little long and a little convoluted, but the story is so lovely and so amazing. It’s such a classic, and it has such good messages for young women.
So, today (since I don’t have a book to review for you just yet!) I’ve decided to do an overview of some of my favorite Jane Eyre-related book adaptations and highlight some of the books that are Bronte related that are going to be released in 2016.

First, if you’re not familiar with the story of Jane Eyre, you must check it out.

jepuffin1

Synopsis from Amazon:

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

 

However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.

If you love Jane Eyre and you want to check more out…

JeanRhys_WideSargassoSeaWant a prequel? Check out Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. It’s the story of Bertha Mason as she met Edward Rochester. I won’t post any spoilers, but Bertha is a central character in the story of Jane Eyre.

If you would like to read the synopsis, head to Amazon here.

 

 

 

Want a novel in a similar vein? Check out these two classics that star young women who are captivated by their mysterious and charming employers/companions — complete with the ominous house, just like Thornfield!

rebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier – The same premise as Jane Eyre — you can tell it is heavily influenced by it. A hauntingly beautiful and suspenseful story.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

Working as a lady’s companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .

dragonwyckDragonwyck by Anya Seton – Same as above.

Synopsis from Amazon:

It was on an afternoon in May 1844 when the letter came from Dragonwyck.
Tired of life on her father’s farm in Connecticut, Miranda Wells happily accepts
the invitation to the luxurious estate of her distant relative, the dashing and
mysterious Nicholas Van Ryn.

Introduced to a way of life she has only ever dreamed of, the innocent farm girl becomes a great lady. But soon the dark secrets of Dragonwyck begin to unfold.

janeslayreLove the tongue-in-cheek zombie twists on classic novels? Check out Jane Slayre. It’s Jane Eyre… but with VAMPIRES.

Synopsis from Amazon:

‘Reader, I buried him.’ So begins Sherri Browning Erwin’s affectionate, funny and brilliantly clever monster mash-up of everyone’s favourite literary classic. Mrs Reed and her children are vampires, Lowood is run by a voodoo headmaster who is turning his pupils into the walking dead, Mr Rochester’s first wife is a werewolf, and Jane must learn to embrace her destiny as a slayer of evil before she can win her heart’s desire. What’s not to love?
janeWant a 20th century retelling? Check out Jane by April Lindner. Edward Rochester is now… a rock star!

Synopsis from Amazon:

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there’s a mystery at Thornfield and Jane’s much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.
Some books to look forward to this year:

worldsWorlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Synopsis from Amazon:

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. The Bronte siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, transporting them into the glittering world of Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. As they grow older, the children realise that not only are they imagining these glorious places, they are also truly crossing over, as both inhabitants and creators. When one imagined character, the Earl of Northangerland, follows Emily back home, Emily becomes caught up in a tortured romance with him, and it is only when Anne disappears that Charlotte realises she and her siblings must get to the bottom of their abilities in order to save Anne and possibly themselves.

janesteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Synopsis from Amazon:

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?

readerAnd finally, Reader, I Married Him edited by Tracy Chevalier will be released later this year.

Synopsis from Amazon:

A collection of short stories celebrating Charlotte Brontë, published in the year of her bicentenary and stemming from the now immortal words from her great work Jane Eyre.

The twenty-one stories in Reader, I Married Him – one of the most celebrated lines in fiction – are inspired by Jane Eyre and shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination.

A bohemian wedding party takes an unexpected turn for the bride and her daughter; a family trip to a Texan waterpark prompts a life-changing decision; Grace Poole defends Bertha Mason and calls the general opinion of Jane Eyre into question. Mr Rochester reveals a long-kept secret in “Reader, She Married Me”, and “The Mirror” boldly imagines Jane’s married life after the novel ends. A new mother encounters an old lover after her daily swim and inexplicably lies to him, and a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre’s story.

Edited by Tracy Chevalier, this collection brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Brontë’s game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.

Have you read Jane Eyre? Do you absolutely love it as much as I do? Are you looking forward to any of these releases this year? Leave a comment below!

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